(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In an initiative aimed at promoting education and rehabilitation among inmates, as many as 145 prisoners in Maharashtra have had their sentences reduced between 2019 and June 2023 for successfully completing educational programs. These programs include Secondary School Certificate (SSC), Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC), undergraduate, and postgraduate courses.
While Maharashtra prisons offer education opportunities to both undertrials and convicts, only convicted prisoners are eligible for sentence reductions upon the completion of their studies. The state has established study centers in ten correctional facilities to facilitate these educational programs.
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At these study centers, inmates can enroll in courses offered by Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) or Yashwantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU). The correctional institutions provide course materials, access to prison-appointed teachers for guidance, and conduct exams within the prison premises.
Remarkable stories have emerged from this educational initiative, including that of a woman who earned a postgraduate degree while serving a murder sentence at Nagpur jail. Her husband, who was also convicted in the same case, has already been released, and her degree will reduce her sentence by three months.
Nagpur Central Jail stands out as a leader in this effort, having released 61 inmates early between 2019 and June 2023, more than any other prison in Maharashtra.
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The decision to grant sentence reductions for educational achievements reflects the state's commitment to encourage prisoners to pursue higher education, improve their prospects for reintegration into society upon release, and contribute positively to their rehabilitation.
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