Private guards for B'lore jail

They will screen visitors in its outer perimeter

Private guards for B'lore jail

The department has invited tenders from private security agencies for the project, which would be the first such initiative in the country. The government aims at overcoming the present staff shortage as well as check smuggling into the prison. Three months ago, a lady warden was caught on charges of supplying ganja to prisoners.

The total number posts allocated to prisons in the State is 1,500. But only 750 of them have been filled up so far.  The department would soon invite applications to fill up half of the vacancies. The process would take another six months for completion.

The private security personnel in Parappana Agrahara prison on a pilot basis. After studying the impact for a year, the government will decide on extending it to other prisons of the State, Prisons minister Umesh Katti told press persons in Bangalore on Monday.

Vacancies

Even after filling half the vacancies, there would be another posts in excess of of 350. The department thought of hiring private agencies to provide security till the vacancies are filled up completely.

Vast area

The central prison is spread over 150 acres, and is designed to accommodate 2,100 inmates. However, at present, it has 4,100 inmates. According to Vishwanathaiah, superintendent of the prison, “The prison is spread over a vast area. At present only 199 wardens on duty. We require at least 100 more”, he said.

The officer said that it was difficult to curb the supply of banned stuff  into the prison in the absence of sufficient staff. The private security, if appointed, will be deployed around the prison. They would be asked to screen the visitors.

Katti argued that hiring private wardens would not be detrimental to security in the prisons. The private staff would be deployed only outside the prisons. They would have no contact with the inmates. The department staff would look after the security in the inner circle. Moreover, the agency would be picked only after studying its reputation. Answering a question, he said the total expenditure towards hiring the private firm would be decided after the tenders are finalised.

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