In a news reported dated November 7, the Andhra Pradesh government took a decision of releasing 55 female convicts, who were currently serving a life sentence at various prisons. Home Minister Mekhathoti Sucharitha explained that the convicted women will be given training in several fields as a part of correctional services that could help them in leading a dignified life after their release.
On November 6, the State Cabinet approved release of 55 women prisoners based on the recommendations of a high-level committee headed by the Home Secretary. A Government Order (Ms No 131 of Home Department) was issued in the state to effect the release of these convicts. The home minister then quoted,
Out of the total 147 female life convicts, 55 who have completed five years of their jail sentence, are eligible for release. After reviewing their antecedents, the 55 woman prisoners will be released in a week.
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According to some officials, these women would be first scrutinised and then be made ready for their release the following week. The Home Minister also spoke about the plans made for these women prisoners after letting them off from the jail.
The minister said that they were planning to help these women with their life after jail by supporting them to live a dignified life. Elaborating on the matter, Sucharitha then said,
The government will support these women after they are released. A total of 55 prisoners will be released next week, of which 21 would be released from the special prison for woman Rajamahendravaram, 27 from the special prison for women in Kadapa, two from central prison in Vishakhapatnam and five from the Nellore central prison.
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Discussing why she took this decision, the home minister said,
A woman is the most important institution in our family structure. A woman’s absence disturbs the entire family system. Women get themselves reformed very fast and also develop a sense of remorse for the crime committed by them and they are less likely to go back to their old ways again.
Adding further, she stated,
Many women prisoners are often passive participants in a crime. Many of them often become a victim of circumstances. Most of these released prisoners are equipped with formal education and degrees. Besides, some of them have learnt trades like tailoring embroidery, baking.
Mohammad Ahsan Reza, Andhra Pradesh director-general (Prisons) also concurred that some of the women prisoners who are going to be released, learned a good amount of skills to survive outside the world of jail.
- Every prisoner must have a right to freedom, depending on his/her behaviour in the jail
- However, qualifying how only women prisoners deserve this justice is completely bizarre and against the principles of equality
- If men/women in power justify the release of women convicts, because ‘they are important to family, passive participants in a crime and so on’, India is surely on a path of encouraging a numerous female perpetrators of a crime — since there will be zero fear whatsoever before committing any act which is against the law and order of the state