J&K jails to reform young minds: DG Prisons

By Vishal Bharti

Aiming to keep young inmates away from habitual and hardcore criminals vis-a-vis militants, Jammu and Kashmir Director General Prisons Dr S P Vaid said that rehabilitation centres are soon coming up in different jails to prevent radicalisation of young minds.

”We are focussing on so many things to bring reformation in prisons but the thrust is being laid on coming up rehabilitation centres in some jails so that the young offenders, who can be nurtured in positive direction, can be prevented from being radicalised,” Dr Vaid in an interview here told .

DG Prisons said, ”young minds comprising stone pelters, drug offenders or others once land into jails, are being influenced by the hardcore criminals and militants but we are making all efforts so that young brains do not get spoiled and distracted from their positive energies.”  ”First priority is to nurture these young thoughts and channelize them in the positive and right direction,” he said adding, ”presently there are 14 jails across the state and three more are coming up in Pulwama, Kargil and Bhaderwah.”

”In Pulwama jail, a full-fledged rehabilitation centre is coming up so that the young souls can be prevented from being misled,” said the top cop. He, however, said that secondly the focus is being laid on criminals, for whatever reason they may be in jails, better facilities for them besides good environment and infrastructure so that they do not feel neglected and once released, can join the mainstream.

”Three of the jails including Central Jail Srinagar, Poonch and Jammu District Jails are in shabby conditions but we are trying to get funds from the State Government and the Government of India for their upgradation,” he asserted. He said that there are constrains of funds but have written to the Ministry of Home Affairs hoping that the request may be considered for the upgradation of damaged infrastructure.

Prisons Chief further said that rehabilitation and guiding the inmates to the right direction is another area of focus and for that, department has engaged and kept them busy in various activities. ”Those who want to purse higher studies can go ahead through IGNOU centres set up in different jails, illiterates can learn basics and moreover, those having skills in handicrafts, knitting, carpentry, cooking are also being given due attention,” he asserted.

”In a recent meeting with the chief minister Mehbooba Mufti, she also laid stress on involving inmates having area of interest in gardening and landscaping and we are considering it too,” he maintained. DG said that to boost the morale of the inmates, the department has also tied up with government undertaken Super Bazars of Jammu and Srinagar where the products manufactured in jails are put on sale, adding, ”those who wanted to purchase the goods online can also avail an opportunity, which are being sold under the title ‘Parivartan’ via website.”

”Apart from this, to keep inmates occupied, they are also involved in yoga, ‘Art of Living’ programmes, sports, meditation, cultural items so that they start thinking healthy and positive and once released, can lead a normal life in the society,” said Dr Vaid.


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