The Indian prison today is a human warehouse. It is always overcrowded. A small hall accommodates about 40 to 60 prisoners with one toilet without a door. The overcrowding number of under trial prisoners gives staff less time to screen the prisoners to see the signs of self harm, risk of suicide, mental health problems and potential violent prisoners. It increases the availability of drugs and other contraband as the prison staff does not have time to observe and attend the prisoners. It creates long queues before toilets, showers, phone booths and so on. Family contacts and visits are much restricted. No scientific classifications of criminals are possible. First time offenders, circumstantial offenders and your offenders are kept with hard core criminals. There are group violence and personal attacks on other prisoners. First time offenders are tortured and make to do all the menial works. Many criminal activities are going on in prisons and among prisoners – murder of fellow – prisoners and suicide; the prisoners are depressed and cannot sleep at night because of mental and physical tension about their existence in prison and about their future.
Your volunteering in prisons and other confinements will be instrumental in bringing a change in people in prisons and the society. “No body needs love more than those who don’t deserve it. If we wait for them to become lovable before we love them, we will wait around the rest of our lives. It is precisely in being loved that they become lovable”. (Louis Evely)
You can volunteer in two ways
1. Inside the prisons and other confinementssuch as reception homes, observation homes and special homes You service can be categorized according to the availability of your time.
- Inside: You can work as a full time volunteer visiting the prisons close to your place. The permission can be arranged for your regular visit in the prison. You will be fully involved in the release, reformation and rehabilitation activities of prison ministry.
- Outside: You can become a part time volunteer if you can visit the prison at least four times in a month.
2. Outside the prisons to make a change in the societyThere are many works involved in the outreach ministry in the society.
- Pray for the prisoners and victims and their families.
- Visiting the family of the prisoners and victims
- Finding out doctors, Nurses, advocates, counselors to make use of their service in the prisons and arranging their visit in the prisons in regular way.
- Collecting the basic materials for the use of prisoners.
- Find out the donors, companies and charitable institutions for the support of the prison ministry activities.
- Conducting awareness programmes in faith based communities, schools, colleges, companies to change the attitude of people towards the prisoners and their rehabilitation.