Soon, prisoners in the Central prisons in the State would have to swipe a smart card and get their thumbprints scanned on a biometric reader if they wish to make phone calls.
In a bid to contain the illegal proliferation of cell phones among prisoners and to help them be in touch with their relatives, the State government will soon execute a project to set up phone booths equipped with biometric technology in the prisons.
A huge parcel containing mobile phones and other electronic goods was recently seized while it was being smuggled into the Kovai prison.
Speaking to reporters after an inspection of the Coimbatore Central Prison, ADGP (Prisons) Dogra said, “The idea is not to allow the prisoners to call just anybody. They will be permitted to dial only two or three numbers and the call time will be restricted. Every prisoner will be given a smart card. To avoid trading of the call time among the prisoners, we have decided to have biometric authentication too,” he said. A total of 58 phone booths would be set up in central prisons across the State, including eight in Coimbatore prison.
“The government recently issued a GO for its implementation,” Dogra said.
Another project of the Prisons Department, the Prison Bazaar, was also in the final stages of implementation, the ADGP added.
Under this scheme, products made by the prisoners would be sold in the open market.