Released from One, Confined into Other Prison: The Suffering Continues for Female Offenders in Pakistani Society

Monday, 16 July 2018
Distributed Paper
Gul Muhammad BALOCH, Taylor's University,, Malaysia
Whether they did the crime on their own, lured, forced, or trapped into it, the suffering for the female offenders has no end. From police station to prison to after-release scenario, it is the prevalent multi-faceted patriarchy that endlessly persecutes them for their whole life. This study was conducted with all the 100 women prisoners in the Sindh province of Pakistan. The study explores the problems, needs, helplessness, after thoughts about the crime, worries about the children (inside and outside the prison), and the trepidations about their acceptance by family and society, their livelihood, and the life security of female offenders, once they are released from the prison.

Problems inside the prison included upbringing of children, financial support, communication issues and the remission. A total of 25 children were living inside the prison with ages from one month to eight years; there was no educational facility for these children. The ‘most needed assistance’, while in prison, was the legal help in their cases and the majority of these inmates was housewives, belonged to poor families, and was illiterate. Ten under-trial inmates who expressed feeling very helpless, depressed, and having suicidal ideation, had never received any psychological support inside the prison. Regarding needs after release 25 needed financial help, followed by 19 fearing safety of life and 14 mentioning need for getting education and skills and help to get a job.

The findings show that there is dearth of social reintegration interventions as there are very little or no institutional efforts are taken in this regard. Irrespective of whether a women prisoner is acquitted innocent or released after serving the conviction, the taboo that she went to prison is enough an stigma for the rest of her life for re-integrating in the society; if lucky enough to not axed to death.