Dimapur, June 24: Keeping in view the need to empower and actualize rights of jail inmates, the initial stage of the campaign for legal assistance to family members of prisoners was carried out in the last few days in all the District Legal Services Authorities (DLSA) under the aegis of NSLSA.
A total of 172 jail inmates, both Under Trail Prisoners (UTPs) and convicts were represented by their family members in availing the assistance.
In Nagaland state, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), ‘Prison Statistics India, 2015’, the total population of jail inmates is 499.
During the campaign, the family representatives were sensitized on the need to be “legally empowered for those whose family member is under trail or convicted and perceived to be forgotten by the system.” It was also explained to them on rights of children of inmates especially educational rights.
At the initial stage of the process, the family members were entitled to fill-up a Performa sheet for identification of the legal services needed and background of the inmates and details of family members. This was assisted by the resource pool members in the presence of Chief Judicial Magistrate and secretaries of the districts.
It was observed that majority of the family representatives expressed need for legal assistance which will be further pursued. The campaign is expected to cover almost 96% of convicts and 25.1% of UTPs
It was conveyed that the drive will facilitate the spouses of the inmates in living a dignified life; secure respect and care to the parents, likely to be senior citizens; protect vulnerable family members from adverse consequences of incarceration of sole bread earner; and promote mental health of the inmates by removing anxiety about well-being of their family members.
The follow-up on legal aid will be undertaken in the second stage of the campaign, informed a NSLSA release. (Page News Service)