COVID-19: Amid shortage, jail inmates make masks for fellow prisoners

Presidency, Dum Dum, Midnapore, Jalpaiguri, Burdwan and three other correctional homes have been earmarked for making masks,

According to officials of the Correctional Services department, of the 3,000 inmates listed for relief, 2,000 are undertrial prisoners and 1,000 convicts

Amid the shortage of masks in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, inmates of the correctional homes in West Bengal have taken up the task of making masks for more than 25,000 fellow prisoners in state prisons, an official said.

Eight correctional homes across the state have been earmarked where a section of prisoners are working to make masks for more than 25,000 inmates spread across 60 prisons across the state, the official of the state Correctional Services Department said.

Presidency, Dum Dum, Midnapore, Jalpaiguri, Burdwan and three other correctional homes have been earmarked for making masks, the official said.

“The number of masks that have been manufactured would be distributed across all the prisons within this week, so that all the inmates can have a mask. We have a regular supply of raw material for making masks. After delivery of mask to the prisoners is over, we will take orders from outside for common people,” he said.

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There are around 60 correctional homes in West Bengal, housing nearly 25,000 inmates. Of them 7,000 are convicts.

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Earlier this week, the Correctional Services department has prepared a list of 3,000 inmates who were eligible for parole and bail, in keeping with a Calcutta High Court order that sought to decongest jails amid the growing COVID-19 threat.

The court had last week formed a three-member panel to examine the situation in all correctional homes of West Bengal and prepare a report on the number of inmates who could be granted bail or parole to avoid crowding in prisons.

According to officials of the Correctional Services department, of the 3,000 inmates listed for relief, 2,000 are undertrial prisoners and 1,000 convicts.

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