Four Bhondsi jail inmates have been featured in the Limca Book of Records for installing a prison management system software — Phoenix — in 11 prisons of Harayana. Jail authorities said it was the first time in the history of the jail department that prisoners were sent to other jails in the state for “work purposes”.
The inmates are four under trial prisoners — Rohit Pagare from New Delhi, and Anoop Singh, Balwant Singh and Ajit Singh from Rewari.
The software manages
transactions at prison canteens, meetings of inmates with visitors and case history of prisoners, which were all previously done manually.
The software was developed by an inmate, Amit Mishra — a software engineer — while residing at Bhondsi Jail for one year. The four others were also in Mishra’s team. After Mishra’s release following his acquittal, the responsibility of implementation of the software was transferred to the four men. They took around one month each to implement the software in the 11 prisons. Before his release, Mishra had installed the software in eight other jails in the state.
None of the four men is a professional computer engineer. They learnt computer programming in jail while working with Mishra, authorities said.
After implementation of the software, canteens of all jails in the state started operating cashless. Prisoners do not have to keep cash with them for their daily requirements. They can purchase commodities with the help of a biometric account.
“Prisoners expressed their desire to computerise the canteen of the jail and other records with regard to meeting visitors. We cooperated with them and we are proud that because of the efforts of the prisoners, not only their names, but also the name of Bhondsi Jail has been featured in the Limca Book of Records,” Harender Singh, superintendent of Bhondsi jail, said.
Before implementing Phoenix, visitors had to wait for hours to meet the inmates. Every meeting was entered in the register and inmates were informed about the same. It took around two hours before a meeting. Now, the meeting is registered in the computer and a message is sent directly to the inmate. The wait time has reduced to less than 45 minutes, authorities said.
Earlier, the case history of inmates had to be checked manually. After implementaing Phoenix, officials can check records of every inmate with one click on a computer screen. Officials can also check the type of crime and other details of inmates. The details of parole and date of completion of their term can also be checked. The medical history of inmates and details of their next date in the court is also available in the digital records.
“The jails of Haryana are moving forward in the direction of improvement and rehabilitation. I am happy that the name of Bhondsi jail and its four prisoners have been featured in the Limca Book of Records... Efforts of this type will continue,“Yashpal Singhal, DGP, jail, said.
Singhal will felicitate the inmates next week with certificates. The jail is also planning to organise a ceremony for the same.
Prison authorities said the development and implementation of this software might cost crores but it was done for free by Mishra and the four others.