Nation Other News 07 Oct 2016 ‘Nervazhi’ takes ...

‘Nervazhi’ takes jailbirds nowhere

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | AMIYA MEETHAL
Published Oct 7, 2016, 2:50 am IST
Updated Oct 7, 2016, 7:25 am IST
The project is envisaged for the reformation of prisoners.
Representational image
 Representational image

KOZHIKODE: The social justice department’s (SJD) ambitious programme, ‘Nervazhi,’ meant for the prisoners  has come to a standstill since December. This is despite the decision to expand  the project to the entire state from January 2016.  Nervazhi was started on the lines of the global understanding that punishment in prison hardly  refines  the convicted. It dusts off the central rule, Probation of Offenders’ Act of 1958,  which stipulates that the convicted be released on probation in one’s own home based on the report submitted by the probation officer. 

If implemented in the entire state, 2,700-odd prisoners languishing in jails will  benefit. The Act excludes those convicted for death, life, under treason, prevention of food adulteration Act, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance Act and smuggling. The pilot project was a success in Kollam, Pathanamthitta, Wayanad and Kannur districts. “There was hundred  per cent increase in the inquiry report sought by the First Class Judicial Magistrates regarding the potential probationers in these four districts. Judicial officers were overwhelmed by the initiative” said V.K. Jithendran, former SJ department director. The project was kickstarted during his tenure.

 

“The project aims to refine the offender by allowing him to live with his family at home and to stamp out the social stigma attached to an offender's family. There were umpteen cases of offender's children discontinuing education due  to that stigma,” said a top official at SJ department who was part of the project. He pointed that that revamping Nervazhi would be the right way to address the Supreme Court’s recent finding that all the 21 jails in Kerala have  150 per cent more prisoners than allowed. Yet not a single meeting had been convened on the project since December and the special officer post has also been scrapped.

 

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Location: India, Kerala




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