New Delhi: A pan-India conference of heads of prisons of various states on Friday resolved that Prisons Department should be renamed as Department of Correctional Services and a national mission be set up to address issues related to penal institutions.
The 5th National Conference of Heads of Prisons of States and UTs on Prison Reforms, which began here yesterday, was organised by Bureau of Police Research & Development (BPR&D).
About 150 delegates comprising senior IPS officers, jail superintendents, academicians, representatives of leading universities, NGOs and students of law universities, among others deliberated on various thematic sessions including, rehabilitation and reintegration, and technology used in jails.
"The conference unanimously resolved that a 'National Prisons Mission' on the lines of the National Police Mission or a micro-mission on prisons under it should be set up.
"It also resolved that the nomenclature of Prisons Department in the states should be changed (renamed) to Department of Correctional Services, which should have integrated prison, correctional and probation services," BPR&D Inspector General Anurag said.
The BPR&D was established under the Ministry of Home Affairs in 1970 to conduct research in the field of police administration, to which the correctional and administrative wing was added in 1990s.
"Currently, the National Police Mission has six micro-missions but all related to police issues, so at least one micro-mission should be established specially for it," he said.
The six micro-missions deal with subjects like human resource development, community policing, communication and technology, infrastructure, new processes, proactive policing and future challenges.
At the opening of the conference, Union Minister of State for Home Hansraj Gangaram Ahir had said that Rs 1,800 crore has been provided in the current budget for modernisation of police force, including prisons, and it can be raised if needed.
Incidentally, the conference also resolved that the Centre "may formulate a 'Modernisation of Prisons Scheme - Phase II' as a follow up to the first scheme, which was very successful in improving the prison infrastructure in the country."
National Commission for Women chief Lalitha Kumaramangalam in the valedictory address at the conference said, "the challenge remains to integrate women into mainstream society once they come out of prisons."
The resolution further resolved that the National Conference of Heads of Prisons/Correctional Administrators should be held annually like DGs and IGs Conference.