Jails must be places where there is justice: HC judge

Thrissur: Prisons should act as correctional institutions, instead of being mere centres of detention, Justice R. Basant of the Kerala High Court has said.Speaking after inaugurating the videoconferencing system linking courts and jails in Thrissur district at a function held in Viyyur Central jail on Sunday, Justice Basant pointed out that the purpose of prisons was to ensure a crime-free society by transforming prisoners into better citizens.

“Jails must be places where there is justice. The jail term should be a transformational period in the prisoners’ lives.”He noted that the main objective of the videoconferencing system was to expedite the administration of criminal justice.

“We need a quick system of criminal justice. Immediacy and certainty of punishment are more important than its severity. The video conferencing system will cut down the delay in legal process,” he said.A lot of time of the courts and the police personnel was being wasted on escorting and waiting for convicts and undertrial prisoners, the judge said.

“Majority of the undertrials, who are languishing in the country’s jails, are from marginalised sections of society. Primary beneficiaries of the new system are the poor undertrials as it will help the courts for the speedy disposal of cases,” he said.Addressing the function, Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishan said that from now on jail warders would be recruited by the Kerala Public Service Commission.

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