KOCHI: As the number of undertrial adolescents is increasing, the Prisons Department is planning to start two more Borstal Schools - dedicated detention centres for youth aged between 18 and 21 - in the state. With numerous persons getting involved in drug peddling and drug abuse cases, the authorities fear that adolescents might get influenced by them if they are lodged in normal jails.
Last month, in a meeting of top officials in Thiruvananthapuram, there were discussions about the requirement for more Borstal Schools. Currently, there is only one such school in Kakkanad near Ernakulam District Jail. “Currently, if an adolescent offender is arrested from Kannur, transporting him to Kakkanad is a difficult task for authorities,” an officer told Express. “Producing undertrial prisoners at courts far from Kakkanad is also not an easy task. So currently, most of the adolescent offenders are lodged in normal jails where they mingle with other prisoners.
Taking these issues into consideration, we are planning to launch two more such schools in the northern and southern parts of the state,” he said. Borstal Schools are slated to come up at Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur districts. Kakkanad Borstal School’s full capacity is 78. Currently, there are 65 inmates there.