Multiple surveys state that reading plays a very important role in rehabilitation of those who are incarcerated. And so the Vizag Central Jail is planning to set up a digital library on its premises with computers loaded with e-texts and audio- visual material on self-development and motivational topics.
The project is aimed at instilling a habit of reading among the prison inmates. Education allows inmates to obtain the skills they need to transition back into society once they are released and libraries can play an important role in helping them learn these skills. It also provides them with an escape from the harsh realities of prison, a place to productively spend their free time. Educating inmates reduces repetition by modifying their behavior. These individuals are cut off from the world and it is important to make information accessible to them.
The jail Superintendent Srinivas reportedly said that the Araku MP Kothapalli Geeta has already sanctioned 4.5 lakh from her MPLADS funds to develop the digital library. The Director General of Prisons has been approached for permission and the project will begin after approval. The library will then be completed within a few months. The central prison already has a regular library with around 9000 books. Around 21 prisoners have even completed their graduation from the prison.
Most of the books are educative, meant for self-development and motivation. But the library also has auto- biographies, biographies, religious and spiritual books. Among the four central prisons at Kadapa, Nellore, Rajahmundry and Vizag, and the open-air prison in Ananthapur, the Vizag central prison will be the first to get a digital library. The Vizag central prison has 13000 inmates including 400 convicts and remand prisoners.