Maharashtra Prisons Embrace Smart Card Phones, Pilot Project Launched at Yerwada Central Jail, Pune

In a significant move aimed at modernizing communication systems within Maharashtra prisons, the Yerwada Central Jail in Pune has initiated a pilot project to replace coin boxes with smart card phones. Spearheaded by Additional Director General of Police and Inspector General (Prisons and Correctional Services), Amitabh Gupta, this innovative service is set to revolutionize inmate communication. If successful, the smart card phone initiative will be expanded to prisons across the entire state.

The introduction of smart card phones marks a significant development for inmates at Yerwada Central Jail. The inaugural ceremony for this facility was conducted by ADG Gupta, accompanied by Special Inspector General of Police, Dr. Jalinder Supekar, and other senior officers.

Traditionally, inmates relied on coin boxes to communicate with their relatives. However, due to the unavailability of coin boxes in the market and their lack of repairability, this system became outdated. Additionally, the closure of various facilities disrupted communication between prisoners and their families. In high-security sections, security yards, and segregated cells, inmates had to rely on coin boxes, which posed potential security risks within the prison. In response to these challenges, some prison superintendents proposed the use of basic mobile phones as an alternative to coin boxes. As a result, ADG Gupta recommended the implementation of a smart card phone facility on a trial basis at Yerwada Central Jail.

According to the approved proposal, a company based in Tamil Nadu has provided communication facilities to the jail inmates. Starting from June 23rd, eligible prisoners can now avail communication services three times a month, with each session lasting 10 minutes. This development has made it easier for prisoners to stay in touch with their families. The ability to communicate with relatives and lawyers will not only alleviate the mental stress experienced by inmates but also contribute to enhanced prison security. Furthermore, it is expected to have a positive impact on the mental well-being of the incarcerated individuals.

Following a review of the smart card phone facility at Yerwada jail, the initiative will be expanded to other correctional facilities in the state. Future plans also involve refining the smart card phone system and potentially relaxing the eligibility criteria, allowing more inmates to benefit from this modernized communication service.

The implementation of smart card phones in Maharashtra prisons marks a progressive step towards improving inmate well-being and fostering stronger connections with their families. This initiative reflects the commitment of the prison authorities to embrace technological advancements and create a more efficient and secure prison environment.

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