Counselling at Central Jail, Bhondsi Haryana

Faculty Training on Outcome Based Education and Accreditation
June 30, 2016
5-Day Faculty Development Program on ‘Art of Effective Teaching’
July 4, 2016

Community Outreach Programme by School of Humanities & Social Science, GD Goenka University

As part of the community outreach programme, Dr. Kakoli Sen, Dean-School of Humanities & Social Science at GD Goenka University along with faculty members Dr. Sakshi Kual and Dr. Sudha Rathore met Shri Harinder Singh, Superintendent of District Jail, Bhondsi and discussed the possibility of reaching out to the under trials and convicts at the jail and bring about an overall positive change in the inmates.The jail has about 3000 plus inmates and has introduced several rehabilitation measures for the inmates. An NGO India Vision Foundation has been instrumental in offering skill based programmes such as teaching tailoring, sewing, painting, sculpting, beautician courses etc. as well as helping them acquire educational qualifications. The jail has introduced several firsts such as an air-conditioned one to one chat through dedicated phones/intercoms across each other during the Mulakat times. The jail makes sincere efforts to keeps the inmates busy throughout the day and is working towards becoming self sustainable. A beginning in this direction is by growing their own vegetables as part of the kitchen garden.

The objectives of the activity were as under:

  • To offer professional help to reduce the anxiety levels of the inmates which generally leads people to other undesirable behaviours both within the jail premises as well as after the jail term.
  • To help the inmates come to terms with their current situation, utilise the time to develop skills that can be of use in future.
  • To help the inmates learn how to live peacefully with a group of people who may have had similar or different backgrounds and have faced a situation that is considered unlawful.
  • To develop positivity among the inmates for a life beyond the jail.

After several discussions and a good understanding of the jail processes, Counselling services were started with the female inmates. The sessions including Personal counselling, Group Counselling and Relaxation Therapy to which there has been a very good response. The inmates’ worries range from anxiety and symptomatically reflected in the form of nagging pains in different parts of the body without any apparent physiological ailment. The sessions tried to address the raised anxiety levels that led to such physical discomforts and included Ice breaking sessions, Body movement and exercise along with voice instructed and relaxation through Progressive muscle relaxation, a technique for learning to monitor and control the state of muscular tension.

Going forward GDGU would be offering counselling services on a weekly basis and training sessions to the jail inmates on how to think constructively, take care of their health and hygiene and remain positive about life after the end of their term. The school of Humanities also aims to train the prison staff on how to handle the inmates both strictly as well as compassionately.

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