Homely comforts for jailbirds

Homely comforts for jailbirds

Inmate suites

Homely comforts for jailbirds

Perhaps inspired by the Valentine’s Day spirit, the Punjab government has announced residential suites in jails for inmates to enjoy conjugal bliss — if not for all times to come, at least for a week.

The inspiration behind the state government’s Freudian thinking stems from “humanitarian grounds,” as Minister of Jails Hira Singh Gabria puts it. “This facility will help inmates who cannot get a leave from jail or those who are newly married and have to wait a long time to consummate their relationship,” he says.

What Gabria perhaps did not take into account is that repressed prisoners might not be able to contain their hormone levels when they are given the week-long paradise.

Some officials here feared that once the genie is let out of the bottle there is no knowing how conjugal bliss might degenerate into savage violence.

Nevertheless, the state government proposes to build 48 residential suites inside the jail premises at Kapurthala and Faridkot. Each suite will have a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom and a lobby. Married inmates will be able to avail of the facility along with their spouse and children for a week.

For the inmates to qualify for this virtual honeymoon in jail, they will have to show good conduct, says the minister.

The suites will be ready in the next six months.

Jail Department officials say social aloofness is leading to many inmates taking to drugs or violent behaviour in the confines of the jail.

“Getting to spend time with their families may help them relax mentally, and check anti-social tendencies arising out of frustration and the psychological trauma of staying inside the jail premises for prolonged periods,” said an official.

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