HYDERABAD: The Prisons department has decided to transfer 94 adolescent offenders lodged at the seven central prisons to the Borstal school in Nizamabad.
There are about 450 young offenders, aged between 16 and 23 years, lodged in the central prisons.
But according to Section 10A of the Prisons Act, every adolescent offender should be lodged in the Borstal school.
“Most young offenders don’t know about the school.
Even their advocates are not aware of it,” admitted CN Gopinatha Reddy, director general of prisons.
“I will do a thorough study on adolescent offenders and take a decision soon,” he added.
The only Borstal school in the state lodges only six offenders when its sanctioned strength is 100 inmates.
“The lack of inmates in the school has made the presence of 25 personnel redundant,” said Reddy.
The seven central prisons are in Cherlapally, Chanchalguda, Warangal, Visakhapatnam, Rajahmundry, Kadapa and Kurnool.
Of them, Cherlapally alone houses 153 adolescent offenders.
Of these, 84 are serving life terms.
“Due to the lack of awareness about the existence of the Borstal school, many adolescent offenders are forced to be spend their life in prisons,” said M Varaprasad, Borstal school superintendent.
He further said lodging adolescent offenders in central prisons would expose them to the influence of hardcore criminals.
R Newton, superintendent of Rajahmundry prison, says, “When young offenders are lodged in prisons, they have to work with other criminals at units like weaving and furniture making.
There is a possibility that they would learn more dangerous activities.” The government should think seriously about separating adolescent offenders from hardened criminals, he adds.
Having learnt about the Borstal school now, some juvenile offenders to be shifted there.
Says A Srinivas (20) from Medak district, who has been serving life term in Cherlapally since 2008, “I came here when I was 16 years old for being involved in a murder.
I didn’t know about the Borstal school.
I now want to appeal to the High Court to be sent to the school.”