Prisoners in the Punjab Jails have a privilege to interview their blood relations, friends and counsels once a week. However, it is always difficult for the family members of inmates to spare time due to their busy life routine and physically cover a distance to reach the concerned prison facility for a scheduled interview. Thus, the prisoners resort to negative means to communicate with their blood relatives through illegal use of mobile phones in Jails. Moreover, there are economic reasons as well due to which many families find it hard to bear the expenses of travel to the concerned Jails to meet their dear ones confined there.
Telecommunication has a pivotal role in modern life. Yet there has been a denial of telecommunication facility to inmates due to certain legal complications. To minimize and thereby eliminate the illegal usage of mobile phones in Jails and facilitate the inmates by providing a facility of communication with their family memebers twice a week, the idea to introduce the PCOs in Jails was approved by Government of the Punjab and a pilot project was launched at District Jail Lahore in June 2013 wherein inmates were given the facility of making calls to their relatives, friends and legal counsel on five pre-selected numbers once a week for 20 minutes' time. The PCOs system was completely automated and had security features like calls recording and call logs etc. The pilot project proved a resounding success which encouraged the authorities to replicate the project of PCOs in 10 larger jails of the Province in Phase-1. The cost of the project was 28.4 million rupees which was incurred by the Punjab Prisons Foundation. Phase-1 is now complete and high-tech PCOs are functional in 11 jails of the Province which are listed below. An average of 300 inmates are using PCOs on daily basis and 70% of inmates’ population in Jails is taking benefit from the facility.
Following are the Jails with installed PCOs:
Below mentioned jails are approved for PCO installation:
Salient features of PCO System Software are mentioned as below:
- System is capable to create and manage user accounts (Client IDs) of inmates
- Each user account assign PIN code for additional security for dialing
- System is capable to generate pre-paid vouchers amount of Rs.200/-
- Assign max upto 5 fixed telephone numbers against each inmate, which can be dialed as abbreviated dialing rules
- System assigned quota time of 20/min per inmate per week to allows calls and this quota time will renewed automatically every week
- Auto call cut facility after completion of weekly assigned quota time of each inmate
- Recorded calls listening facility any time. Real time / on call interference and monitoring/listing facility
- System having of Call Billing Software and Call data record (CDR) generation of each inmate and each call