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Report No. 35

Topic Number 61

Conduct of prisoners after release, and rules regarding remission

1163. Conduct of prisoners after release.-

The after-care of prisoners, sentenced to imprisonment for life and released from prison, is a subject which requires separate study, and we do not propose to deal with the whole subject1. As has been observed in the Report of a Committee that dealt with the subject2,-

"The after-care of prisoners refers to a set of services and programmes that are organised for the care, supervision and guidance of the prisoner and also to the various activities that are directed towards his acceptance by the family and the community.".

But one point of some importance deserves to be noted. A prisoner sentenced to imprisonment for life3, for a capital offence may, after his release from the prison, commit again a capital crime or a crime involving violence. The figures of such "recidivism" would be of interest in assessing how far the sentence of imprisonment has worked as a deterrent. We recommend that these figures be published and made available in a convenient form, or included in the official publication "Crime in India" which is brought out annually, as the figures would prove to the very useful.

1. The position in England is dealt with in R.C. Report, pp. 236 to 239, paras. 672-680. For figures, see R.C. Report, p. 486, Appendix 15 and also p. 229, para. 651, end.

2. Government of India, Central Social Welfare Board, Report of the Advisory Committee on After-care Programmes, (1955), Vol. I, p. 214.

3. As to English law, relating to imprisonment for life, see-

(i) section 57, Criminal Justice Act, 1948 (11 & 12 Geo. 6, C. 58);

(ii) section 27, Prisons Act, 1952 (15 & 16 Geo. 6, C. 52);

(iii) section 20, Criminal Justice Administration Act, 1961 (9 & 10 Eliz. 2, C. 39) (for persons other than those sentenced to imprisonment for life).

1164. Rules regarding remission.-

Where a person is sentenced to imprisonment for life, then the detailed rules as to the periods for which he earns remission are laid down in the Jail Manual of each State1. These comprise rules made under the Prisons Act, 18942, and administrative instructions. But the legal sanction for the remission has to be issued in the form of an order under section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898, as has been made clear by a decision of the Supreme Court3.

1. As to England, see Royal Commission's Report, pp. 226, et seq. and p. 316.

2. The Prisons Act, 1894 (9 of 1894).

3. G.V. Godse v. State, AIR 1961 SC 600 (603), para. 7.

1165. It is unnecessary to consider here the question whether any amendments are needed to the rules regarding remission of life sentences of imprisonment.

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