The closest some of us have been to prison is through television dramas! A dark and dingy cell with a steel ka katora and a worn-out grey blanket and no basic bathroom facilities. Sticky nasty food, a constant terror of being killed by other inmates and no access to the outside world.
Keeping these stereotypes and notions away, at an open prison in Indore, convicted prisoners live with their families and can step outside the prison’s premises for work.
There is a two-room home and independent apartments with security guards around for the safety! The inhabitants are allowed to move freely 8 am onwards and are required to return by 6 pm, although breaching the city limits isn’t permitted!
The prison named Devi Ahilyabai Open Colony is located near the district jail and has been started with an aim to bring a positive change in the lives of the inmates there. The authorities believe that often people commit serious crimes in a rage, without meaning to do so! When they’re clubbed with other hardened criminals, this category of feeble inmates usually develop a negative outlook, resulting in rebels and deaths. To provide social restoration, this facility nudges these offenders to find a meaning in their lives.
However, this opportunity is not for all the law-breakers. Life-term convicts who display ethical conduct during their term, get a chance to experience this. Usually those malefactors, who have one or two years left of their prison sentence, get selected for open jails. As a safety measure, the guards of the prison keep a full record of the activities of the residents and of all their visitors.
It is believed that although the freedom is measured here, this step will actually help the occupants to be better equipped to accept the society and vice-versa after their release!