LAW, ORDER AND JUSTICE
FOR THE PURPOSES OF PRISON ADMINISTRATION the State is
divided into two divisions, viz., Eastern and Western. The Eastern Division is composed of the revenue divisions of Aurangabad and Nagpur, the Western Division of Bombay and Poona. The Inspector-General of Prisons, Maharashtra State, Poona, exercises general control and superintendence over all prisons and jails in the State subject to the orders of the State Government. The Superintendents of Nagpur Central Prison and the Yeravada Central Prison have been appointed as the ex-officio Deputy Inspectors-General of Prisons for the Eastern and the Western Divisions respectively. Some of the powers exercised by the Inspector-General of Prisons have been delegated to the Deputy Inspectors-General of Prisons. They are in immediate overall charge of the prisons in their respective divisions.
The Superintendent, Amravati District Prison, is vested with the executive management of the prison in all matters relating to internal discipline, economy, labour, punishment, etc., subject to the orders and authority of the Regional Deputy Inspector-General of Prisons. Nagpur and the Inspector-General of Prisons, Poona. He is assisted in his work by the necessary ministerial and field staff. The services of well-behaved convict overseers are utilised for doing patrolling duty outside the sleeping barracks but inside the jail at night time. The main wall and the outer yards are always manned for duty by the guarding staff.
Location and Classification.
The prison at Amravati has been classified as a District
Prison, Class I[Government Home Department, Notification No. R. J, m. 1058 (i)-IV, dated the 26th April 1962.]. The prison is meant mainly for the confinement of the habitual prisoners from the Eastern Division and
the local undertrial prisoners. The five magisterial lock-ups in
the district are located at Achalpur, Chandur, Morshi, Daryapur
and Chikhaldara. The administration of the magisterial lockups is governed under the rules contained in Chapter 33, Part VI
of the Rules and Orders (Criminal) issued by the High Court of
Accommodation and Expenditure.
The Amravati District Prison accommodates 638 prisoners,
The daily average of the prisoners confined at the Amravati
District Prison for 1963 was 446. During 1962 and 1963, 2,137
and 2,722 persons were admitted and 2,102 and 2,510 were
released respectively. During 1963, the expenditure in respect
of the Amravati District Prison was Rs. 2,09,155.
The post of the Inspector-General of Prisons is filled in by appointment of an I.C.S. or an I.A.S. officer or by promotion : from amongst those who are borne on the cadre of the Superintendent of Central Prisons (i.e., including the holder of the post of the Deputy Inspector-General) or by transfer of a suitable officer in Maharashtra Medical Service, Class I, or by direct recruitment.
The Superintendents of Central Prisons are officers promoted from the ranks of Superintendents of District Prisons. The senior most Superintendent of Central Prison is usually appointed to hold the post of Deputy Inspector-General in consultation with the Public Service Commission. The Superintendents of District Prisons are appointed both by direct recruitment or by promotion from amongst Jailors in Grade I in the proportion of 1:2. Jailors in Grade I are also appointed both by direct recruitment and by departmental promotion from amongst Jailors in Grade II in the proportion of 1:2. The candidates for direct recruitment to the post of Superintendent of a District Prison and/or Jailor, Grade I must hold a bachelor's degree with honours. They are recommended for appointment by the State Public Service Commission. A diploma in Sociology or Penology is considered to be an additional qualification. Appointments to Jailors, Grade II are made by the Inspector-General by promotion of Jailors in Grade III. Appointments to Jailors, Grade III are also made by the Inspector-General. However, 50 per cent of the posts are open to outside candidates who must necessarily be graduates, while the remaining posts are filled in by promotion of suitable departmental candidates who have passed the S.S.C. or its equivalent examination. The candidates for appointment to the posts of Jailor, Grade III, are interviewed by a Selection Board consisting of the Inspector-General and two Superintendents of Prisons who are nominated by Government. The posts of sepoys are filled in by direct recruitment and the higher posts from the guarding establishment are generally filled in by promotion according to seniority.
But if suitable persons according to the seniority are not
available, appointments to the posts in higher grade are made by
selection from amongst the members of the next lower rank or
by nomination of candidates with some high academic qualifications fixed for similar posts.
Appointment to the posts of Junior Clerks are made by nomination from amongst candidates who must have passed the S.S.C. Examination or its equivalent. Appointments to the ministerial posts in higher grade are made by promotion generally according to seniority from amongst the members of the next lower rank. Medical Officers are drafted for services in Jail Department for a period of two years from the Medical Department.
The Jail Officers' Training School established at Poona in 1955 imparts practical as well as theoretical training to prison officers (Superintendents of Prisons, Jailors, Grade I and II) on various subjects relating to correctional administration and prison management. Training facilities are also provided for guards and non-commissioned officers.
A full-time Medical Officer on deputation from the Medical Department looks after the hospital at the Amravati District Prison.
Classification of Prisoners.
Prisoners are classified as Class I or Class II by the Court after taking into consideration their status in society and also the nature of the offence. They are further classified as casual, habitual, undertrial and security or detenue. There is no separate class of political prisoners but certain rules which do not allow the grant of facilities and privileges on the score of length of sentence are relaxed in their favour under the specific orders of Government. Prisoners are also grouped as "short-termers, medium-termers and long-termers". Prisoners with a sentence up to three months are classed as short-termers, those sentenced up to a period of three months and above but up to two years are classified as medium-termers and those sentenced up to two years and above are classified as long-termers. Headquarters sub-jails are meant for the confinement of short-term prisoners and undertrial prisoners only.
On admission, a prisoner is examined by the Medical Officer
and is classified as fit for light, medium or hard labour. Aptitude and past experience are also considered before alloting the work.
Prisoners are engaged in handloom weaving, pitloom weaving, laundry work, carpentry, tailoring and smithy at the Amravati District Prison. The production in these industries was valued at Rs. 1,11,683 in 1962 and Rs. 2,29,065 in 1963.
About fifty prisoners who work daily on the prison farms cultivate about 44 acres of land.
Medium-term and long-term prisoners so also security and
undertrial prisoners who volunteer to work are paid as per the
prison rules. They are generally paid l/5th of the wages which
are normally paid for similar work outside, provided they
complete their daily quota.
Release on Parole and Furlough.
A prisoner is released on parole by the Divisional Com- missioner, Nagpur Division, Nagpur, in the event of serious illness or death of any member of the family or nearest relative of the prisoner or any other cause deemed sufficient. The period spent on parole is not counted as part of the sentence. A prisoner who is sentenced to more than a year and up to five years and who has actually undergone one year's imprisonment is eligible for release on furlough for a period of two weeks. A prisoner sentenced to more than five years is eligible for release on furlough on completion of two years of actual imprisonment. The period spent on parole counts as part of the sentence.
Remission of Sentence.
The prisoners are granted remissions on various grounds such as ordinary, annual good conduct, special, state, blood donation, conservancy work and physical training. State remission is awarded by the Government on occasions of public rejoicing.
Board of visitors.
A Board of Visitors composing of official and non-official visitors is appointed for every headquarter sub-jail and taluka sub-jails. There are ordinarily four non-official visitors for the headquarter sub-jail out of which two are members of the Maharashtra Legislature and two are nominated by Government of whom one is a lady visitor. The appointment of non-official visitors other than members of the Maharashtra Legislature is made for a period, not exceeding three years. Persons who in the opinion of Government are interested in prison administration and are likely to take interest in the welfare of prisoners both while they are in prison and after their release are nominated by Government on the Board of Visitors on the recommendation of the District Magistrate concerned and Inspector-General of Prisons. The Chairman of the Board of Visitors who is usually the District Magistrate arranges for a weekly visit to the prison by one of the members of the Board. Quarterly meetings of the Board are also convened. Non-official visitors arc also allowed to visit the prison on any day and at any time during the day in addition to the weekly visit arranged by the Chairman. The Board records in the visitor's book its observations after the detailed inspection of the jails. Any remark at the quarterly meeting or at the weekly visits deserving special and prompt disposal is immediately forwarded by the Superintendent to the Inspector-General for necessary orders with such remarks as the former may desire to offer.
In bigger jails a committee of prisoners is selected for each year by the prisoners themselves, and the Jailor and the Superintendent consult the committee which is known as " Jail Panchayat Committee" in matters of discipline and general welfare of prisoners.
With a view to providing training in co-operation and
disciplined way of life and in cultivating a sense of responsibility
and self-reliance among the inmates, a panchayat of convicted
prisoners has been organised at the Amravati District Prison.
The cases of long-term prisoners are initially reviewed by the Advisory Board. Prisoners deserving concession are released prematurely under the orders of Government.
Literacy classes are conducted for the prisoners under the supervision of paid teachers assisted by convict teachers. Necessary facilities are also provided for those "desirous of prosecuting higher studies.
Recreational and cultural activities and other facilities.
The Amravati Zilla Paris'had arranges an exhibition of documentary and full length feature films for the benefit of the
prisoners once in a month. Newspapers are also supplied to the
prisoners. They are allowed to retain two books of religious nature and ten books of non-religious nature. Musical programmes and other cultural programmes are also arranged for their benefit.