Despite difficult circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Jammu and Kashmir prisons department on Saturday conducted second Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) at a jail here to help inmates overcome various issues related to attitude and behaviour before their release, officials said.
The orientation session under the supervision of Director General of Police, prisons, V K Singh was carried out by specialists — Head of Psychology Department, University of Jammu, Arti Bakshi and Assistant professor, clinical psychologist, Government College for women, Parade, Piyali Arora — at Kot Bhalwal Central Jail which has a population of 693 prisoners, the officials said.
This is the second high population prison in Jammu district where the CBT-I has been conducted and is part of a unique initiative started by the Prisons Department in June from Jammu district jail Amphalla.
“This is in our prison manual that for reforming, CBT-I should be applied which will help the inmates to undergo correctional process in the attitude and behaviour and will be able to integrate better in society on release, the DG Prison told PTI.
“We have taken all precautionary measures despite the challenging situation due to COVID-19 and conducted the session, the DG Prison told PTI.
Leaving aside the COVID-scare, Singh said the shortage of psychologists is the main reason for very slow work on this in jails across the country.
“We are lucky to have conducted the CBT-I in two jails. The CBT-I was earlier carried out in Jammu district jail having 644 inmates. It will be taken to all jails in due course of time, he said, lauding the efforts of Bakshi and Arora for their services in spite of the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
The DG prisons said they initially distributed the survey forms among the 693 inmates of Kot Bhalwal and collected data about those who have only three hours or below sleep in 24 hours.
“The vulnerable group of 90 was identified and worked on and we are hopeful that they will share their experience with other jail inmates after successful treatment, Singh said adding the programme would be followed by another such session towards the end of this month.
The DG said his department is making all out efforts to ensure better facilities to the inmates.
On September 21, he said Chief Justice of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court Justice Gita Mittal inaugurated the new facilities, including child-friendly corners and separate enclosures for women inmates, at the Central Jail Srinagar.
These facilities also include an interview block which has sound proof cabins and a welfare block with a barber shop, canteen, gymnasium, recreation hall, bakery and inmate calling system, he said, adding that various steps are being taken in the prisons for the reformation of prisoners and improving prison administration.
He said the effort is to provide better living conditions and training facilities to the inmates.