Merely throwing the criminals in the jail cells is not the right way to curbing crime or to reforming them. They should instead become better individuals when they come out and start again living as free men. It is essential to take revolutionary steps including those of prison reforms aiming to bring about a personality change of all those who end up there. A jail cell should be turned into a place of redemption, rehabilitation and even spiritual salvation, so to speak.

All this is possible if the entire police culture is changed. One solution is to make the prisoners attend regular classes, focusing on technical and general education even equipping them with other skills so that once they are out they can make use of these skills and earn money. They should be allowed to make use of a system of rewards and punishment whereby any inmate showing good behaviour should be let out early. Unfortunately, the prevailing culture is such that anyone who has to serve a jail term mixes up with bad eggs and ends up becoming a hardened criminal. This should end. Fresh legislation and laws are needed to bring about the desired change. Is anyone listening?

RIDA HUSSAIN,

Karachi, May 26.