HYDERABAD: Has the old building layout of the Chanchalguda Central Prison been hampering the pace at which an inmate gets ‘reformed’? Building scientific research on the same, prison officials has been trying to probe on what causes constraints in the reformation of prisoners. In fact, the State Prisons and Correctional Services Department has commissioned six of its officials to undertake research on various aspects concerning prisons in the State. The topics range from enhancing reformation capabilities to the best practices followed in prisons across the globe.
‘Prison building design: What it means to the prisoner and its effect on staff and prisoner relation’ is one such topic that the officials have been pursuing. The research seeks to find out the ways in which the building designs of a prison can be altered so as to facilitate faster reformation.
Elaborating on the research, M Sampath, Deputy Superintendent of Jails, said: “The Chanchalguda Central Prison campus was constructed way before the likes of Cherlapally Central Prison. The prison cells are built close to each other and there is not much space for an inmate to move inside the prison, in the old architecture.”
This, Sampath argues, makes a prisoner feel ‘restricted’, in turn, causing a delay in reformation. The freedom to move inside prison is closely related to the pace of reformation. “A prison should be perceived as a place where the inmate seeks reformation rather than feel punished. Curbing his/her freedom affects a prisoner’s morale,” Sampath observed.
“The Chanchalguda Prison has inmates whose crimes range from petty thefts to terrorism. Often, there are curbs in movement in accordance with the profile of a prisoner. To counter this, jails must be built depending on the type of security,” Sampath said at the Bureau of Police Research and Development in Visakhapatnam, recently.
The research is spanned over three years. The prisons department is also mulling over sending researchers to study foreign prisoners. “We’re trying to get funds for international study tours,” said Director General of Prisons VK Singh.