Reformation of inmates is one of the primary goals of prisons. The NCRB 2017 report on prisons indicates that the southern states are leading the way in the value of goods produced by inmates. Telangana has produced almost 21% of the value of goods produced by inmates in the country. 

Prisons act as a controlled environment for those arrested, under the supervision of the state and are aimed at reformation of the inmates. To reduce recidivism and to aid rehabilitation, the inmates are offered vocational skills training, access to education, library, yoga and meditation sessions. Vocational skills training provides an alternative livelihood source for offenders when they are released on completing their sentences. This also ensures that the time spent serving their sentences is also made to use in a constructive manner.

 The United Nations’ Standard Minimum
Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners
 of
1955 lays out rules to be adhered to by various countries, to ensure humane
treatment of prison inmates. Rehabilitation of inmates is also discussed in the
document. The Model Prisons Manual ,
prepared by the Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPRD) advises all
states to devise appropriate policies to facilitate prisoners’ employment and
rehabilitation. Convicts and under-trial prisoners who volunteer to work are to
be paid nominal wages for their labour as per rules. They cannot be compelled
to work for more than nine hours a day.

Jail products have even
entered mainstream markets

The
articles produced in prison industries are sold to government departments,
cooperatives, and other public undertakings. Of late, prison industries in some
of the states are flourishing. In Kerala,
jails are collaborating with online food delivery firms to cater to more
customers. Brand ‘TJ’ is an initiative of Tihar Jail which has a wide range of
products ranging from bakery items, jute bags recycled paper products to
paintings and furniture sold in their exclusive stores set up across New Delhi. Even in states
like Telangana,
inmates are extended training and their products are sold through dedicated
outlets.  

Prison Statistics 2017
was released this year after a delay of one year

The
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) released the annual Prison Statistics
India report of 2017 recently. In this report, the NCRB presents the numbers
and figures related to prisons, inmates, staff, facilities and more. In this
story, we explore the figures related to vocational training imparted
and goods produced in
jails across India.

Goods worth almost Rs.
280 crores were produced in Indian Prisons in 2017

The
value of goods produced in Indian prisons has touched the highest totalling to
Rs. 279.8 crores in 2017. This is the second time it has crossed the Rs. 200
crore mark, after 2015. Since 2010, the total value of goods produced has more
than tripled, from Rs. 80.1 crores in 2010 to Rs. 279.8 crores in 2017. Compared
to 2016, the value of goods produced has increased by about 40%. The value
of goods produced in 2016 was slightly less than the value of goods produced in
2015.

Reformation of inmates_Annual total value of goods produced by inmates

Telangana contributes
to more than one-fifth of the total earnings of India

The
state of Telangana has reported the highest value of goods produced in 2017.
With an earning of Rs. 59.9 crores, Telangana alone contributes 21% of the
total earnings reported in India. Not far behind, Tamil Nadu has reported
earnings of Rs. 56.8 crores in the same year. A total of 41% of  total earnings are contributed by these two
states. Maharashtra and Kerala are next in line with Rs. 30.5 crores and Rs.
29.4 crores respectively. Bihar reported the fifth highest-earning with Rs.
16.3 crores. The value reported by the top ten states in terms of earnings
amount to Rs. 250.1 crores which is almost 90% of the total earnings of India.

Reformation of inmates_States with highest value of goods produced by prisons

South Indian states
together contribute almost 58% of the total value of goods produced

On
a closer look, the performance of the states in the south seems to be better than
the states in other parts of the country. The total value of goods produced in
the southern states of Telangana, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and
Karnataka is Rs. 162.7 crores which is almost 58% of the national total. It has
to be noted that these five states account for only about 12% of all the inmate
population in the country.  North-eastern
states of Assam, Sikkim, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, and
Arunachal Pradesh together have together reported sales worth Rs. 15 Lakhs only,
may be owing to a fewer number of inmates.

Each inmate in
Telangana produced goods worth more than Rs. 1 lakh, about 16 times the
national average

Another
observation is that the productivity of the inmates is the highest in
Telangana. Here, by productivity, reference has been made to the average value
of goods produced per inmate. In other words, the total value of goods divided
by the total number of inmates in each of the states has been calculated as the
productivity. In Telangana, the average value of goods produced per inmate was worth
Rs. 1.08 lakh in 2017, which is almost 16 times the national average.  Following Telangana is Chandigarh with productivity
of Rs. 41,705 per inmate. Tamil Nadu has a productivity of Rs. 40,685 per
inmate. In addition to these three states, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh also have
a productivity of more than Rs. 10,000 per inmate. Rajasthan has the lowest
productivity at just Rs. 461 per inmate. The national average in terms of the
value of goods produced per inmate is Rs. 6209 in 2017.

Based on the type of
labour, nominal daily wage is provided to the inmates

An
average of Rs. 97.5 is paid each day to an inmate involved in skilled labour.
For semi-skilled and unskilled labour, the average wage was Rs. 82.7 and Rs.
74.4 respectively. Himachal Pradesh pays a wage of Rs. 210 each day to all
labourers irrespective of skill.

Around 47,000 inmates
underwent training in various vocational skills

Vocational
skills training was provided to 47,390 inmates in 2017, which is about 10% of
the total inmate strength in the country. About 9% of them got trained in
weaving and 6.9% got trained in tailoring. Around 6% got trained in carpentry
and 5.4% in agriculture. Bihar accounted for 8.4% of the trained inmates in the
country.

Reformation of inmates_Number of inmates trained by specific skills

From the chart, it is evident that a significant number (69%) of inmates were trained in ‘other’ skills. These other skills include agarbatti (incense sticks) making, artificial flower making, adult education, plumbing, food items production, handicraft, sanitary napkin production, and other innovations. 14.7% of the inmates who gained training in other skills are from Delhi.

Featured Image: Reformation of inmates

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