Telangana to offer its jails for rent to other states

Telangana to offer its jails for rent to other states

Proposal to charge monthly rent of Rs 10,000 per person

Telangana to offer its jails for rent to other states

The Telangana prisons department has come up with a novel idea of renting out its jails to other states to house their inmates from the next year.

Notably, they are following an example set by Norway, which has one of the most humane jails in the world. 

The prisons department proposes to charge a monthly rent of Rs 10,000 per person, which includes food, accommodation, security, mulakhat (meeting family members) and skill development training.

Presently, the Telangana prisons is capable of housing 800 inmates from other states. However, the facility will be available for convicts in the non-grievous and non-serious offences, and not for undertrials and hardcore criminals.

The prisons department, which is awaiting the state government nod, hopes there will be heavy demand from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, which are facing acute shortage of space in jails.

“Telangana jails have a good number of vacancies because of special initiatives taken up by the department. Mahaparivarthan, Vidyadaan and Unnati are some such initiatives that have helped in changing the mindset of those convicted for small offences,” said state prisons department chief, Inspector General V K Singh.

Attributing the excess space to a steep drop in repeat offenders returning to jail, Singh said, “Once they are released, they are giving up their criminal minds and are joining the mainstream because of our initiatives.”

Telangana has a sanctioned capacity to lodge 6,848 prisoners in all its jails. However, currently there are 6,063 prisoners. The jail chief hopes the number will further come down to 5,000.

If the scheme gets the government’s nod, the jails department would earn revenue of Rs 25 crore per year, which would help contribute to making the prisons self-reliant.

The department has launched novel schemes like “Be a Prisoner for Rs 500” at the Sangareddy jail museum. It also imparts skill training to the convicts and helps in engaging them in earning activities.

Currently, convicts are running 14 petrol bunks in Hyderabad and other places. The department is keen on opening up 50 more pumps by the end of the year.

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