High cost of liv­ing in jail!

Pakistan Observer - - EDITORIAL & COMMENTS -

AN over­crowded jail sys­tem in Bangladesh is hardly news. What is news how­ever is that the av­er­age prisoner in­car­cer­ated is spend­ing Tk 30,000 a month for food and other ser­vices which s/ he should be get­ting free from the State. In­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ism by this news­pa­per has re­vealed a sys­tem of rip­ping off in­mates by charg­ing ex­or­bi­tant sums of money for stay­ing in the coun­try’s premier jail. Ev­ery­thing has a price. Tk 16,000 goes to pay for space to sleep with­out both­er­a­tion and suf­fi­cient wa­ter for la­trine pur­poses. The rest Tk 14,000 is spent on food like dairy, fish and meat.

We are sim­ply dumb­founded to learn that in­mates must pay “ex­tra” to get a chance to get clear­ance from jail au­thor­i­ties to al­low for vis­i­ta­tion rights. In­deed, there is also a sys­tem by which rel­a­tives or close ones may send money to in­mates upon pay­ing a “fee” to au­thor­i­ties, be­cause with­out that money, sur­vival in the jail is quite im­pos­si­ble where ev­ery item must be pur­chased at a lu­di­crous sum. It is very con­ve­nient for jail au­thor­i­ties to rub­bish this re­port while oth­ers to sim­ply make them­selves un­avail­able for com­ment. But the sad re­al­ity is that we have a ma­jor sys­temic prob­lem here and the State sim­ply can­not pre­tend it is not hap­pen­ing. We ex­pect a thor­ough investigation into the mat­ter to un­earth the racket that is man­ag­ing this mal­prac­tice and a re­form of the sys­tem that is long over­due needs to be im­ple­mented. — The Daily Star (Bangladesh)

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