Friday, January 29, 2016

Crime, Reformation and Society.

Reformed Criminal Unwanted in Society.
The case of Ms. Shireen Taj from Mysore makes a sad and disturbing reading. She was convicted and sentenced for life ( 14 years ) for having murdered her husband. She was released from jail on the Republic Day after having completed 14 years term along with other 42 with a certificate of good conduct during their term in the jail. When she rushed to meet her children and family there was none to receive or accept her. She was already estranged from her husband's family immediately after the murder and had to stay with her parents family during the trial for five years. Now, even there she was unwanted: either there was none available at home or even the one she met ( her brother ) was not inclined to recognise her. She went back to the jail and requested the authority there to keep her again in the jail till her death. As there is no provision to keep in jail who were discharged from it, they did the best thing available: sent her to an orphanage - Shaktidama. One salute to those jail authorities who showed her a way although it is not mandatory on their part to do so.
Cases like Shireen Taj need to be handled with better planning and a thoroughly professional approach by the jail authorities. In fact, there is an academic discipline who can offer help to such cases, the profession of Social Work, an MSW, a Master of Social Work degree holder, who has been trained to integrate such and similar cases back in the society. The effort should start well before the discharge, say an year in advance. The social worker would interact with the people concerned in the society for the case on hand, counsel them on the reformation undergone in the case, change the attitude of the people, which is usually harsh and negative, on the ex-convicts, and with proper communication and understanding make the people accept the case into their fold.

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