Maharashtra prisons to be monitored by PRISMS

  • Rahul Mahajani, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Dec 15, 2014 20:13 IST

Prisons in Maharashtra will be soon be monitored using PRISMS, an online software that records minute details about prisoners, including names, photographs and other information about their relatives. It is expected that the installation of this software in each of the state's eight central prisons and 27 district jails will curb irregularities that are often reported.

The project, which was started at Yerwada jail in the last week of November, has been successful, and the department plans to cover every prison in the state over the next four months.

Meeran Borwankar, additional director general of police (prisons) said, “Work of installing the software and kiosks in all the prisons is underway. We expect to finish the project in the next four months.”

Apart from jail authorities, the software can also be used by the 28,000-odd jail inmates, through kiosks. Inmates will be able to check their health history, wages they have earned and other relevant information, including their date of release from prison.

Jail staffers are being trained to use the software, designed by Goa Electronics and customised according to the needs of jails in the state, an official of the prisons department said.

Jail officials said 24 modules of Local Area Network (LAN) are required in the bigger central jails, while seven or eight modules of LAN are required in smaller district jails. The installation of software and hardware in each jail will cost around Rs20 lakh.

Officials of the prison department said maintaining online data on prisoners will help them curb irregularities in jails. On many occasions, it was found that members of notorious gangs would come to jails and claim to be relatives of a prisoner, and then pass on messages. “Such practices can now be stopped as photographs and fingerprints of inmates’ relatives can be stored. This will bring accountability and transparency,” an official said.

Number of jails using PRISMS software
* Yerwada jail has already started using PRISMS software from the last week of November

* PRISMS will be installed in eight other central jails soon, including Kolhapur, Amravati, Nagpur, Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Aurangabad and Nashik

* Apart from these, PRISMS will be installed in 27 district jails across the state

Benefits of PRISMS
* Various records of prisoners will be computerised, including their wages, hospitalisation record, furlough, parole, date of production in court

* Even records of their relatives will be computerised. This includes their photographs and fingerprints. This is expected to curb entry of underworld operatives into the jails, who often pose as relatives of inmates

* All the data will be digitised and be available online

* Even inmates can access their data, using kiosks installed in jails

* Goa Electronics is helping the state prison department install the software in jails

* 24 modules of the software are required for bigger central prisons, while only seven to eight are needed in the smaller district prisons

* Jails staffers are being trained to use the software

* The installation will cost Rs 20 lakh in each prison

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