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Ludhiana Or Us, Jail Problems The Same


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Ludhiana or US, jail problems the same

Mohit Khanna/TNS

Common ground

n Sneaking mobile phones or drugs

n Most criminals turning habitual offenders

n Social stigma attached to conviction

Ludhiana, July 16

It may seem strange that even the most secured prisons in the United States and the Central Jail in Ludhiana have similar problems.

The modus operandi of sneaking a mobile phone or drugs inside jails is as prevalent in prisons in the USA as in India. And if you thought toothpaste and capsicum are used to transport drugs only into Punjab prisons, well think again, similar ways are being adopted in the US as well.

The Punjab Police is not the only one grappling with recidivist elements. The problem of habitual offenders is plaguing the US police as well.

These interesting facts came to light during a visit of a US delegation to Central Jail here today.

Michael C Walker, Associate Professor in John Jay College, New York, said, “Sneaking of drugs and mobile phones is a big problem in American prisons. That is why jail authorities in US prefer video conferencing. I am surprised a similar problem exists here as well.”

Similarly, inmates face tremendous social stigma as US society is reluctant to allow a person with a criminal past to enter into the mainstream. “That is why movements like Re-Enter were initiated in America, so that people start accepting such persons,” said Dr Maria Haberfeld, professor, John Jay College.

“In the US, a majority of criminals become habitual offenders when they do not find jobs outside. I am impressed that the government here is running so many skill-training programmes for jail inmates. But in America, there are no such skill-training centres inside the jails. That is a major reason behind inmates becoming habitual offenders,” said Dr Maria. The US experts will file a report suggesting improvements in the present prison structure to the Punjab government.

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20110717/punjab.htm#3

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