Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today inaugurated a new 120-bed drug de-addiction centre with a pathological laboratory and counseling facilities at the Tihar Jail, one of Asia's biggest prisons having over 13,000 inmates. The centre, which is present in the jail hospital premises, was built at a cost of Rs.17 million.
It is the biggest centre of its kind to be started in any jail in the country for treatment, post-treatment care and counseling of prisoners addicted to drugs - officials reported.
Chief Minister said: 'With this de-addiction centre, drug addicts scattered in various jails would be shifted to this building so that their treatment programme could be effectively monitored. Jails in Delhi have earned the distinction as qualitative reform Centres providing opportunities of positive attitudinal change in inmates. They feel transformed, self-sufficient, trained and reformed citizens after their release from jails.'
B.K. Gupta, Director General of the Prison, said: 'Normally 8 - 10 per cent of the prisoners in the Jail are drug addicts. The rehabilitation process will include counseling, meditation and therapeutic methods to wean them away from their addiction habits.'
Moreover, it is believed that, during the year 2006, more than 5,100 prisoners have taken the de-addiction treatment from various jails.
Mr. Gupta also added that every new prisoner coming into the jail would be medically examined on the very first day, so that those with a history of addiction could receive treatment from day one.
The drug addicts will be segregated from others and treatment plans for them would include detoxification and rehabilitation therapies for about 15 days, after which they are sent to drug Rehabilitation centres, which are being run with the help of NGOs, to get counseling.