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Observation Of Reformative Homes

During a internship of 15 days from DLSA visiting the Central Jail. And doing about approx. 250 interviews of the Undertrial and Convicted prisoners, I came to know about the various things about the prisons, which are now called as the Reformative Homes, as because now the Indian justice system follows the approach of Reformative theories.

Indian Prisons are overcrowded with the under trial prisoners as because we all know that the Indian judicial system take a very long time to decide on the case.

The major thing I noticed that there is a lack of awareness and education that people are not knowing about their basic human rights which are guaranteed by the Constitution of Indian itself.

Starting with the fact that to decide the finality of the case it takes a cumbersome process and a long period of time, which does take some important time of the person who is not guilty of some offences.

Who are the major pillar of the Indian legal system where it is the duty of them to represent their clients in such a way that they can lead their way to justice.

But during the interviews we found that may it be panel advocate or the private advocate whoever a prisoner choose to represent them is not providing with them with the proper information, in many of the cases we found that the panel advocates are overburdened and many of them has not even contacted the prisoner once also. And same with the private advocates in greed of taking money they delay the judicial processes and always take the next dates so that they could be paid more .

And as we talk of the reformative homes that now jails will be called as they reformative homes, the approach of government is a very good step to develop a human in a better human who could realize their mistakes and can work on them and when get released can become the part of the society, can earn some bread, stay with the family, can become a good serving part of the society.

But this is where the society fails them, the government must also take some actions to change the mindset of the people reform the thinking of the people because it is the society out side who does not accept the people who have been through jail even once in lifetime,

Taking an example:
A man committed a crime of theft, reason that the man was not having a source of income and in need to sustain life and feed his family he had a only option was to commit a theft, and when caught and found guilty and got convicted for the offence of theft, sent to Prison/ reformative homes now the person stays there and now when released after completing the punishment have now actually have transformed into a better human who want to earn money by the means of hard work.

Now ask yourself a question:
you are a owner of a shop and a ex- con comes to your shop asking for the help and seeking a job will you give him a job knowing that the person have been to jail for the offence of theft?

Let me answer it from your side a BIG NO, because a society will never accept such person as they think they are threat to them, threat to the society,

Now the person comes to the same condition back again he need to sustain, he need to feed the family and when the society is not accepting him and there is no source of income the only choice left with the person is to indulge in criminal activity.

The need is to reform the human kind not only the people who have committed some offence and have been through to jail.

Now as we think that prison/jails are the place where the people are put when they have done some wrong to a person or the society, or are dishonest.

Now if in case, which is a fact that most of the case are like this only, while interviewing most of them I found out that most of them who are put behind the bars are the only bread earners in the family, during a interview while questioning a individual when asked about the family, the person went into tears that he is the only bread earner of the family consisting of her mother of age 70 years and no other to take care of her, now as because he was charged by the police and was put behind the bars he is going through the punishment which he has done wrong, but what about the old lady who could barely stand how she's going to survive of her own, with also the fact as because that her only son who used to look after her is now behind the bar, what did she do that she has to suffer all this.

What I think there must be a better delegation of power and the police authority must be given some more power as for taking some quick and important decisions. With that there is a must need is the feeling of empathy towards the other people,

During a interview I came to know about that because the courts were closed on the some festival, and interim bail could no be granted to the prisoner, who lost his mother he was the only child and only person in the family and because of such laws the person was not able to perform the last rights of her mother, and these are such important crucial thing which can't be reversed. There is a very much need to that to educate the prisoners how they can avail their rights as most of them are now aware that they have certain rights they can avail and also the remedy for this could be that the prison authorities should help the prisoners by telling them about their rights and helping them to how to avail them.

To reform a prisoner there is a very much need to show that they are not been cut of the society and are still the part of the society but such practices where the justice is delayed, they are not getting the basic human rights is a very poor management of the government authorities, there is no proper check and balance which give power to police to exploit the right of the prisoners.

While interviewing the prisoners I came to know about the landmark case which brought the revolution in parole , where it was the case the inmate has lost her mother and other people in the family and when he filled for the parole where he can attend the last rights of her mother, and to not to delay the process the application of parole was take to the court by the inmates brother but no actions were taken by the judicial authorities as because of the public holiday and the, inmates brother was not able to see the presence of his brother as no decision was taken on the parole. Later another application was drafted so that the inmate can attend other rituals of her mother demise but the application was lying on the table of jail authorities and was not taken to the concerned judicial authorities.

This shows that how insensitive the authorities, can be who didn't even care, the person has lost his mother and the judicial authorities have taken an excuse of public holiday does the rituals which have to be followed can't wait for a regular working they are be done, whether it is a public holiday or not. The broken heart and not providing the rights of a person did failed the humanity.

Where the inmate wanted to be present in saying goodbye to her mother but was not possible because of the insensitive authorities. Can't the judicial authority have acted positively in the case of such seriousness, or wasn't it was the fault of police authority of jail where the application was just lying on the table and not taken care of, and when a enquiry was conducted many such case were found where the authorities have failed the humanity and failed the person to provide him with the rights which they deserved.

Another major concern with the system is that, while interviewing them we found that they have no information about the their pendency of appeal or the pendency of the bail application, inmates are don't have knowledge about their own case, they don't have knowledge if whether if any action has been taken or not in their case they are not aware about their next date of appearing in courts, there is a lack of information.

It must be the duty of representatives, as well the authorities to make them well aware about their rights and how to avail those rights, and there must be proper check and balance on this, if in case the representative is merely wasting the time of court, there must be some action as because if a under trial prisoner is there, he may be innocent, if in case the case ran for 2 years because of the negligent work of the counsels and after the time period of two years it was found that the under trial is not guilty of the offences which are filed on him/her than

It would be the waste of precious time of the court, and who will compensate the valuable time of the person who was there in jail from past two years, where the person could have been there with their family earning taking care of them, and adding the value to the society with the work he has been doing, but instead of that because of the long trials the prisons are over crowded, the cost of management of such prison also increases.

When we say that now we follow the idea of reformation, and reformation does come from under standing the person, suggesting the person, helping the person to become a better human, but the authorities being Soo unsensitive, not understanding have omission of duty on their part, will never help a person to reform when they see no one is helping them/ understanding them in so serious and critical condition.

Justice delayed is Justice denied the term we hear from the beginning of our law college and also in the normal life, the criminal justice system has somewhere failed the prisoners, saying that because, almost 40 % of the under Trial prisoners who were interviewed, were brought to the jail in petty offences for which the punishment lies between 3 months or extending to 1 year with some fine, but those under trials have exceeded the limit of their punishment in prison waiting for justice, most of them mentioned that they will plead guilty as Soo they can get a punishment and because they have completed more time in the prison then of the time period of actual punishment they would be able to go home,

But is this really Justice or is this really a reformation- though the person pleading guilty, or doing plea bargaining to go home be with the family to start new life, if the person is really innocent, then the justice system have failed them as because they didn't got justice and pleading guilty will mark them as a culprit, or a criminal who they were not.

Also the another observation was that the prisoners who work there are earning remuneration of Rs 44/day it did changed to Rs 67/day for the skilled work but was also than deducted to Rs 44/day, but as we say prisons are not prisons now but the reformative homes, now if we talk of reformation so the prisoner can change and become suitable again to sustain in the society to become the part of the society, but they are not getting the minimum wage as they should they are not considered as labours, then if we cannot consider them equal as the other people in the society how can we except them to reform when they are discriminated as because they are prisoners, does being convicted takes their right of equally paid, or they are not considered as equal as the other members of the society.

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