Symposium on the need and scope of working in prisons held at AMU
Aligarh, March 28: The Department of Sociology, Aligarh Muslim University in collaboration with Center for Criminology and Justice, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai organized a Symposium on ?The Need and Scope of Working in Prison and Criminal Justice Settings? at the Cultural Hall, Maulana Azad Library.
While presenting the keynote address, Prof Vijay Raghavan, Convenor, Health and Human Rights initiatives, TISS, Mumbai said that the symposium is some kind of beginning of intellectual intervention on Social Justice. He called for setting up Creche facilty in prisons so that the innocent children of women prisoners could be taken better care of. Prof Raghavan informed that at least 50 per cent of women prisoners are convicted of murdering their husbands due to domestic violence. He said that children of such women are harassed by their relatives in their absence. Justice Mullah Committee is instrumental in addressing these critical issues.
LT Gen Zameer Uddin Shah (Veteran), Vice Chancellor, Aligarh Muslim University who presided over the program said that the aim of prison system is to bring reforms in the society and not punishment. He stated that the socio economic conditions predispose a person to commit crime. Lt Gen Shah called for yardstick for the disposition of crime and reforms in prisons. He said that poverty and lack of education are the main forces that drive anyone towards crime.
Prof S Zainuddin, Chairperson, Department of Sociology welcomed the guests. He said that there is a need of international research in criminal justice. Prof Zainuddin informed that atleast 80 percent prisoners are under trial due to the prolonged and cumbersome process of hearing in Courts. He said that lack or insufficient provision of medical aid to prisoners, callous and insensitive attitude of jail authorities and harsh mental and physical torture of prisoners are some of the issues that need to be addressed as early as possible.
Ms Sugandha Shankar, ICHRI, New Delhi spoke on human rights of prisoners or undertrials. She stressed on accountability and transparency in criminal procedural activities. Ms Shankar said that there is 200 to 300 per cent of overcrowding in prisons in India, the country having one of the highest percentages of undertrials.
Dr S Kulshrestha, DIG (Prisons) said that the big proportion of undertrials is emerging out to be a serious problem. ?The convict is not the only victim but his relatives also get victimized and are validated by a social stigma? he added. Dr Kulshrestha suggested the society to become the supporting system for the families of the convicts.
Dr V Sharma, Superintendent, Aligarh Jail pointed out that commiting of crimes due to circumstances and the provision of better facilities in prisons are the two important issues currently under debate. He said that we should think practically about the convict?s family. To measure the development of any society, we should analyse the prison condition which is its proper reflection, Dr Sharma added.
Dr Shireen Sadiq, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology said that there is a dire need of rehabilitation through reduction in the population density in prisons. She called for support from academic efforts for carrying out the initiatives of rehabilitation and reformation in prisons.
Dr Abu Swalehin also participated in the panel discussion.
Public Relations Office
Aligarh Muslim University
Related Picturesguests present at the Symposium organized by Deptt of Sociology
Prof V Raghavan addressing at the Symposium organized by Deptt of Sociology