Finally, the concept of an open prison for women has become a reality. The first open prison for women in South India and the second one in the country was inaugurated on Wednesday.
With the setting up of the prison, on the premises of the State Institute of Correctional Administration (SICA) at Poojappura, a long-lasting dream of the Prisons Department has come true. “The first open prison for women in the country is at Yerwada, Pune. But even that has not started full-fledged functioning so far,” said Director General of Prisons Alexander Jacob.
The selected inmates of the three women’s prisons in Kerala - at Viyyur, Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur - will be shifted to the new facility in a week’s time.
At present, there are 225 women prisoners in the state. Among them, 174 are remand prisoners and 51 are convicts. “The women inmates of the three prisons will be shifted to the open prison as per certain criteria,” said the DGP. Normally, those who have completed at least three years in other prisons and whose behaviour in prison is up to the mark are shifted to open prison.
“As many as 25 inmates from the jail will be shifted to the open prison,’’ said A Nazeera Beevi, superintendent, women’s jail, Attakulangara.
Those who will be shifted to the open prison will get the privileges of inmates of other such prisons - at Nettukaltheri and Cheemeni - in the state like a daily wage of Rs 117, 15 days’ home leave and permission for their relatives to visit them without much restrictions.
Earlier, the prison was inaugurated by Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan. Women’s Commission chairperson K C Rosakutty presided over the function. Jameela Prakasam MLA, Alexander Jacob and others spoke.