Prison Doors Swing Both Ways Criminology Essay

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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).

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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.

Conversations with the Correctional Leaders in America in 1970, published in the American Journal of Correction on 100th Anniversary of American Correctional Association's describes the feeling of correctional leaders at that time which has guided the future development of prison system all around the world including India.

- Which is more important; to reform a certain percentage of those already criminals, or to try and operate a law that prevents people from becoming criminals?

- Business of making better prisons was the business of the prison people themselves.

-I think prison is a good thing, but this is not the only effort in society that is being made to change the treatment and the production of criminals.

- The Hitler Idea was that if you put education into prison you weaken the force and destroy the character of punishment.

- In Geneva, in 1955, Mr. Bates made the point of two parts to the prison system - the first part was to get the cruelty and brutality taken out of it; and the second part was to put something effective and valuable in its place. The first half is easier that the second.

- Classification is a namby-pamby thing.

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- You can punish people en masse, but you can only cure them individually.

-Social Work or Case work was a dirty word in those days in the correctional field.

- Prison society was able, by hook or by crook , to adjust to the changes that were taking place because of their interest, and focused wholly on the prisoner.

- We ought to get away from the name penal because it just doesn't fit except that it has a punishment connotation.

- I think we are now involved in a different kind of seeking of alternatives, the seeking of alternatives to incarceration. I think we realize that confinement in the concrete cocoon of a prison offers the least promise of all our correctional resources.

- I think we would all agree that the retribution theory has sort of passed into disrepute and that we are now dealing with something which for want of a better term has been called reintegration.

- I think no matter what we do corrections will always be subject to criticism, but in the future I hope we are criticized for what we are doing rather than what we are not doing. We can no longer keep the public happy by running quiet institutions that don't draw the heat of the press. The public demands therapy, not tranquility; action rather than apathy; and results rather than reticence. This is the greatest challenge ahead, i think, for corrections but it also represents our greatest opportunity.

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

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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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After Care and Follow- up Services for the Released offenders in Correctional Settings

The growing acceptance of the view that rehabilitation of the offenders is so much a responsibility of the penal system as that of society at large, has given rise give to decriminalization, depenalization, deinstitutionalization and diversion techniques in modern corrections work. The more significant has been the hue and cry for community based corrections. The contemporary corrections ferment makes one thing clear that traditional methods of correction, particularly of the institutional variety have been singularly unsuccessful in achieving their professed aims and purposes. The general underlying premise for the new direction in corrections is that crime and delinquency are symptoms of failures and disorganization of the community as well as that of individual offenders. The task of corrections therefore, includes building or rebuilding solid ties between the offender and community, integrating or reintegrating the offender into community life, restoring family ties, obtaining employment and education, securing in the larger sense a place for the offender in the routing functioning of the society.

The correction- oriented philosophy of punishment, as eulogized and accepted in modern times, takes into account and attempts to ward off all those evilsome consequences of imprisonment that demoralize the incarcerated offenders into the institutional settings on the one hand, and seriously threaten their prospects of rehabilitation in the community on the other. It is with this purpose in mind, the theorists in corrections repeatedly emphasize that corrections tasks remain incomplete if the efforts to correct the offender begin and end with what is done to him within the institutional confines, be it a prison or juvenile correctional facility. The idea is simply to tell the correctional workers that offenders exposed to reformative or rehabilitative experiences in the institutional premises need help and guidance even after their release. This is considered essential in view of the high incidence of recidivism even amongst those who have successfully completed their term of institutional incarceration. Many such persons when released, often come across certain insurmountable environmental pulls and pressures and willy-nilly succumb to a life of crime once again. When this happens the entire correctional efforts put within the institution fall into disrepute. The critics of the correctional process then get an opportunity to rejoice this failure and find a convenient excuse to decry all that corrections philosophy entails or endeavors to accomplish.

The idea of community based corrections stems from the belief that offenders must learn to cope with and adjust to the real world, not the artificial milieu of an isolated institution. This belief is based on the empirical evidence that goes on to demonstrate that though prisons and juvenile correctional institutions do succeed in punishing, but they have never been able to deter. They protect the community no doubt, but that protection is only temporary. They do relieve the community of responsibility by removing the offender, but they make successful reintegration of the ex-offenders into community less likely, They surely change the committed offenders, but the change is morel likely to be negative than positive.

The new demand for community based corrections has made after-care and follow-up ex-offenders as one of the most important parts of the total strategy of integrated correctional programmes and services. Penologists and correctional workers now stand fully convinced of the fact that the efforts of the prisons and juvenile correctional institutions are bound to prove fruitless if the difficult transition of the released offender into community is not helped and guided by a humans and efficient system of after-care that takes over the responsibility and continue to make efforts till the purpose of the offender's rehabilitation is fully achieved.

The current diagnosis of the correctional malaises shows amongst other things, its deep concern for the prevailing neglect of the concept of 'aftercare'. It has indeed become common place now to hear that one of the very important reasons for the poor performance of the correctional outcome is largely due to its callous unconcern for the fate of its ex-clients. There is so much of disillusionment on this count that we run the risk of assuming that aftercare is a forgotten concept in contemporary corrections practice. Presently, aftercare is something like correctional charity devoid of any definite commitment to responsibility. It is more loudly preached than practiced. What ever little has been done looks more haphazard and less organized. The result it that the programmes and polices of aftercare are increasingly subjected to an amazing variety of complaints and allegations both by its lay and informed critics. The semantic confusion of the concept of aftercare is as great as are its policy deficiencies and programme limitations.

The purpose of the present article is to elaborate upon the concept of aftercare in corrections, both in its idealistic and realistic terms and also to examine the more evident short comings of the programmes and policies of aftercare as prevalent in India. The intention, to be praise, is to offer a few guidelines for action to be taken in regard to the designing of programmes of aftercare more suitable to our indigenous conditions and more in accordance with the limitation of resources. The recourse to western material is purely for the purpose of augmenting the analytical quality of the discussed contained.

The Concept of After-care

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After-care refers to may developmental efforts to assist the products of institutionalization, whether they be mental patients, juvenile offenders or adult felons upon their release to the community. In such a scheme, after-care is interpreted broadly to include programmes and services for all those persons who are physically, mentally or socially handicapped and who sometimes or the other have undergone a certain period of care and training in any people- changing institutions. The object of such programmes and services is to complete the process of rehabilitation of and individual and to prevent the possibility of relapse into a life of criminality again. In figurative terms, the programmes which follow the period of offenders institutional commitment is something like released prisons convalescence. Model Prison Manual described it as "the bridge which can carry him from the artificial and restricted environment of institutional custody from doubts and difficulties and from hesitations and handicaps to an onward journey of resettlement and rehabilitation in the free community."

After-care, this is a continuance of the reformative and rehabilitative endeavors for the help, service, guidance, counseling, support and protection of those persons who are released from adult or juvenile correctional institutions. The main aim of the after-care services, therefore, is to reconstruct restore such persons to a social position of self-respect and also to enable them in settling down as law-abiding citizens in the community. In essence, after-care is a forward step in the direction of complete rehabilitation for the once institutionalized individuals. As a form of post- release assistance, it is closely interlined with the institutional training and treatment. It is a process of facilitating the transition from correctional institutions to the community.

In view of its undeniable importance, aftercare has been accepted as an essential component of the modern correctional process. Ideally any well-designed aftercare programme or service in corrections should aim at achieving the following:

Prevention of the possibility of relapse into a life of dependence or custodial care for persons who have undergone a certain period of care and training within an adult or juvenile correctional institution.

Suitable provision of help, guidance and supervision of such persons in fulfilling the societal obligations incumbent upon them a prescribed or desirable condition for their release.

3. Completion of the process of rehabilitation in the community by improving their personality strengths and by the removal of any stigma that may be attached on account of their previous institutional incarceration.

Rationale of After Care and Follow-up Services for the Released Offenders.

Juvenile and adult correctional experts agree that the successful rehabilitation of the institutionalized offenders depends upon the availability of the quality of post-institutional services. These services are necessary for resolving those problems and difficulties which ex-offenders face on their return to the community. The kinds of difficulties which meet a liberated convict on his return to society are neither few nor trifling. Consequent upon their release from penal or correctional institutions ex-offenders find themselves into a reentry crisis. They find their old world changed much to their discomfiture. They soon discover that many new problems have arisen making their reintegration difficult into the family fold, into former friend circle, into neighborhood conditions and into the general conditions prevalent in the community. Many such critical problems of adjustment look to them simply insurmountable. They desperately need help, encouragement and direction in resolving these strange problems confronting their peaceful existence in the community but when nothing seems to be in offing, their dream of home coming shatters into pieces. The result is more bitterness and more hatred towards society in general. This sets the stage for the enactment of criminal behaviour-this time with greater frustration and with still greater ferocity. They find no way but to a life of crime again. The circle thus gets completed: "Crime incarceration and release, and fresh crime and incarceration again." The following description of a prisoner's reentry crisis by Karl Manninger perhaps makes out a best case for the need and significance of aftercare services in corrections:

"He enters a world utterly unlike the one he has been living in and also unlike the one he has been living in and also unlike the one he has left some years before. In the new world, aside from few uneasy relatives and uncertain friends, he is surrounded by hostility suspicion, distrust and dislike. He is a marked man- an ex- convict. Complex social and economic situations that proved too much for him before he went to prison have grown no simpler".

The adverse social and economic circumstances that confront the ex- convicts clearly call for an organized system of aftercare and follow up not as a matter of charity but as a matter of unavoidable correctional responsibility. The fulfillment of this responsibility is perfectly in keeping with the well-defined tasks of corrections that include building or rebuilding solid ties between the offender and the community, integrating or reintegrating the offender into community life, restoring family ties, obtaining employment and education and securing in the larger sense a place for the offender in the routine functioning of the society" An effective correctional system, remarked Martin a renowned British penologist, "must aim for the reintegration of prisoners into society. In the last resort this is because there is a moral argument for aftercare. It is simply that no man is so guilty, nor is society so blameless, that it is justified in condemning anyone to a lifetime punishment, legal or social. Society must be protected, but this not done by refusing help to those who need it for more than most of their fellow citizen."

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.

The Crisis of Offenders' Aid Organizations

The genesis of the failure of our present and old offenders' Aid Organizations lies in the following problems and difficulties:

Frustration, discouragement, lack of public appreciation constant financial troubles.

Marked inadequacy of the resources placed at the disposal of such Prisoners' Aid organizations.

Lack of cooperation from the concerned governmental departments.

Woeful inadequacy of grants-in-aid.

Shortage of dedicated workers.

Loss of public credibility of such organizations in the incidence of crime and delinquency.

Peoples unprepared ness to accept ex-offenders as citizens worthy of trust, confidence and help.

Majority of the functionaries of such organizations do not understand the gravity of their commitments. As a results, they do not take their job assignments seriously.

After-care problems of the Institutions and their Ex-inmates

Some of the major problems that thwart the after-care of follow-up work of the custodial-cum-corrective institutions in the country are as follows-

Systematic follow-up of all released inmates, as a matter of routing does not exist in the large majority of such institutions.

Contact is not maintained with ex-inmates and the institutions, on their own, normally do not take any initiative in establishing any link with the ex-inmates even by the medium of the post card.

Institutions have hardly paid any attention to the post-institutional problems of their ex-inmates which confront them in their adjustment to a new pattern of life in the outside world.

There is a virtual absence of any guidance and counseling services in such institutions in order to prepare the inmates for their reentry to the life in the open community.

Once the inmates in such institutions crosses the institutional boundaries he automatically becomes a subject of non concern for the institutional machinery.

The situation of under-staffing and over-crowding in many such institutions renders them completely incapable of proving any after-care or Follow-up Service. The responsibility is well beyond their resources.

No record of ex-inmates is maintained in all these institutions and simply do not know what happens to the inmates after their release from the institutions, in such a situation, do not know the problems that ex-inmates have to encounter on their discharge in the absence of any after-care or follow-up service.

The meagre help that the inmates receive by the institutions at the time of their discharge is of no serious value to them.

Sl.No.

Name of State

Number and name of After-care institutions/organizations

Administrative Authority

Andhra

1. After-care Home for Men at Malkapet Hyderabad.

Inspector General of Prisons.

Delhi

1. State After-care Home for Boys at Anand Parbat, New Delhi

Directorate of Social Welfare Delhi Administrator

Haryana

1. State After-care Home at Madhuban, Kernal

Social Welfare Department

Gujarat

1. District Shelter for Men at Ahmedabad

2. State Home for Men at Rajkot

Social Welfare Department

Kerala

1. Three After-Care Hoems For Men At Trivendrum, Trichur, & Tellichery.

4. One After-care Home for Boys at Kottayam.

Jail Department

Mysore

1. Two District Shelters for Men at Mysore & Bengaun.

2. One State Home for Men at Hubli.

Department of Probation and After-care Services.

Maharastra

1. Maharastra State Probation And After-Care Association And Its District Brhaches. Navjeevan Mandal, Poona

Orissa

1. Seven District After-care Shelters at Puri, Belasore, Sambalpur, Sundargarh, Bolangir, Berhampur and Cuttack.

2. One Central After-care Home at Baripath, Distt. Mayurbhanj.

Jail Department

Punjab

1. State After-care Home at Hoshiarpur

Social Welfare Department

Tamil Nadu

Madras Prisoners Aid Society and its District Committees

Uttar Pradesh

Asha Kiran/Prison Ministry

Nari Sewa Samiti

National Council for Women

Taru Chhaya

West Bengal

1. Bengal Prisoners' Aid Society.

Self Determination in Welfare and Corrections

"Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding"

Louis D.Brandeis dissenting,

Olmstead V. United States (1928)

If research in the field of human behaviour revealed an unvarying casual connection between certain factors and resultant behaviour, then therapists could assume an authoritative stance in imposing treatment designed to effect changes in behaviour. Specially, if it were proven that people would never commit crimes if all their psychological, marital, child-parent, employment, interpersonal and other problems were in a state of stasis, then therapists in the field of correction would be justified in compelling all criminals to undergo treatment in all these areas to effect the desired equilibrium. In proposing non punitive acceptance of the offender's rejection of psychological and family counseling and moving toward concrete services and institutional changes, correctional thinking is reacting to what the national Council on Crime and Delinquency (1973) editors describe as a new concept in criminology. Examination of the new concept reveals strong resemblances to the marxist interpretation of society. In this approach the observation is made that practically the entire population has been guilty at one time or another of lawbreaking of various degrees of seriousness. The ruling social class defines what is crime and selects who is to be arrested for lawbreaking. The victims are the poor, those of limited intelligence and those the dominant class wishes to scapegoat to ensure social equilibrium. In these concepts, the focus for change shifts from the individual offender to society and its institutions.

The Role of Reward and Punishment in Education and Correction

In Search of incentives to motivate human beings to adopt socially acceptable and con­structive behavior, men have for centuries been looking for reliable tools, believing that reward and punishment were the best tools of all.

In a moral sense, reward is still bestowed for right and good conduct; punishment is still in­flicted for wrongdoing, with intent to correct error. Psychologically speaking, reward brings pleasure and enjoyment; punishment brings pain and displeasure and sometimes, if accepted as justified retaliation, it may also bring relief from guilt feelings provoked by consciously or sub­consciously acknowledged misdeeds.

We shall concentrate here on the kind of reward and punishment that is administered solely in the interest of the recipients, not in satisfaction of the desire for revenge on the part of those admin­istering them nor by way of appeasing or bribing the recipients to enter a pleasanter relationship, warranted or unwarranted. Mind you, we do not underestimate the psychological damage - the da­mage in their human relations - they do to those who administer them. (Papanek, 1958)

Reward and Punishment Unreliable and Unsatisfactory

Whatever the object of reward or punishment, they have always been unreliable and unsatis­factory. With our current knowledge of psychology in our present democratic society, reward and punishment are pretty well outdated ; at most, they should play a less important role than here­tofore, and it would' be best if they could be dropped entirely.

In the education Mark Twain once called the "organized fight of the grownups against youth" and in the so-called reeducation of deviates to the norms of society, reward and punishment are still considered the best stimulation to construc­tive behavior or the correction of faults and mistakes.

In the 16th century, the Jesuits substituted supervision for compulsion in their schools, al­though they did not dispense with punishment altogether. Otherwise they emphasized the impor­tance of rewards as incentives in the belief that "ambition, although it may be a fault in itself, is often the mother of virtues." [1] 

The famous Ratio Studiorum (1599) requested the introduction of a corrector, who was not to be a member of the Society, to administer punishment when such was necessary so that punishment should be dissociated from teaching. When a suitable corrector was not available, other methods than punishment were to be devised. Today, at least 90 percent of educational methods at home, in school, and in correctional institutions still involve prohibitions, repressions, suppressions, reprimands, and punishment.

Retributive punishment was highly important at the time when man knew little about his own psyche or how to apply this knowledge to induce socially acceptable behavior. He felt himself re­sponsible for all his acts to a higher power, some superior being; when he offended the world order set by this almighty, he must be punished. From the Erinyes to "an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth," the principle of retribution tried to function in the hop t that fear of certain penalty would restrain men from wrongdoing. We have difficulty in reconciling this with the ethical principle of judge not others lest you be judged, nor can we assume that there are any educational or correctional factors involved in punishment for punishment's sake. If some emotional relief results because of the good feeling that no wrongdoing can go unpunished, such relief is usually less help­ful to the wrongdoers than to the punishers or observers. Their sense of righteousness and su­periority has no constructive educational value for themselves otherwise.

Conditioned Reflexes or Social Responses

The deterrence - emotional but not ethical - effected by punishment is of even less value than retributive punishment. It appeals only to selfish fear, not to insight or morals. It may, sometimes succeed with cowards - actually it promotes cow­ardice. It is well known that in England, when public hanging was still the punishment for pick­pockets, other pickpockets did a tremendous business cleaning out the pockets of fascinated spectators at the execution. Since human behavior is not determined solely by conditioned reflexes, even the desire to avoid punishment will not serve as sufficient deterrence; there must be patterns of social responses well established by emotional and intellectual factors. In his natural struggle to overcome outside difficulties through his own personal endowments, the child or grownup threat­ened with deterrent punishment will be inclined to attempt to overcompensate for his inferiority feeling toward the punisher and to outwit him, to be smarter than the victim of the punishment he has. just witnessed, to try not to get caught. (Papanek, 1958)

Some people believe that Pavlov's experiments with conditioned reflexes -with dogs and other similar experiments with animals - prove that at least temporary success can be achieved with deterrent punishment and that repeated periodic application can bring lasting success. We must maintain that rewarding a dog with food for se­creting saliva at the sound of a bell, or punishing him if he does not obey his master's demands, is all right for dogs. Obedience is all we expect of him, but we expect more than obedience from human beings and we cannot get it by taming through fear. Education and correction, or re­education where necessary, must enable human beings to develop more than reflexes, reactions, and repressions of instincts and drives. Education or reeducation must help the unsocialized child or adult to become a happy, independent, under­standing, cooperative member of human society, without which he would not be a human being. It must make him able and willing to contribute his best to the advancement