Days of our Lives!

December 12, 2008

Central Jail, Indore

Filed under: I at IIM I — Santhosh @ 10:58 PM

For most courses here, we’re required to work on term projects in teams. For Management Information Systems, our team managed to obtain permission from the Central Jail, Indore and work on developing an IS proposal for them. From visits, interviews and copies of the original templates used, we could get a fair idea of what happens behind the high walls, at least from an administrative perspective. I’m putting up a part of our much bigger project report here. What follows is not an account of the people in there or their perspectives and experiences, but is instead a small, factual report on the systems and processes that help and make the jail system function.

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Madhya Pradesh Jails are state run institutions meant for legal confinement of prisoners charged or convicted in relation to unlawful activities as per the constitution of India. The organization is headed by the Director General (DG) who reports and is answerable for the jail’s administration to the Principal Secretary, Madhya Pradesh Government. The headquarters are located in Bhopal. The functional head of the headquarters is the Inspector General (IG), who reports to the DG. The office also consists of 4 Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs).

There are three different types of Jails as per the organizational structure of the department:

  1. Central (or Circle) Jails
  2. District Jails
  3. Sub Jails

Central Jails are the institutions at the division level. There are eight such jails in M.P. These are also called Circle Jails. They are headed by Circle Jail Superintendent who reports to the Inspector General. He is the functional head for the jail administration at the division level.

District Jails are the jails at the district level. They are headed by Jail Superintendent (class II) who reports to the Circle Jail Superintendent.

Sub Jails are the Jails at the tehsil or taluka level. They are functionally headed by Deputy Jailors. Unlike Central or District Jails, Sub Jails are audited and controlled by local administration. SDM or an equivalent Class II officer has the authority for general administration.

Hierarchy:
The above mentioned Jails are different in their operations. These Jails are classified according to the intensity of the crime and the duration of the sentence for the criminals. For convicted prisoners, the classification is as follows:

Jail

Duration of sentence

Central Jail

Greater than 10 years

District Jail

Upto 10 Years

Sub Jail

less than 5 years

For under trial prisoners these Jails do not differentiate based on the intensity of the crime. The local court generally asks of the nearest Jail for judicial custody.

Central Jail, Indore is the largest prison for the Indore division. Five district Jails and eight Sub Jails come under the direct administration of Central Jail, Indore. As on 26 October 2008, Central Jail, Indore has 1700 convicted and 600 (approx.) under trial prisoners. This ratio is heavily biased toward number of under trial prisoners for lower jails. The main processes and activities in the organization are as follows:

ADMISSIONS
The admissions for new incoming prisoners, both convicted and under trials, is the most important activity for the Jail administration. This can be understood from the fact that a separate sub-division for Central Jail, Indore is dedicated for this particular activity. As per the Jail Superintendent, Mr. Sanjay Pandey, admissions in the Jail accounts for almost 60% of the total data handling and also employs 30% of the total staff. The section which deals with all the admission and release activities is called the Warrant section.

For convicted prisoners the process starts with a preliminary physical examination. This is usually done before the prisoner gets admitted inside the main gate. The prisoner is inspected for any visible physical injuries. He is also interviewed for the verification of details given in the court ruling or extension order. In case of any discrepancy the court order is sent back for rectification. In case of any visible injuries the accompanying police guard, who brings in the accused from court countersigns the record book at the gate. Once the preliminary examination is over, the prisoner is sent to the convicted criminals Warrant section for further record keeping.

For under trial prisoners, the admission process differs slightly. After the preliminary examination, the details from court warrant is recorded in the admission register in a very similar manner. However, the details are much less than in case of convicted prisoners. A history ticket is then prepared for the prisoner for the complete duration of his stay in the jail.
The Warrant section, firstly, maintains an alphabetical record book. Each fresh prisoner is allocated a convict number and the name is recorded in the alphabetical register. This register can be used to search for other records of a given prisoner. The details from the court warrant are then recorded in the admission register. Thereafter a history ticket is prepared for each incoming prisoner. This History Ticket records all the concerned activities of a prisoner for the duration of his stay in the Jail, such as: date of admission, remissions earned, health record, details of the work done, court ruling, check date and the anticipated release date.

For the court hearing of stipulated prisoners the next day, a court-hearing book is maintained daily. The strength of the police guard required is then demanded from the police department daily.

After a prisoner is set free by the court, he gets a discharge certificate from the Warrant section. Also, if the court sentences an under-trial prisoner, a fresh incoming procedure as for a convicted prisoner is followed.

REMISSIONS EARNED
This is a provision whereby a prisoner earns a stipulated remission for his sentence each month. For normal prisoners there is a provision of 6 days per month of remission. Based on the skill level of the prisoners they are assigned additional responsibilities in the prison. There would be additional remissions earned for the extra responsibilities undertaken. For example, prisoners who are involved in some work/labour inside the jail during Sundays, this amounts to 7 days. Also, for prisoners who show some leadership in various administrative activities inside the jail, there is a provision of 8 days per month of remission. The remission earned is accumulated and recorded in the Remissions Earned record book quarterly.

CHECK DATE
On completion of two-third of the stipulated sentence the records of a particular prisoner are reviewed and updated for total remission earned. The cumulative remissions earned are then subtracted from the stipulated full sentence and a fresh release date is then announced. The review date of two-third sentence is called Check-date. A separate register is maintained for the check date.

The total jail stay of the under trial prisoner is adjusted against the total sentence as per the ruling of the court. Accordingly a check date is prepared for them.

RELEASE
At the beginning of the month the check date register is reviewed and the upcoming releases for the month are extracted from it. Accordingly, a release list for the next day is prepared and the respective prisoners are informed. At the release, the prisoner is provided with a release certificate. This certificate contains details of the sentence, duration of the stay and the amount of work done by the prisoner in the jail.

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