207 convicts got 90-day education remission under reform scheme of prisons department | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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207 convicts got 90-day education remission under reform scheme of prisons department

ByVinay Dalvi
Apr 03, 2024 09:54 AM IST

Under this scheme, inmates get 90-day remission – a reduction in their prison sentence- if they undertake studies while being incarcerated

MUMBAI: In the past five years, 207 convicts lodged in various jails across Maharashtra have benefited from the prison department’s ‘reform and rehabilitate’ scheme that was started in 2019. Under this scheme, inmates get 90-day remission – a reduction in their prison sentence - if they undertake various studies while being incarcerated.

207 convicts got 90-day education remission under reform scheme of prisons department
207 convicts got 90-day education remission under reform scheme of prisons department

By March end, 207 inmates were granted 90-day remission on completing their respective educational – mostly graduation courses. Sixteen of them got further remission of 90 days as they also completed their post-graduation courses. The prisons department has a tie-up with various universities like Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nashik and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), Delhi which have helped various convicts complete Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), graduation and post-graduation courses.

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The remission program is available only to convicts serving their terms in 60 prisons across the state. “Under the ‘Reform and Rehabilitate’, scheme we have been providing education to prisoners so that their quality of life improves while in prison and after the release they can make use of their educational qualifications. Inmates while incarcerated prefer topics like sociology, political science, economics, history, Hindi and Marathi while pursuing graduation and post-graduation courses,” said a senior Maharashtra Prisons Department official.

“We have even introduced several vocational courses like carpentry, tailoring, beauty parlour services, repairing of vehicles and cellphones to provide them job opportunities after their release from jails,” he added.

The jail official said a substantial number of inmates prefer professional courses like Bachelor of Law (LLB) and Masters in Business Administration (MBA), but they have to face problems while appearing for examinations while in jail. Prisoners are required to be escorted to designated examination centers which require special permissions from various authorities, including the courts.

“Providing education and especially vocational training to all willing inmates is part of Maharashtra Prisons’ program to improve the quality of life of prisoners while they remain incarcerated and improve their employability when they get out of prison,” said Yogesh Desai, Deputy-Inspector General, Maharashtra Prisons. The prisons department has also tied up with various banks to extend financial support to freed inmates to help them start their own small ventures after the vocational training.

“Under the guidance of Additional General of police, Maharashtra Prisons Department, Amitabh Gupta we have created an education section and set up study centers in various jails for convenience of inmates, to ensure that they get all the necessary books. Such study centers are opened in central jails in Arthur Road in Mumbai, Yerawada in Pune, Kalamb in Kolhapur, Nagpur, Amravati, Taloja in Navi Mumbai, Thane, Paithan near Aurangabad and Nashik and Kalyan jail. The inmates also have the facility of teachers at these study centers on certain days of the week to help them solve queries of inmates. Various books have also been made available on computers in prisons in the form of e-books,” Desai said.

The state prison department provides free education to the convicts serving sentences in nine central prisons, one for women, 28 district prisons, and 19 open prisons.

Yakub Memon, who was hanged in the March 1993 Mumbai serial bombings case, did his masters in English literature as well as political science from Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU), lawyer Shahid Azmi who was assassinated in 2010 studied law while in jail, alleged ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed studied law while in jail and even fought his case in person, said a prison official.

As per the prison statistics, in 2021, while nearly 40% of the prison population had barely completed even elementary education, 24% had passed Class 10, but dropped out before completing graduation.

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