Prisons in State turn crime hubs

Prisons in State turn crime hubs


A confession by the State Government attests to this growing trend: “Narcotic drugs, alcohol, mobile phones are being used by inmates of prisons” to further their activities in the crime world.

In a written reply to an unstarred question by Congress member Motamma, Minister for Prisons Umesh Katti said there was widespread use of narcotic drugs, alcohol, mobile phones, weapons and cash, though prohibited, by those serving time or undertrials.
According to Katti, the use of these contraband items were noticed during surprise inspection of central jails in Bangalore, Mysore, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Dharwad, Bellary district prison and Mangalore. The use by jail inmates of these prohibited articles is attributed to shortage of prison staff.

Making a clean breast of the ills of the jail system, Katti said that prisoners and undertrials normally escape when they are asked to work in gardens or on their way to courts and hospitals. The inmates also take advantage of the dilapidated conditions of the prisons to scale the walls to freedom.

Law enforcement officials say that smuggled cellphones are a growing problem across the country, allowing the inmates to make unmonitored calls. Cellphones are routinely used in prisons and local jails to carry out extortion schemes, drug deals, prison riots and escapes. Often prepaid, untraceable cellphones are smuggled into prisons with the assistance of guards or visitors, or are thrown over prison fences. Once the cellphone is inside, prisoners hide it among their belongings and often share it for a price.

But Katti said the government was firm in eradicating the ills of the prisons. To this end, he said, the Prison Department will recruit 342 wardens and 22 jails to fill vacancies.
Release of 140 inmates

Replying to a supplementary question raised by Congress member V R Sudarshan, Katti said his department had prepared a list of 140 prisoners for release after considering their conduct. He said he would discuss the issue with the Governor who is authorised to order the release of prisoners on humanitarian grounds. When asked whether the Cabinet approved the decision to release the prisoners, Katti said no such approval was required.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry