Diseased Mind And Jails Criminology Essay

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Prison Doors swing both ways. Since most incarcerated persons will be free to walk the streets again, the community cannot afford to look upon prison as an out-of-sight, out-of-mind" junkyard for human failures. In 1938 the late Donald Clemmer, sociologist and for 19 years director of the District of Colum­bia Department of Corrections, coined the word "prisonization". It refers to the assimilation of prisoners into the folkways, mores, customs, and general culture of the prison community. In those days custody and control were the primary goals of most institutions. Strict regimentation of eating, sleeping, and working of ten destroyed that feeling of individual worth and sense of responsibility so essential to an eventual adjust­ment to the outside community.

Twenty-five years later Clemmer introduced the - term "correctionalization" to depict insti­tutional programs designed to combat and counteract prisonization Correctionalization in­cludes not only the improvement of an inmate's personality, character, and work skills, but also reciprocal relationships and communications be­tween the institution and members of the free society. (Sard, 1967)

The prison is an institution of the state which consciously maintains opacity by regulating its interaction with civil society. Imprisonment as a mode of dealing with offenders has been in vogue since time immemorial. Though the foundations of the contemporary prison administration in India were laid during the British period, the system has drastically changed over the years, especially since the dawn of Independence in 1947. Prison as an institution has moved much on the ladder in view of national-international human rights instruments and covenants together with the policy framework adopted to underline human face in processes of imprisonment and punishment. Apart from the native genius, which finds its expression in the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Constitution of India new ideas and correctional practices in various countries have considerably influenced the texture of prison reforms and prisoners' status in the country. (M. Bandyopadhyay, 2007).

The issues of prison governance and the practices of reform in prison are crucial aspects through which the character of the state finds expression. India shares a universally held view that sentence of imprisonment would be justifiable only if it ultimately leads to the protection of society against crime. Such a goal could be achieved only if incarceration motivates and prepares the offenders for a law abiding and self-supporting life after his release. It further accepts that, as imprisonment deprives the offender of his liberty and self-determination, the prison system should not be allowed to aggravate the suffering already inherent in the process of incarceration. Thus, while certain categories of offenders, who endanger public safety, have to be segregated from the social mainstream by way of imprisonment. All possible efforts have to be made to ensure that they come out of prisons as better individuals than what they were at the time of their admission thereto. In fact according to Foucault, the emergence of prison as the form of punishment for every crime grew out of the development of discipline in the 18th and 19th centuries. He further looks at the development of highly refined forms of discipline, concerned with the smallest and most precise aspects of a persons' body. Discipline, he suggests, developed a new economy and politics for bodies. Modern institutions required that bodies must be individuated according to their tasks, as well as for training, observation, and control. Therefore, he argues, discipline created a whole new form of individuality for bodies, which enabled them to perform their duty within the new forms of economic, political, and military organizations emerging in the modern age and continuing to today and thus despite humanitarian movements Prison still comes with signifiers more in the domain of deterrence and prevention.

Needless to reaffirm that we all are living through difficult times and in many ways our lives are destined to move towards an end the day we become silent about things that matter and hence we would like to contextualize the theme through a poem- A Prison Evening by Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

Each star a rung,

night comes down the spiral

staircase of the evening.

The breeze passes by so very close

as if someone just happened to speak of love.

In the courtyard,

the trees are absorbed refugees

embroidering maps of return on the sky.

On the roof,

the moon - lovingly, generously -

is turning the stars

into a dust of sheen.

From every corner, dark-green shadows,

in ripples, come towards me.

At any moment they may break over me,

like the waves of pain each time I remember

this separation from my lover.

This thought keeps consoling me:

though tyrants may command that lamps be smashed

in rooms where lovers are destined to meet,

they cannot snuff out the moon, so today,

nor tomorrow, no tyranny will succeed,

no poison of torture make me bitter,

if just one evening in prison

can be so strangely sweet,

if just one moment anywhere on this earth.

It is in the context of the preventive and reformative approach pertaining to rehabilitation of prisoners, which we aim to contextualise in view of the contemporary critical reality as also within the theoretical frames. The search for a new approach in the 21st Century has as many meanings as there are moral and social philosophies, and academic opinion ranges over the entire spectrum. Some important voices think justice is only the symbol of an irrational hope whose function is to arouse the emotions of creatures addicted to self-deception, while at the opposite extreme are the contemporary adherents of classical natural law realism. In view of the general abandonment and criticism in contemporary moral philosophy of emotive positivism, its invalidity should not deter us in underlining that deterrence has outlived its utility and a new approach highlighting the Just part of justice is a meaningful expression today more than ever before. The new approach must intend to and deal with justice through the forgotten portals of human values. Probably this is what Neeli Cherkovski meant when he wrote A Prison Poem

I wrote for love

but love was lost

I wrote for freedom

but it is just a word

I wrote for dignity

but it belongs only to the rich and powerful

I wrote for God

but he was not home

The public execution was the logical culmination of a procedure governed by the Inquisition. The practice of placing individuals under observation is a natural extension of a justice imbued with disciplinary methods and examination procedures is what Foucault also argues. He adds further that the idea of reform entails making a prisoner into a normal(?) citizen, fit to return to life in society. However, in the practice of reform, emphasis gets misplaced and mislocated and the reformative practices become strategies of control, dominance and surveillance alone. The programme of reform then becomes a site for exercising arbitrary control over the prisoners as the facilities for improving the material conditions of prison life are granted arbitrarily. Since prison administration and rehabilitation of prisoners have a direct bearing on the improvement of the quality of life of those who deviate from the accepted social norms, the development of prisons shall be pursued as an integral part of the national development plans. Despite all best intentions of the government, there are numerous questions on prison reforms, reformative approaches, rehabilitation methods; conditions of prisoners in prison and after release are yet to be answered in the changing socio-economic realities of the society.

Crime and punishment both are interlinked process and these given below points need to be taken into consideration before making any policy for the criminal justice system. These points are:

Crime has a legal as well as sociological definition. Legally, crime is to act against law. Sociologically, crimes are conducts harmful to the society.

Study of crime must be done scientifically and objectively with the use of empirical data and grounded theory.

Crime can only be completely understood and effectively dealt with in cultural context. How criminals, victims and society perceived and received crime depends on cultural meaning assigned and feelings evoked.

Criminals are not born evil but a product of their social environment. People are born into pre-existing roles and relationships which affect their outlook and determine their action.

Prisons should not be an institution of punishment, but a place to reform offenders.

Prisoners should be treated individually. Collective treatment and punishment of prisoners with uniform rule, identical policy and fixed regulation will not be effective in reforming prisoners, who suffer from different personalities, labour under disparate life circumstances, and offend in unique situations.

Prisons should be staffed by social workers schooled in treatment of sick people and not prison guards specialized in the punishment of offenders.

The aim of the criminal justice administration is the effective reduction of crime and protection of society. The fourth component of the criminal justice system i.e. prison administration has to play a vital role in this regard. As many prison officials often says that "Prison is a place where all types of criminals are kept altogether. One criminal who is not convicted creates a lot of problem for the society so think about the condition where all such criminals are living together."

Total Number of Jails in India

Year

Central Jails

District Jails

Sub Jails

Women Jails

Open Jails

Borstal Jails

Special Jails

Other Jails

Total

2011

123

333

809

19

44

21

30

3

1382

2010

123

322

836

18

44

21

26

3

1393

2009

119

321

832

18

32

NA

NA

52

1374

2008

114

313

830

18

32

NA

NA

49

1356

2007

113

309

769

16

28

NA

NA

41

1276

2006

111

293

852

15

27

NA

NA

38

1336

2005

109

284

849

14

27

NA

NA

45

1328

2004

107

270

686

14

26

NA

NA

44

1140

2003

107

268

678

14

26

12

25

10

1140

2002

105

269

677

13

NA

NA

NA

71

1135

2001

98

266

671

13

NA

NA

NA

71

1119

2000

90

256

635

14

21

12

20

10

1058

Source:- National Crime Records Bureau's Publication "Prison Statistics 2000-2011"

Total Number of Prisoners in India

Year

Convicts

Under Trails

Detenues

Others

Total

2011

128592

241200

2450

684

372926

2010

125789

240098

2325

786

368998

2009

123941

250204

2232

592

376989

2008

123307

257928

2978

540

384753

2007

120115

250727

4687

867

376396

2006

116675

245789

2275

9077

358368

2005

108572

237076

2542

10178

358368

2004

98527

217130

4491

11243

331391

2003

91766

217658

4008

13087

326519

2002

82121

223038

4832

12366

322357

2001

75663

220817

3510

13645

313635

2000

63975

193627

3580

10897

272079

Source:- National Crime Records Bureau's Publication "Prison Statistics 2000-2011"

There are dual goals of Rehabilitative framework:-

Offender Risk Management

Increase Offender Capabilities.

In India, particularly the safety and security of prisoners and daily Bandobast of meetings, clothes, food, admission and release etc. are the biggest challenge before the prison administration. Although these daily Bandobast things in the prison also brings prosperity for some of the prison officials. This is another hard truth that where they have time to work for the correction, reformation and rehabilitation programmes. Some prison official says that these are fancy terms and no change can be brought among prisoners so there is no need to run such programmes.

Initially the strategy for the punishment system in primitive society was retribution and deterrence and the focus was on the elimination of wrong doers. Then in 19th century, in the first half the approach was preventive (imprisonment) and later on the approach has shifted towards reformation, rehabilitation and community based treatment programmes.

With the changing perception towards prisoners, prisons are no longer regarded only as a place for punishment. Instead, they are now being considered as reformatories. As a result in some states the name of the prison department changed and renamed as Department of Corrections. Greater attention is being given to ameliorate the conditions in jails so that it has a healthy impact on prisoners and a positive attitude can be developed among prisoners.

In the era of reformation and rehabilitation the role of prisons has changed and prisons are now the treatment centers and place of correction. The education, training and experience of the prison population will determine the quality of the reformative programmes. Rehabilitation planning of prisoners is the process of developing and determining objectives, policies and programs that will develop and utilize the skills of the prisoners so as to achieve economic and other goals. In other terms, the goal of the reformation and rehabilitation schemes is to reintegrate the prisoner in society after release. However excellent may be the state of technology in an organization, unless suitable climate is created by pursuing and implementing reformation and reintegration policies and plans in which the prisoner is motivated to give its best to the society, the objectives and plans of the organization can not be achieved. The goals of the rehabilitation and reformation can be categorized into different categories like intermediate and ultimate goal, specific and general, social and individual, dynamic and static, long term and short term goals. The correctional institutions are less willing to underwrite the cost of providing decent conditions and rehabilitative programmes because in fact the after care schemes are not running properly and there is also absolutely no follow up of the conditions of the prisoners who released from prison. The state is not bothered about their employment, social tie up, shelter etc. The financial support and other assistance needed by the correctional institutions for after care programmes are denied. Commitment to prison would become a beneficial act for the offender only at helping him to a better future life. The "Sick Model" of the management of offenders has never been tested in correctional fields. Thus there is little hard evidence either for or against its usefulness in rehabilitating offenders.

Research in the problem of crime in India has not yet made sufficient advance. The immediate task is to change or modify existing policies and programmes in order to adjust them to new objectives which seek to protect the interest of society and achieve a total rehabilitation of the offender. Crime is stimulated by conditions prevailing in society and it is due to personal and psychological factors. Economic conditions have always been a factor contributing to crime. Intensive surveys to study the causes, nature and extent of crime should be undertaken by research organisations, universities and other private agencies. The treatment of the crime, problem is intimately related to the nature of legislation, and the approach of the judiciary to crime. So far there has been no basic approach towards the various problems of correctional administration, but a number of useful steps have been recently taken by States and there is growing interest in the reform of penal administration.

The problem of correctional administration has to be dealt with in three stages : the pre-committal stage ; the administration of correctional institutions ; and probation and after-care. The principle that no person should be considered an offender till he is proved guilty should govern the treatment of accused and under-trial persons. The administration of police lock-ups and jails needs to be reviewed in the interest of the proper treatment of the inmates of the lock-ups. Special care must be taken when first offenders are committed to jails, so that no serious psychological harm is done to them. The administration of correctional institutions is governed by jail manuals. A recent conference of State Inspectors-General of Prisons has proposed the appointment of a committee to suggest the basis on which jail manuals may be revised to suit the new objectives, methods and programmes of correctional institutions, remove the inflexibility of rules, and permit greater freedom to the authorities on the spot to interpret sympathetically the rules so as to serve the objects of rehabilitation. Changes in the jail manuals will naturally require a revision of the Prison and Prisoners' Act which would need to be modified to meet changes in correctional administration.

The need to utilise prisons as agencies for the rehabilitation of prisoners is generally accepted. Modern principles of penology require that each prisoner is to be dealt with as an individual, and corrective handling should be so devised as to be in consonance with his abilities, aptitudes, back-ground and also with the paramount purpose of enabling him to earn his living honestly as a law-abiding member of society. While this must be the ideal and all plans must be directed to this end, the possibility of utilising the manpower resources represented by prisoners on projects of socially constructive character should be fully explored. Central prisons and district jails should receive the assistance of Departments such as those concerned with industries, agriculture and irrigation, so that the maximum advantage can be taken of the labour available in correctional institutions. A probation and after-care service is likely to minimise the cost of maintenance, as prisoners will not be called upon to serve long sentences during which they will be maintained by State Governments. As life in prison has to be organised so that the inmates live as a community and as the method of case work is to be increasingly used to deal with individual cases in correctional institutions, welfare officers should be progressively employed in central prisons and first grade district jails. Officials of correctional institutions should be given special training both before employment and during service.

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Prisons and jails may need to be reconditioned so as to provide arrangements to suit different classes of prisoners. Separate correctional institutions may be provided for female convicts. It should also be possible to develop open and close farm workshop prisons, agricultural colonies, and work camps at important work projects. The provision for Borstals, both open and closed, will also need to be expanded. It will be necessary to bring about greater uniformity in legislation applicable to first offenders and others charged more than once for minor offences. The appointment of probation officers and the release of prisoners on parole should remove a great deal of congestion from correctional institutions, reduce the cost of prison administration, and enable many prisoners to live as normal citizens after they have served their sentences. The work of private agencies like prisoners' aid societies and district probation and after-care associations has suffered on account of limited resources. It is desirable to entrust after-care work to probation officers, and a beginning may be made by organising after- care departments in central prisons and first grade district jails to deal with problems relating to work and employment, housing, health and family relationship. New developments in the administration and programmes of correctional institutions require the guidance and advice of experienced personnel working together in a central organisation. Such an organisation can assist programmes in the States, undertake experimental work and pilot projects, and function as a centre of information and publicity on all matters relating to correctional administration. Recognising the need for such a central organisation, the recent conference of Inspectors-General of Prisons recommended that a National Bureau of Correctional Institutions may be established in the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Rehabilitation of Prisoners in India

Year

Number of Prisoners to whom Financial Assistance Provided on Release

Number of Convicts Rehabilitates

Number of Prisoners to Whom Legal Aid Provided

2011

1532

1776

52042

2010

1568

2077

49968

2009

953

1982

50721

2008

1180

1913

45585

2007

2842

1754

48707

2006

1709

1632

45035

2005

1262

1538

33983

2004

1621

2555

33966

2003

1916

1426

33869

2002

1551

1821

26355

2001

677

417

23528

Source:- National Crime Records Bureau's Publication "Prison Statistics 2001-2011"

Details of Educational Facilities to Prisoners in India

Year

Number of Prisoners Benefitted

Elementary Education

Adult Education

Higher Education

Computer Course

2011

43437

67665

6158

5803

2010

39192

53370

3710

6148

2009

33313

57326

3675

5861

2008

33658

54843

3190

3146

2007

29107

60029

2564

2778

2006

34730

61578

1844

2807

2005

30090

38979

1650

1658

2004

21914

29066

1269

1000

2003

26594

42852

1627

1001

2002

41779

38727

1369

1254

2001

35559

46931

2243

1121

Source:- National Crime Records Bureau's Publication "Prison Statistics 2001-2011"

Development of Prison Policies in India

In 1835 Lord Macaulay appointed a Prison Discipline Committee and that started working on 2nd January, 1836. In 1838, committee submitted their report. The committee recommended more rigorous treatment of prisoners and rejected all notions of reforming criminals lodged in the prison.

Sir John Lawrence, again examined the conditions of India Prisons in 1864 and this second commission of enquiry also did not dwell upon the concept of reformation and welfare of prisoners. However the commission made some specific recommendations in respect of accommodation, diet, clothing, bedding , medical care of prisoners only to the extent that there were incidental to discipline and management of prisons and prisoners.

A conference of experts was held in 1877 to inquire into the prison administration in detail. The conference resolved that the Prison Law should be enacted which could secure uniformity of system. A draft prison bill was actually prepared but finally postponed due to unfavourable circumstances.

The fourth Jail Commission was appointed by Lord Dufferin in 1888 to inquire into the prison administration and the outcome was the Prison Act, 1894.

In 1919-20 All India Jail Committee was the major landmark in the history of Prison reforms in India and is appropriately called the corner stone of modern prison reforms in the country. For the first time, in the history of prison administration, reformation and rehabilitation of offenders were identified as one of the objectives of prison administration.

The Constitutional changes brought about by the Government of India Act of 1935, which result the transfer of the subject of prisons in the control of provincial governments, further reduced the possibilities of uniform implementation of the recommendations of the Indian Jails Committee 1919-20 in the country.

However, the period 1937-47 was important in the history of Indian prisons because states like West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh etc. Apart from appointment of some committees and enactment of some Acts the first Jail Training School in India was established at Lucknow in 1940.

Dr. W.C. Reckless, a United Nations expert on Correctional Work visited India during 1951-52 to study prison administration in the country. In his report he emphasized on the Corrections.

In 1957 All India jail Manual Committee appointed.

In 1961 Central Bureau of Correctional Services was set up and in 1971 renamed as National Institute of Social Defence. (One of the organizer of this seminar)

In 1972, the Ministry of Home Affairs appointed a Working Group on Prisons.

In 1978, the seventh Finance Commission dealt with the financial aspects of prison administration. A norm of Rs.3 per head for diet and Rs.1 per prisoners for other items like medicine, clothing etc per day was set up.

The Government of India convened a Conference of Chief Secretaries of all the States and Union territories on April 9, 1979. The recommendations like development of education, training and work in prisons, setting state board of visitors etc.

All India Committee on Jail Reforms under the chairmanship of Mr. Justice A.N. Mulla was constituted in 1980 and it submitted its report in 1983. A Total 658 recommendation made regarding each and every aspect of Prison including the reformation and rehabilitation of Prisoners and also to form National Policy on Prisons.

The role of Bureau of Police Research and Development, Ministry of Home Affairs is remarkable and the Bureau is organizing so many training programmes and research project countrywide. Out of 10 research studies conducted by the Bureau only one is focused on the "Impact of Vocational Training on Reformation and Rehabilitation of Prisoners in Madhya Pradesh and Chattishgarh." The Bureau also prepared Model Jail Manual and Draft National Policy on Prison Reforms and Correctional Administration in 2007.

Prisoners Welfare and Rehabilitation Policy

According to the Prison Statistics Report 2008 which is a publication of National Crime Records Bureau, Government of India the rehabilitation of prisoners is categorized in 4 different categories.

Financial Assistance provided on release

Number of convict rehabilitated

Number of Prisoners to whom legal aid provided

Wages paid per day to convicts.

Only 1180 prisoners were provided financial assistance, 1913 convicts rehabilitated, 45585 prisoners provided legal aid and more interesting that a small state Goa is paying wages Rs. 120 to their Skilled Prisoners, Rs. 90 to semi skilled and Rs. 80 to unskilled prisoners. This is the highest in the country. Although some other states are paying 60, 45, 26, 24, 20, 18 to the skilled prisoners. In the same country so much disparity is there.

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