New jail manual proposes no parole for rape convicts in Maharashtra

Mumbai(dna):Maharashtra is set to become the first state in the country to not allow parole for rape convicts.This is just one of the 30 new amendments to the draft prison manual likely to be notified by next month. The manual also calls for restricting new constructions within 150 metres of the prison area. Prisons would, henceforth, be called “Sudhargrah” (reformative centres) and not “karagrah”.

The draft, running into 960 pages and 47 chapters, was approved by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis last week and has been sent to the law department for the final review before being sent to the governor for notification. The manual is being revised after 36 years.

Till date, parole was restricted only to those serving terms for dacoity and robbery. The new manual also deals in detail with the norms for furlough and parole vis-a-vis duration and formalities. Also, perhaps, in a first, the manual will do away with financial surety/bonds to be submitted by prisoners for bail or parole.

“Now, everything will be on personal surety. We felt that a lot of poor prisoners get stuck because they do not have surety bonds to pay,” said a senior officer.

Restrictions on constructions will only apply to central jails and existing ones will not be disturbed.

Additional home secretary Vijay Satbir Singh confirmed that the manual has been approved by the chief minister.

Sources claimed that, as per the new manual, all jails will have super-specialty medical facilities. This will ensure that convicts remain in jail for treatment instead of going out. “We will have specialists and psychiatrists on jail premises,” Singh said.

“We also plan to conduct HIV and other tests and will issue health cards to inmates. Medical camps inside jails from time to time has been made mandatory,” he said.

The new manual also proposes screening of documentaries and motivational movies. Libraries, TV sets, yoga sessions and spiritual motivation activities are the other highlights.

“The extensive research we did to prepare the new manual showed us that entertainment and motivational activities should be provided to convicts and undertrials We also plan to invite world-renowned yoga guru/s and motivational speakers from time to time,” said Singh.

Posted by on June 1, 2015. Filed under Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.