State mulls setting up more open-air correctional homes
The state correctional administration department is mulling a plan to set up more open-air correctional homes in South Bengal including one in Midnapore.
With setting up of the two more such correctional homes, there will be a total five open-air correctional homes in Bengal. At present there are two open-air correctional homes at Lalgola and Durgapur in South Bengal and one at Balurghat in North Bengal.
Rajib Banerjee, the state correctional administration minister, said: “There are plans to set up an open-air correctional home in Midnapore and some more such correctional homes would come up in the state in future.”
It may be mentioned that the state government had decided to set up a correctional home at Baruipur in South 24 Parganas on a plot of around 17 acre and later the decision was taken to shift the Alipore Central Correctional Home to the new one coming up at Baruipur.
Now the state government is contemplating setting up two open-air correctional homes in South Bengal in future. One of the two will come up in Midnapore while the other one would be set up somewhere in South 24 Parganas, sources said.
It is learnt that experts will be engaged and they will work with senior officials of the correctional administration department to prepare the design for an open-air correctional homes of international standard.
There will be more residential quarters for the inmates. As a result, more number of inmates can be accommodated in the open-air correctional home than in the existing ones.
In an open-air correctional home, inmates are allowed to move freely in and outside the correctional home from 6 am to 8 pm. Thus, inmates are allowed to take up jobs even outside the correctional home and they return before 8 pm.
Inmates, who are sentenced for more than seven years and have a record of good behaviour during their stay in a usual correctional home for at least three years are sent to the open-air correctional homes.
In the new correctional homes there will be quarters where inmates can stay with their family members. At present, there are 100 inmates in Lalgola Open Correctional Home and there are 20 cottages where they can stay with their family members.
The initiative has been taken after it was assessed that there are enormous scope to make the inmates self sufficient and setting up of more open-air correctional homes would be of great benefit for the inmates who have a good track record and want to go back to the mainstream.
The state correctional administration department has also taken several steps to make inmates of the usual correctional homes self reliant.