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24 Tihar Jail inmates to be placed in semi-open jail

Posted on Feb 22, 07:07PM | IANS

New Delhi, Feb 22 : To aid reformation of convicts and to show them that trust could be reposed in them, Tihar Central Jail, India's largest prison, has chosen 24 prisoners for the open-jail system this year.

"This year, 24 inmates have been selected for the semi-open jail. The selection of these convicts for their confinement in semi-open jail was approved recently by Delhi's Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna," said Vimla Mehra, director general (Prisons).

Last year, only two inmates were selected for the semi-open jail, Mehra said.

While in the semi-open jail, a prisoner is allowed to work for a full day outside his sub-prison. He or she is, however, not allowed beyond the 400-acre sprawling premises of the jail.

As per clause 4 of the Tihar jail manual, confinement of convicts for semi-open jails is based on some criteria, including good behaviour and mental and physical fitness, Mehra said.

"They will not be allowed to go beyond the demarcated area within the premises, and have to maintain a high level of discipline and standards of behaviour," reads the jail manual for semi-open jails.

"If they are found not abiding by the rules while working, they will be shifted back to the closed prison, and could be punished," it adds.

The semi-open jail concept is running in several states of India, including Gujarat, Rajasthan and Bihar. The concept is accepted practice in the UK, USA and Switzerland.

Tihar houses 12,113 prisoners. When the semi-open jail scheme was first announced last year, only two prisoners were found eligible for it.