Essay on Problems Related to Prison Discipline in India!
The problem of prison discipline has always been engaging the attention of penologists throughout the world. The main object of Prisonisation is undoubtedly negative insofar as it aims at generating a feeling of dislike for prison life among the members of society, the object being to dissuade people from doing acts which may lend them into prison.
Expressing his view about the prison administration, Donald Taft commented that prisons are deliberately so planned as to provide unpleasant compulsory isolation from general society. A prison, according to him, characterises rigid discipline, provision of bare necessities, strict security arrangements and monotonous routine life.
The prison personnel are usually untrained without any specialised training in their field. Although, with the modern facilities available to inmates, the rigours of prison-life are considerably mitigated but they are likely to become restive if not kept under proper discipline. There is yet another reason to justify the need for strict discipline in prison.
One might be imprisoned either for the purpose of custody, control and discipline or from being prevented to escape or being sent to a correctional institution for treatment. Whatever be the object, it is certain that the life inside prison necessarily pre-supposes certain restrictions on the liberty of inmates against their free will.
This consciousness of subjection to compulsive forces of the State through the agency of prison often leads to scuffle between prison officials and the inmates. The custody of prisoners should therefore, ensure their safety and security as also minimise the chances of conflict with prison administrators.
Another problem which is so often faced by the prison authorities is to guard against the possibility of prison-riot which is essentially an outcome of the combined venture of inmates. In early times when prisoners were lodged in separate cells, this possibility was completely ruled out as they had no chance of communicating with each other in the modern sense. Today, the difference between the prison life and free life is reduced to such an extent that even the prisoners have become conscious of their rights and obligations of prison authorities towards them.
Their free intermingling with the outside world provides them opportunities to unite and raise a common front against the prison administrators and slightest provocation is sufficient to stimulate unrest. The general causes of such riots and disturbances are political instigations, crude disciplinary incidents, monotonous routine of prison life, separation from members of the family, differences with the prison staff and step-motherly treatment of wardens and guards towards certain inmates.