HYDERABAD: The Telangana Prisons Department’s effort is finally going to bear fruit. About 500 hardcore prisoners have been identified for reform and rehabilitation with the help of Ramakrishna Math and Osmania University’s Sahayam centre for counselling and they will join mainstream life once the reform programme is complete. The prisoners are undergoing motivational and behavioral lessons. This apart, a number of games for prisoners have also been formulated for the reform process.
This is part of ‘Project Mahaparivartan’, crafted by the department and launched on Independence Day.
As per the plan, the prison welfare officers across all the prisons, including district jails, will monitor the activities of these prisoners after their release and recommend their services to prospective employers based on the performance during reformation process.
“This is a multi-pronged programme and we are currently in the process of tying up loose ends. We have classified prisoners into four categories- ones who have become criminals due to circumstances, poverty, bad company and even implicated falsely,” said VK Singh, director general, Telangana Prisons.
According to him, the responsibility of welfare officers elsewhere in the country has been limited to counseling the prisoners leaving prisons. The welfare officer designated to each prison will report back to the welfare officer stationed at the headquarter in Hyderabad.
“Through motivation and reformation, we wish to utilise their services in our activities of vidyadanam(spreading literacy), afforestation and discouraging crime in the society,” added the DG.
At present, there are around 6700 prisoners in Telangana, of which about 4000-odd are undertrials. According to information, the annual average footfalls in State prisons total about 1 lakh. And officials claim that as many as 20,000 of them leave the prison as literates every year.
“We are having productive competition between barracks. They get points and rewards based on performance of prisoners lodged in their barracks. They get educational lessons too. And if a prisoner who returns to the prison for the second time after being released, that will be seen as a negative,” Singh explained.