Punjab ropes in IIM-Ahmedabad to modernise prisons

  • Ravinder Vasudeva, Hindustan Times, Jalandhar
  • Updated: Aug 19, 2015 17:48 IST

Already on path to streamline the jails of the state, the Punjab prisons department has now roped itn prestigious Indian Institute of Management (IIM)-Ahmedabad to prepare a blue print for modernising prisons.

In its one-and-half year study, the IIM team would review all processes required to review the present jail system and would give recommendations to make it modernised after carrying out the detailed studies on the crime data available with the police department.

A MoU in this regard has already been signed between Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) Rajpal Meena and Professor IIM-Ahmedabad Dheeraj Sharma, who is expert on jail reforms.

As per copy of the MoU available with HT, the focus area of the IIM study includes rehabilitation of inmates with particular focus on skill development.

"The most important aspect is to take help of the IIM in manufacturing high-quality products in jails and to develop retail, distribution and branding strategy for prison-made products.

This is going to be the major initiative that can change the atmosphere in jails," said ADGP Prisons, Rajpal Meena. After this study, the IIM will provide framework for development of accredited and high-quality products and ways to get quality accreditation from certifying agencies.

The IIM professor, who is professor in marketing and international business, has tremendous record in raising the standards of jail made products in Gujarat and Tihar Jail. Tihar hired a team of the IIM in 2011 for the same sort of project and it has uplifted the standard of the jail-made products apart from making them competent for open marketing.

The IIM will also find out the lapses in the operations in the jails and where different non-government organisations (NGOs) can come in and offer some workshops and training to the inmates. The IIM will also study the reasons for higher number of apprehensions and detentions in Punjab and for the task, the exploration of better cell design, improving prisons management, generation of an operating module centered on the concept of 'no profit-no loss' functioning, improvement of living and educational standards of the inmates, and restricting manpower in the department are other aspects for which the IIM team will suggest measures.

The team will also study involvement of Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) to provide skill development for inmates.

"From IIM team, we hope to get a vision document that we would follow to reform our jails. The team will also help us in inculcating reforms taken up by few jails outside country as well that are greatest examples of reforms," said the ADGP.

The jails department would pay Rs 22 lakh for the IIM to carry this study and the payment would be made to the experts as per time frame of completion of work.

A committee comprising principal secretary, department of home, Professor Dheeraj Sharma and ADGP (Jails), would act as Project Steering Committee (PSC).

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