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Treatment of Dangerous or Habitual Offenders

NCJ Number
Social Defence Volume: 15 Issue: 57 Dated: (July 1979) Pages: 4-16
B N Bahadur
Date Published
13 pages
This article describes India's criminal codes, sentencing practices, and correctional programs for dangerous or habitual offenders.
Although some States in India now have specific laws for habitual offenders, most handle these criminals under the general criminal codes. According to the Code of Criminal Procedure, local law enforcement officials can require that a person with a history of illegal activities furnish a bond of good behavior with or without security. The penal code also allows enhanced punishment for certain offenses, primarily counterfeiting and property crimes, and some State laws give police the authority to forbid known criminals and gangs from entering a particular area for a given period. The police play an important role in sentencing because they prepare evidence that is presented to the judge, such as records on habitual criminals. The Model Prisons Manual outlines criteria for the classification of habitual criminals, but a prisoner's classification can be changed based on behavior. In addition, educational and vocational programs for inmates are being progressively diversified to cater to the varied correctional requirements of different types of offenders. Finally, the process of deinstitutionalization in India has produced several innovations, such as a phased program from maximum security to free living conditions and open air prisons which use all types of offenders as paid agricultural workers.