In a bid to help women inmates in Karnataka jails rehabilitate faster and maintain bonds with their children, the Director General of Police, Prisons, HNS Rao, has decided to let their guard down — both literally and metaphorically.
According to a report in Bangalore Mirror, Rao observed that the women inmates were unable to interact with their children during their weekly visits — especially because of the four-feet high walls or the three-feet-high metal mesh barrier — a standard in most prisons.
Women inmates with children craved to see their faces, touch them, talk to them and interact with them, said Rao.
To find a solution to this problem, Rao is now planning to redesign the interview area to make it more 'human-friendly'.
Rao, who was the ADGP, Home Guards and Civil Defence was recently promoted to this new position in a major overhaul of the Karnataka police department.
"The new facility, already up in Tumkur, will facilitate the women inmates to interact with their children freely without compromising the security aspect. The metal mesh barriers won't exist and the mothers can interact freely with their kids inside. A facility where one is not even able to see their children makes no sense," Rao told Mirror.
However, this facility won't apply to high-security prisons, he added.
As of now, women inmates who are still under trial are permitted visits twice a week, while convicted prisoners are permitted the same just once a week.
The prisons in the southern states of India have now been under constant scrutiny since the Academy of Prisons and Correctional Administration (APCA), Vellore, proposed to institute awards for 'best prisons' in January this year. One of the main criteria in the selection process would be as to how the prison staff handles the inmates.
Also see on HuffPost: