Burail jail inmates are a productive lot. According to Prison Statistics India 2013, the city has been ranked number two among all the states and union territories in the country in the value of goods produced by the inmates at the Burail Jail.
According to the report, Burail Jail houses 637 male inmates and 40 females. The value of goods produced per inmate has been recorded at Rs 29,879 per year.
The total earnings in 2013 was Rs 1.97 crore.
Kerala tops the list in the country with the value of goods produced per inmate recorded at Rs 33,937, while Delhi is third (Rs 20,608) in line. The value of goods produced by Burail jail inmates has registered a substantial growth in the last few years.
In 2012, as many as 734 inmates were lodged in the jail and produced goods worth Rs 1.6 crore with the value of goods produced per inmate per year at Rs 21,812. In 2011, goods worth Rs 75.4 lakh were produced by as many as 626 inmates.
According to official data, a skilled inmate in Burail jail gets Rs 60 per day while a semi-skilled and an unskilled inmate are paid Rs 50 and Rs 40 per day, respectively.
Puducherry pays the highest wages to its inmates in the country at the rate of Rs 170, Rs 160 and Rs 150 for the skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers, respectively.
Rehabilitation not a priority
Yet, despite the productivity, rehabilitation of jail inmates features at the bottom of the priority list for jail authorities.
Between 2011 and 2013, neither was a convict rehabilitated nor did the authorities provide financial assistance to inmates on their release.
In 2013, Tamil Nadu topped the list in the country by rehabilitating as many as 1,042 convicts and providing financial assistance to 1,346 inmates upon their release.
For 2013, a budget of `13.86 crore was allocated to the Burail jail by Chandigarh administration, of which `12.33 crore was spent. According to official records, a total of `36,323 per year is spent on each inmate for food, clothing, medical, vocational, educational and welfare activities.
Dr Upneet Lalli, deputy director, Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh, called for the need to increase wages paid to the inmates.
She further said a proposal for wage revision had already been submitted to the jail authorities.
She also advocated a policy for rehabilitation of inmates on the pattern of states like Tamil Nadu. Union territory deputy inspector general-cum-inspector general prisons AS Cheema was not available for comments.
Know the figures
Total number of inmates 661
Total number of convicts 270
Total number of under trials 391
Number of illiterates 142
Number of inmates below Class 10 217
Number of inmates above Class 10 and below graduate 239
Number of graduate inmates 51
Number of post graduate inmates 9
Number of inmates with diploma/technical degree 3
Domicile of inmates
Outsiders: 50.98% Foreigners: 1.81% City residents: 47.2%