Although prisons are considered as the most widely used institutions of correctional administration but their role has always been a subject of severe criticism and scrutiny from the point of view of rehabilitation of prisoners. The major problems which come in the way of prison administration in performing their rehabilitative functions are as follows:
1. lack of infra-structural facilities and there being no scientific classification of prisoners.
2. There is hardly any justification for aggravating the suffering already inherent in the process of incarceration and prison authorities should not ignore this vital aspect in dealing with the prisoners.
3. There is no scope for custodial torture in prisons.
4. A large segment of prison population consists of the poor, the illiterate and unskilled; therefore adequate vocational training programmes with necessary technical inputs should be made available in prison institutions.
5. Part-sentencing dispositions such as furlough, parole, remission, pardon etc. may be tried as non-custodial measures on a selective basis.
6. Emphasis should be on educational facilities and vocational training for prison inmates. Study material may be provided at the government cost from institutions like IGNOU.
7. Certain semi-institutional arrangements such as half-way houses, educational-houses, day-time working and training centre’s etc. for reintegration of inmates into society may help in their process of rehabilitation.
8. The directives issued by the Supreme Court for self-improvement and correctional therapy for prison inmates have laid special emphasis on three points namely, (1) a person in custody does not become a ‘non-person’ (2) that a prisoner is entitled to human rights within limitations of imprisonment, and (3) there is no justification for aggravating the sufferings of prisoners during the period of imprisonment.
In the context of rehabilitation and aftercare of prisoners, it must be stated that the process should not be misconceived as a kind of benevolent campaign intended to rescue a fallen individual nor a patronage extended by prison authorities. It is rather based on the understanding of the needs of those who are going to face the unkind and unsophisticable world outside.