State’s jail authorities are planning to hold a discussion session for jail inmates to help understand their opinions and attitude towards the society, their inmates and several other things. The select group of prisoners, who have been shortlisted for the debate, will be handed over a questionnaire with 10 questions.
According to Surendra Kumar, inspector-general of prisons, the exercise will be carried out to understand the inmates better and the problem they face. “Not everyone who is sent to prison has a tendency of committing crimes. There are some, who given a chance, will prefer leading a crime-free life. This exercise is for them,” said Kumar.
First-time offenders, educated prisoners will be given first preference while selection of inmates happens for the discussion so as to have a healthy debate. “Some inmates are habitual offenders. Whatever you do to rehabilitate them, they will continue with their ways once they are out of the prison. There is no point in including such inmates in the discussion,” added Kumar.
The debate will be held in Mumbai prisons – Arthur Road jail, Taloja jail and Byculla women’s jail – at separate dates as the prisoners can’t be moved from one prison to another. Once the inmates, who want to be a part of the debate, have filled the questionnaire, they will be categorised into two groups – one that will take active part in the debate and the other that will be in the audience.
The jail superintendent and other senior officials will also take part in the debate and put forward their opinion. Some selected NGO’s will also be included in the debate.
“There are many MBAs and doctors, who are behind bars for minor offences. The exercise is targeted towards such people, who have been driven to crime either by the society or by circumstances. The process of informing jail superintendents has begun and they will be in-charge of selecting candidates,” said Kumar.
The debates will be held in the respective jails at a place selected by the authorities.