Canteen Comfort For Prisoners


Anyone who's been there will tell you: Jail is no picnic.

They'll say the food is notoriously bland and inmates are provided only the barest essentials to get through the mind-numbing hours spent in their cell.
For the prisoners, a trip to the Jail Canteen, a small store that sells food and supplies, might provide a small slice of happiness at an otherwise bleak point in their lives.
Thanks to the innovative initiative of B K Sharma, DGP Prisons, now the inmates at Jharpada and Choudwar Jails are enjoying the facilities of Departmental Canteen.
The basic idea behind establishment of such Canteens is to provide a human touch to the life of prisoners inside the Prison.
Often it is alleged that the supplied food is of low quality and are substandard.
There are also long gaps between two meals and in such a scenario, genuine requirement of food and beverages of prisoners were being met by surreptitiously smuggling food items outside, often greasing palms of low level Prison Staff.
This move is seen as a step to stop corruption, besides fulfilling genuine needs of the inmates, officials admit.
This initiative has received overwhelming and enthusiastic response from the inmates.
So State Prison Authorities have decided to open similar facilities in at least ten other major Jails of the State in due course of time.
Coming to details of the Canteen, which are managed and run by the inmates themselves initially have two sections, i.e. Dry and Wet Sections.
Food and beverages of reputed manufacturers are available and sold at printed price.
The inmates, who alone have access to the canteen, utilize the stipends earned inside the Jails for purchase of articles.
An official of the Jail is looking after day to day functioning and is maintain effective supervision, said sources.
Regardless of how much money inmates spend, jails and prisons do not make a profit from Canteen.
By the State Law, all money made from the Canteen must directly benefit the inmates.
Accordingly these funds are deposited in the Prisoners’ Welfare Fund and Officials said the funds will be spent on maintaining the Jail’s libraries, providing better facilities, provisions of other supplies and programs.
Jail Authorities plan to expand the Canteen facilities to make available all essential items of daily use for the benefit of the inmates, said sources.
 


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