Open Prison for Tihar gets LG nod

 Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has approved Tihar Jail’s proposal for initiation of Open Prison for inmates who have undergone conviction in the Semi-Open Prison Complex.

With the help of the Open Prison, inmates will be able to go outside the jail complex for work and come back during the prescribed evening hours. The facility is likely to start within a month.

“In the process, they will be able to earn wages and familiarise themselves with outside world. Each of the selected inmate will have to go through a tough selection process,” said Director General (Prisons) Vimla Mehra. A selection committee has been constituted by Mehra under the chairmanship of Deputy Inspector General (Prisons).

For availing the facility, a convict must have been sentenced to more than five years of imprisonment and completed two years in the Semi-Open Prison (SOP) Complex. “They should have maintained excellent conduct inside the SOP and have performed work allotted to them with due devotion and diligence,” Mehra added.

The Director General (Prisons) shall permit a convicted prisoner to work at a place outside Tihar campus beyond which inmates shall not go. The prisoner can be allotted work on PWD projects, horticulture work or any other private work or at Tihar outlets at various places for which they shall be eligible for minimum wages as prescribed by the Delhi government.

“No prisoner shall be employed by any jail officer for any private work or shall be assigned any menial duties. Under no circumstances shall they be asked to work as domestic help,” Mehra said.

The selected prisoner shall be directed to furnish a surety and personal bond for their maintaining good conduct while on work outside, observance of discipline, work code, timings for returning, among others. Prisoners, who do not abide by the levels of prescribed discipline while working can be shifted back to the SOP or closed prison, and could be punished as per the Delhi Jail manual.

Tihar Jail’s SOP Complex — prison without bars — was inaugurated on June 11, 2013. Transfer to SOP is extended only to convict prisoners with good prison conduct, who are physically and mentally fit and are willing to do hardwork as prescribed for them.The staff quarters had been converted into the SOP and can house up to 100 inmates. The inmates can go to work every day around 6 am and return to their rooms by 7 pm. There are no guards, but a jail officer keeps attendance record.

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