KELSA to launch counselling in jails
By K Surekha / ENS - KOCHI
09th August 2012 11:10 AM
With the aim of reforming inmates of corrective centres, the Kerala State Legal Services Authority is launching a counselling-cum-study in jails, children’s homes and observation homes.
KELSA member-secretary P Mohandas said the need for the programme arose during a seminar in which the conditions and increasing criminal tendencies of inmates came to light. “The preliminary work has commenced in four districts. The programme launched under the directive of our patron Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Executive Chairman C N Ramachandran Nair will be launched formally after a regional seminar to be held in December,” he said.
Jails should be a mirror of society, and inmates’ health is of utmost importance. A team comprising a psychologist, advocate and family counsellor and Yoga instructor visited corrective centres in Ernakulam, Malappuram, Palakkad and Kollam. They interacted with inmates to get a first-hand experience in Central jails, sub jails and juvenile homes. “The team works under the directive of the respective District Judges,” he said.
It has been recommended to offer psychological help, modern education and awareness programmes on a daily basis. The other recommendations are to add motivational and inspiring books and CDs to the library and help them discern orthodox and blind beliefs. Simple activities that can be done in the cells, such as yoga, meditation and relaxation techniques, should be taught to cure them of laziness.
Awareness should be given about sexual orientation and deviation to help curb homosexual activities and also about sex-related and communicable diseases. Besides, harmful patterns of alcohol and drug abuse have to be addressed. The service of psychologists and counsellors and paramedical counsellors in jails and juvenile homes is the need of the hour.
The facilities in prisons should be improved with adequate light, fans and other requirements. Congestion in cells should be avoided. Most importantly, convicted prisoners, remand prisoners and civil prisoners should be segregated, he said.
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