The Andhra Pradesh government on Friday announced that they will set free 55 women who are presently servicing life sentences across different prisons on humanitarian grounds in the second week of November. The announcement was made by the Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Mekathoti Sucharitha who said that the women prisoners being released all have completed over five years of imprisonment.
"We are releasing prisoners who have completed five years imprisonment on humanitarian grounds, 147 women are going through life imprisonment, out of whom we chose 55 to set free," he said. Among those released, the minister said that there are 21 women from the Rajamundry jail, 27 from Kadapa jail, two from Visakhapatnam and five from Nellore jails.
According to the home minister, these women ended up in prison in some specific cases and due to the crimes they committed in specific circumstances. "When women go into prison, their families will be jolted. We introduced reforms to bring about a change in their behaviour," said Sucharitha.
She said they were trained in tailoring, embroidery, saree painting, bakery and others, adding that the selected prisoners are being released after taking into consideration all aspects. The state cabinet, chaired by Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has approved the release on Thursday, based on the recommendations made by a high-level committee.
Most of the prisoners set to be released have also acquired educational qualifications such as Bachelor of Arts (BA). "The government will support these women after they have been released," said the minister.
Following guidelines by the Supreme Court and the High Court to prevent overcrowding of jails in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state had in March released 74 inmates on interim bail to reduce overcrowding of jails. By September, the state had reported 1,375 prisoners across the state falling sick to the coronavirus and had reported one COVID-19 related death among the inmates.