Convicts need ?pukki mulaqat?
REVIVE THE concept of ?pakki mulaqat? in UP jails, suggests a research conducted by a lecturer in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Administration Unit of the Social Work Department of Lucknow University (LU).india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 01:45 IST
Sexual deprivation leading to many problems, says study
REVIVE THE concept of ‘pakki mulaqat’ in UP jails, suggests a research conducted by a lecturer in the Criminology and Criminal Justice Administration Unit of the Social Work Department of Lucknow University (LU).
The exhaustive research by Mridul Srivastava, that compares Lucknow’s Model Jail with Delhi’s Tihar as well as with several other jails across the globe, makes a strong case for prison reforms in India and says that homosexuality is on the rise in UP jails simply because the convicts do not find an outlet to fulfill their sexual urge.
“The British, during their stay in India, knew that regulating the sexual urge of convicts was important for smooth administration in jails. Thus they arranged two kinds of meetings with the prisoners—kacchi mulaqat and pakki mulaqat. In the latter meeting, the convict was allowed to spend time with his wife in isolation within the jail premises. This practice has been done away with now leading to many problems,” Srivastava points out. “Though, the suggestion of reviving the concept of pakki mulaqat might sound odd, but then this way the human rights of the convict’s wife can be safeguarded besides ensuring that criminals are psychologically in a better frame of mind. Jail is also meant to reform criminals. Also, at the time of research there were about 78.5 per cent married convicts in Model Jail here as well as in Tihar,” he says.
The research also points out that in several cases, convicts often discover that their wives have either left them or developed post marital relationships. “This affects the criminals a lot as it emotionally shatters them,” the research points out. In Lucknow’s Model Jail, some convicts do get time off to visit their families for a specific period. “But, a convict reaches that stage only after several years in prison by which time the psychological damage is already done,” Srivastava says. Most importantly, the research highlights that when the convicts are finally released, most do not know what to do?
“This is a peculiar problem for the jail administration as several convicts feel that it’s better not to be released as they would not be able to leave a proper life.
They are shunned by the society, devoid of feelings, have unfulfilled sexual desires and a feeling of loneliness,” he said.
The research highlights that in UP absolutely no record of convicts is maintained after their release. “Thus, there is no authentic data on the kind of life they choose to lead after their release. More support and follow up programmes after release are needed if one is seriously interested in reforming the criminals,” Srivastava says.