Aizawl: In what may be called a milestone in the history of a predominantly Christian state, Mizoram got its first women’s prison on Friday.
An official of the state home department told EastMojo that the first central women’s jail was inaugurated by home minister Lalchamliana simultaneously with “pilot intervention for drug treatment services among prison inmates” programme at Tanhril near Aizawl on Friday.
While expressing happiness for the first women’s jail in the state, Lalchamliana said that a jail should not be only a place for punishment but should be used like rehabilitation or corrective homes. He also expressed that no women are lodged in the newly opened jail.
The minister also thanked the Congress government led by former chief minister Lal Thanhawla for taking initiative for the construction of the prison.
The construction of a 2611.03 sq m women’s jail began in November 2015 with Rs 1,306.95 lakh fund received from DoNER ministry and was completed in August last year.
Surrounded by a concrete wall, the prison has various blocks, including administrative block, convicted prisoners block, classified prisoners block, isolation cell block, recreation hall, and medical block and staff quarters.
Officials said that the state government will also provide drug treatment service to jail inmates through its pilot intervention for drug treatment services among prison inmates programme.
According to social welfare secretary Zoramthangi Hauhnar, a study conducted by social welfare department in 2017 revealed that majority of jail inmates were youths in the age group of 28.
While 66% of the inmates were drug addicts, 87.9% of them were users of injected drugs of various types. About 14% of them have mental problems due to drugs, 9.3% suffered from hepatitis and 2.8% were diagnosed with tuberculosis, she said.
Officials said that the pilot intervention programme will be launched in three phases — counselling for inmates on mental illness due to drug abuse, counselling on relapse and the third phase is a follow-up which means the inmates will be given guidance through outreach workers and peer educators after their release from jail.