Amid concerns over recidivism or the tendency of a convicted criminal to reoffend once temporarily out on parole or furlough, the Union Home Ministry on Friday asked the state authorities to review their guidelines to ensure that the facility and the concession given to the inmates are not abused and misused by them and their advantage does not turn into disadvantage and nuisance for the society at large.
The Home Ministry also gave some provisions which may be included in the guidelines.
The provisions state that the grant of parole and furlough to those offenders whose release may have adverse impact on the security of the state or individual may be strictly restricted.
Also, the parole rules of the states, including the criteria, duration and frequency, may be reviewed after making an assessment based on their experience about the benefits and detriments of such parole.
The Home Ministry further said that the parole and furlough may not be granted as a matter of routine and may be decided by a committee of officers and behavioural experts, who may meet as per requirement keeping in view all the relevant factors, especially for inmates sentenced for sexual offences, and serious crimes such as murder, child abduction and violence.
The Home Ministry has also advised to include an expert psychologist, criminologist or any correctional administration expert as a member of the sentence review board and in the committee which decides grant of parole and furlough to inmates.
The Home Ministry has requested to review the existing practices and procedures governing the grant of parole, furlough and premature release to inmates especially in the light of the Model Prison Manual of 2016 and the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, NHRC and the Supreme Court from time to time.