The Elderly Inmates in the Indian Prisons – A Psychosocial Perspective
The 2nd International Social Work Conference 2015 – Celebrating Diversity in One World
12 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2015
Date Written: December 17, 2015
Ageing brings with it untold sufferings due to physical and mental health problems compounded by other challenges of social and economic aspects of life. The conditions of life in Indian prisons have not been all that satisfactory despite enormous efforts by the central and state governments and the Indian Judiciary and Correctional Administration system for bringing about prison reforms and reformatory processes for the prisoners. While the field of ageing, in itself, has been way behind almost all developed and even a few developing countries, the conditions of life in prisons for older inmates have not been almost totally neglected by social work researchers and even researchers in the fields of criminology and correctional aspects. Percentage share of different types of prison inmates in India reveal the total number of inmates at the end of 2013: Convicts 31.5%, Undertrials 67.6%, Detenues 0.8%, Others 0.2. The total number of elderly in Indian prisons cover about 23,013 convicts in jails out of which, male elderly prisoners constitute 21,760 and female elderly prisoners 1,253. The percentage of convicted elderly inmates in the prisons aged 50 years & above is 17.8. The total number elderly prison inmates in India constitute 28,615 male undertrial elderly prisoners and 1,959 female elderly inmates and the total undertrial prisoners are 30,574. The percentage of Undertrial elderly inmates in the prisons aged 50 years & above is 11. Besides, these numbers are constantly changing but mainly increasing because number of detentions of elderly outnumber releases. This research study is a humble attempt to look into the demographics and social aspects of elderly inmates in the prisons in India. Apart from looking at the demographics of ageing within the context of Indian prisons, the researchers have also tried to make a very broad assessment of the details of offenses, detention, prison conditions with specific reference to elderly inmates. Specific focus of analysis is on physical facilities, prison daily routines, interpersonal relationships, treatment of inmates by the staff, health conditions and psychological environment, all with specific reference to older persons. Based on the analysis, the researchers have made specific recommendations for improving the quality of life of the elderly inmates to be considered by the correctional administration, social workers, policy makers and elderly inmates themselves.
Keywords: Elderly Prisons, Convicts, Undertrials, Detenues
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