Tempting Flavors to Check Corruption in Indian Prison

By Venus Upadhayaya, Epoch Times
November 26, 2013 12:39 pm Last Updated: November 26, 2013 12:39 pm

A mouth-watering disciplinary drive, to keep a check on the rising corruption amongst jail-inmates, was recently initiated by a south Indian prison.

The Madurai Central Prison has begun providing optional mutton curry and other delicacies to inmates to prevent them from bribing officials for better food. The initiative is also expected to reduce the possibility of mobile phones and hacksaw blades getting into the prison along with the “smuggled” food.

“Prisoners crave for non-vegetarian and home-made food, as they may not like what is served inside prison. Often, they bribe officials to get them biryani (a non-vegetarian dish cooked with rice) from outside or allow in food brought by a relative. If the same is available here, corruption is reduced,’’ said Deputy Inspector General V.H. Mohammed Haneefa, according to a report published in the Open magazine.

“Convicts themselves prepare the food, which also gives them a chance to work as cooks once released,” said Haneefa.

The prison has prepared a tempting menu at affordable rates. Prisoners can buy mutton curry at rupees 60 ($ 0.96) and other south Indian dishes like Idli, Vada, Pongal, Dosa, and tea at subsidized rates.

The officials have also stuck to the prison guidebook and the prisoners are allowed to buy mutton curry only once in a week. Other foods are prepared on rotation and the transactions happen only through a food-card to ensure no exchange of money happens.

The Madurai Central Prison canteen has been running for two months and the officials are overwhelmed by the response. “We will increase the number of items slowly as we don’t want prisoners to start putting on weight and enjoying their stay,” one official jokingly told the Open.