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A Watch of Criminology on Open Jails System In India

Criminology is the study of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice system. While Criminal Justice and Criminology are certainly related fields but they are not identical.

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows – Ralph Marston

Then Question arises, What does this term Criminology means?
Criminology word has been derived from Latin word crimen means accusation whereas, the word logia from Greek word which denotes study. Thus Criminology means Study of Crime .

Criminology is not only the study of the crime but the social impact on society.

In essence, it works into deviant behavior of citizens, impact of crime on individual citizen at large.

Criminology focuses on frequency of crimes, locations, causes, types, consequences, social relation, indivisual relation to crime and Govt. reaction on crime.

So, now lets begin the short yet brief study on this topic.

Criminology and Its Schools

In order to study Criminology, 3 schools of thought has been evolved they are:-


Classical school Chicago school

Positive school

1. Classical School of Criminology

This school has 4 basic ideas they are as follows:-
a) Individuals makes choices and Act on their own accord
b) People generally evaluate Cost v. Benefit , Pleasure v. Pain while choosing to commit an act.
c) Punishment should be deterrent and should commence with the proportionately with the crime committed.
d) Swiftness and certainty is the punishment helps in deterring crime.

2. Positive School of Criminology

This school believes that some other factor also works beside Pleasure seeking and Pain avoidance.
This school believes that individuals Biological, Social and Environmental causes are the main factors that derive a person to commit a crime.

3. Chicago School of Criminology

This school says that Human brings and adapts to their Environment.

It takes into account about psychological and Environmental Factors to study the deviant behavior of individual.

Now, let s dig into Open Prison System and Semi Open Prison system are evolved to put into practice the contemporary ideology of Resolution, Correction and Rehabilitation of convicted Prisoners so that they can maintain Self – Disciplined and Cultural Life after their release.

These, Open institutions restores individuals dignity and also assist in developing the person to be self -reliant, self -confident and responsible to society because all these three factors help him towards his rehabilitation in society.

There have been many high level Prison Committees set up by Govt. right from All India Committee from Jail Reforms in 1980 – 1983 to SD Lakhar committee, RK Kapoor committee and currently Supreme Court committee which is headed by Retired Justice Amitabh Roy on Prison Reforms set up by order of SC in writ petition (civil) no 406 of 2013.

Titled- Inhuman Condition in 1382 Prisons in India

Prisons are basically a state subject but considering its importance the Govt. of India over the years being provided the State Govt. all requisite support and assistance to modernize prisons, pan Indian and facilitate and rehabilitate prisoner in India.
Each State has independent rules for Open institutions.

Following categories are not eligible for Open institutions:
a) Habitual- not earned higher grade in proposed progressive system.
b) Who are considered dangerous or are involved in – Assault, Outbreak, Riot, Mutiny or Escape or Instigating Violence of Prison Discipline.
c) Prisoners convicted for Dacoit, Terrorist activities, Kidnapping, Abducting and Smuggling including those convicted in NDPS Act, Foreigners, Escape or Criminal gangs.
d) Failure to give security for maintaining peace or good behavior.
e) Suffering from mental illness
f) POCSO Case
g) Trial in another cases
h) Offence relating to matter to which executive powers of Union Govt. extends, unless approached by the Union Govt.

A prisoner in Open Jails is relieved from vagaries of Prison Condition, so as to feel his partial freedom from clutches of irons.

Selection to open or semi open jail is absolutely contingent upon prisons, Conduct over the years in the Prisons, with his co- inmates and also how the society reviews him when he is released on Bail, Parole and Furlough.

A Committee selects the eligible prisoners who have undergone minimum requirements of sentence for being eligible to the up mentioned jails.

After their Selection they are required to execute a bond for maintaining their conduct in Semi Open Jails.

All Prisons facilities like Meeting their family members, Telephone facility, Found clothing Beading, Medical Care , Legal Aid are also available to these prisoners.

Prisoners stepping into Open Jails and Semi Open Jails is one of the main criteria observed by State Govt. for their final release from Prison.

These Open Jail and Semi Open Jails have helped the prisoners and Prison Administration to get reformed and reformation so that they become good citizens in this society.

At last I would like to quote that:
An eye for an eye makes the whole world Blind. – Mahatma Gandhi

Written by: S. Vaishnavi, Institution - Kr Mangalam University, Sohna Road, Gurugram

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