Essay on the Borstal System | India (556 Words)

The various State laws also provide for the release of juvenile offenders on a bond or security for good behaviour with or without sureties. At times, the parents or the guardians are ordered to pay fines if their child who was released on bond repeats the offence.

There are at present a number of Borstals and reformatories functioning throughout India. The general lack of adequate ‘after-care’ programme, however, undermines the utility of these institutions. Particularly, the States of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have done a commendable work in the direction of encouraging Borstal system through a well planned strategy.

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The young offenders in these States are released on licence or parole after they have served at least two-third of commitment in a certified correctional school. Thereafter, they are placed under the supervision of a probation officer for the remaining period of their final release. These States have also established After-care Associations and Children Aid Societies to rehabilitate young offenders released from Borstals and Correctional Schools.

In the context of institutional rehabilitation through Borstal, it would be pertinent to refer to the Supreme Court decision in Hava Singh v. State of Haryana & another wherein the accused, an adolescent was convicted under Section 302/34, I.P.C. and sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to Borstal School under the Punjab Borstal Act, 1926.

After having completed the age of 21 years, he was sent to jail to serve the remaining sentence and he spent over seven years in the jail. The Supreme Court held that the accused was entitled to be released on the ground that he being convicted by the Sessions Judge, the maximum period of detention as prescribed by the Act could be seven years which he had already completed in jail.

The States of Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have also adopted a system of follow-up service which provides for periodical visits of probation officer to the home of the released juvenile delinquent to watch letter’s progress and give him necessary help and advice for a period of three years from his release.

Particularly in Maharashtra, a number of Borstals and correctional institutions for young offenders are operating in the State. More important among them are Saint Catholine Home, Andheri; Chembur Children’s Home, Mankhurd; Salvation Army Girl’s Home, Sion; David Sasoon Industrial School, Mahim, Mumbai; Yarvada Industrial School, Pune; Seva Samiti, Nasik; Shradhanand Women Orphanage, Mumbai and Mahila Sevashram, Wardha.

The Chembur Children’s Home is meant for children with rural background whereas the David Sasoon Industrial School is a ragged school for orphans and vagrant juveniles with urban background. Similar Borstal institution is functioning under the name of Vidhya-Bhawan at Udaipur in Rajasthan.

There is a Reformatory School at Jabalpur and Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh and Hazaribagh in Bihar. There are several other voluntary welfare associations functioning in Pune, Broach, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Surat, Sholapur, Satara, Dharwar, etc. which are engaged in the rehabilitation of delinquent women and children.