In a move to address the issue of mental health of prisoners, the prisons department of Andhra Pradesh has decided to deploy psychologists. It is surprising that except for a few states in India, there are no psychologists in the prison.
Mental disorders occur at high rates in prisons for various factors. For the first time, Andhra Pradesh government has decided to appoint 14 psychologists in the prisons in the state.
Sources reveal that there are more than 7,000 prisoners in the five central jails, a women’s prison, an agricultural prison, nine district jails and around 90 sub-jails. The psychologists would be appointed in the central and district prisons.
The deputy inspector-general (coastal region) I Srinivasa Rao told that after studying the psychological conditions of prisoners, authorities proposed to recruit psychologists in the prisons. “It would help prisoners, who often find it difficult to come to terms with the unexpected change in their life and often commit offences in a fit of rage. This would also help in the administration of the prisons,” he said.
The prison department sends prisoners with mental health issues to the Mental Care Hospital or major government hospitals where psychologists are available, sources said. With psychologists being employed within prisons, the inmates will not have to be taken outside the prison for treatment.