Agra prison experiments with 'jail therapy' for addiction control
Posted on Mar 06 2014 | IANS
By Brij Khandelwal, Agra, March 6 : When a woman professor (name withheld) became sick and tired of her husband's chronic drug addiction, she hatched a plot to get him booked for a minor offence to send him to the district jail here.
After a three-month stay, during which he was denied access to liquor, drugs and other intoxicating stuff, he came out fully reformed and normal, much to the relief of the family.
Deeply frustrated with the continuous bickering over her husband's journey to disaster - first it was cigarettes, then smack and then liquor - and with no idea of how to overcome the crisis brewing at home, the professor and her lawyer worked out a plan - complaining to the police that her husband, who worked in a private company, posessed a lethal knife. This ensured he was locked up.
She bailed him out after being reasonably sure that her husband had shed his addiction, said Anupam Chaturvedi, a mediaperson who has been following the case.
"We cant divulge the details, but quite a few such cases are under our observation," district jail superintendent Sant Lal Yadav told IANS.
"The woman in question had come to us and asked for our help to monitor and keep an eye on her husband. For the first few days there were problems as he kept shouting and repeatedly demanded drugs or liquor. We persisted and told him he could get over his addiction. After a fortnight he himself began losing interest (in intoxicants). When the time came to release him, he was a changed person to the delight of all," Yadav added.
"Even now, we have several youngsters who are severly addicted. The family members have asked us for help. In fact, there are dozens of addicts in the jail who somehow manage to get their supplies despite our best efforts and control mechanisms. Whenever they go out to the courts they either consume or conceal drugs. We try and get the stuff out of their bodies," he said.
Yadav admitted that acting as a reformer was, technically speaking, outside the legal framework but was more of a humanitarian effort.
"We are happy that the results are positive and in the larger interests of society.
"If the addicts were forced to keep away from the drugs or liquor for a period of time, I am sure positive results will be achieved," Yadav maintained.
(Brij Khandelwal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)