While glancing through the Economic times newspaper, I was astonished and amazed to find the occupancy rates of jails in India 2010. The central jails are operating at 118% occupancy and district jails are operating at 130 % efficiency (Please see the graphic below). Seeing that most of the Govt organizations work at 40 – 60% efficiency this is remarkable.
I was wondering on the following counts :
- Has the UPA govt been very efficient in prosecuting people ? // There are so many people in jail now.
- Has the crime increased so much that we have jails operating over capacity ? // We see murders, scams, arsons on TV but honestly in last 10 yrs , I have never seen any jail worthy crime with in 2 sq km of my existence. Have you ?
- Has the jail life become so comfortable that people do not have any issue making it their vacation home ? // Kalmadi, Kanimozhi, Laloo, Reliance VPs have lived comfortably. Off late we saw Anna Hazare refusing to come out of it ?
While there is no end to wondering about why jails are working at over capacity, I coincidentally discovered one of the worst jailing experience. This in history of mankind is called Andersonville. One of the prisoners described it as follows:
A prisoner described his entry into the prison camp:
“As we entered the place, a spectacle met our eyes that almost froze our blood with horror, and made our hearts fail within us. Before us were forms that had once been active and erect;—stalwart men, now nothing but mere walking skeletons, covered with filth and vermin. Many of our men, in the heat and intensity of their feeling, exclaimed with earnestness. “Can this be hell?” “God protect us!” and all thought that He alone could bring them out alive from so terrible a place”
While watching movies like Shawshank Redemption or Lock up I felt that there cant be a tougher human predicament than that but the visuals from Andersonville shocked the blood in my veins. Please see the visual of one of the survivors from the jail.
Seeing this, I believe, our jails are too sexy a place to go and too important a feat to mention on political resume’ . If we make our jails even 50 % of Anderson Ville, it would drop down corruption from lakhs of crores to may be 100s of crores. If the corruption goes down the prices may drop and may be we will be a better nation.
Do you think this will really work ?
Who are the people in India who need this kind of treatment ?