Big leap in prison reform: Prison Academy, open air jails in state soon

Bhubaneswar: In an effort to transform the state prisons into reform centres, the state government on Wednesday decided to set up prison academy in Bhubaneswar.
Besides, six new jails would also come up in the state.
This was decided at a review meeting on prison reforms chaired by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday.
The places identified for new jails include Soro, Patrapur, Kashipur, Kantabanjhi, Laxmipur and MV 79. The state government has also given its nod to set up two open air jails, one each in Nilgiri and Jujumara in Balasore and Sambalpur districts, respectively.
At present, the state has only one open-air prison — the Biju Patnaik Jail —located at Jamujhari on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar. The proposed Prison Academy would also be established in Jamujhari, officials said.
Unlike other jails, inmates of the open air jail don't stay locked up in cells, as the jail was set up with the intention to provide some freedom to life convicts.
Officials said, the inmates after spending at least ten years of imprisonment in jails, become eligible to be shifted to the open air ashram, where they enjoy an unrestricted life. The inmates are also allowed to move out of the jail for a short while everyday, with security guards.
Currently 14, 170 prisoners have been lodged in 85 jails in the state.