High cost of living in jail!
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)