POST TIME: 16 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 February, 2018 01:51:36 AM
Pilot project
Prisoners can talk over phone from Mar 8

Prisoners can talk over 
phone from Mar 8

For the first time in the country, the jail authorities are going to introduce "mobile phone facility" for prisoners from March 8 to stop the use of illegal cell phones by notorious criminals. As a pilot project, the authorities have selected the Tangail District Jail for providing the facility, sources said. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is likely to inaugurate the facility on March 8. If she is not available, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal will open the pilot project the same day, the sources added. Prisoners involved in heinous crimes, such as militancy, abduction and snatching, are not eligible for the phone facility.

Assistant inspector general of prisons (admin), Mohammad Abdullah Al Mamun, told The Independent that a prisoner can talk for a maximum of 10 minutes with his or her family members. He or she can avail of the facility twice a month, said Mamun.

“All phone conversations will be recorded. Top terrorists, militants and snatchers will not get the facility. Aged prisoners, women and juvenile inmates will get priority to use the phone. It will help improve communication between the prisoners and their family members, cutting down the number of their visits to jails. The jail phone facility is available in many countries,” he added.

Tangail District Jail superintendent Manjur Rahman told this correspondent that they have set up four telephone booths inside the jail for prisoners. “At a time, four prisoners can use the phone facility every 15 minutes from 9am to 4pm everyday,” he said.

The jail has a capacity for 467 prisoners, but there are 1,350 inmates, he noted. “A 2i project of the Prime Minister’s Office is providing technical assistance for the facility,” he added. While inaugurating the central jail in Keraniganj last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had announced that phone facilities would be provided to prisoners. Sources in the jail department said canteens of different jails, including the high-security prison cell, are selling devices like MP3, USB port and memory cards for prisoners.