Emotional Intelligence is a Priority for Jail Inmatesby Shaveta Nayyar Dham Director at Sargam.org
Prison Statistics India 2016,
published by the National
Crime Records Bureau (NCRB)
- at the end of 2016, there were 4, 33,033 people in prison; of them 68% were under trials.
India’s under-trial population remains among the highest in the world
Jail or imprisonment is an environment that has tremendous psychological
ethos attached to it.It’s a place of duality where darkness and light
co-exists, where good and evil prosper, where stableness and change are running
together in human race.
Today, with crime at its peak in the form of murders, suicides, honor
killing etc, it’s all about emotions that have not been nurtured in the right
way. However, we can only bring change once we understand the root cause and
analyse how inmates feel in jail once they have committed a crime.
Men’s prisons have
been described as emotionally unpredictable places that are often drenched in
violence and aggression. In this environment, many emotions are seen that
reflect their undesired behaviors like aggression, physical abuse by showing
intense masculinity, emotional endurance etc. Given that prisoners may need to
manage their emotions across diverse settings, there are deep-seated
insecurities that either brings a change or worsens the life approach of any
The problems related
to women inmates in jail become more noticeable. Prison systems are primarily
designed to cater to men and are not well equipped to address the needs of
women in prison. Physical and sexual violence is a risk, a possibility, a
fact-faced by women inmates. Some women live in exclusively female prisons,
while the majority are kept in female enclosures of general prisons. Some women
living with their children need more attention in terms of their emotional
health. Considering women are more sensitive and are prone to acute
psychological trauma, it becomes rather difficult to resolve their conflict. Sensitivity needs to be maintained at
all levels especially emotionally. It thus becomes a priority to resolve
women’s deep inner conflict through emotional intelligence as a persistent
Sigmund Freud said, “Unexpressed emotions never die. They are buried
alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” Anger, fear, disgust, hatred etc are
emotions that we will more often find in the jail inmates that have arisen due
to certain experiences in their lives. Another
factor that is important is that subsequent loss of values is caused as
managing emotions became difficult and lead to uncalled circumstances in an
inmate’s life. The roller coaster of emotions thus needs to be
understood first in order to create an environment of positivity in jail.
Well Being- Causes & Consequences
The causes and
consequences of psychological well-being among prisoners has been a subject of
concern since a long time. The relevance of this matter continues to grow as
the number of people imprisoned in Indiahas increased rapidly. What forms of
emotion are felt in prison? Prisoners handle their emotions that are often deep
and lead to certain undesired action. How important is it for prisoners to
manage such expressions of emotion? The complexity of emotions in prisoners is
a huge study. Often seen the darker side of emotions, prisoners in jail need an
environment to release, to express, to hide, to see, to realize that they are
too a part of the society and fundamentally human beings. Depression, anxiety,
frustration, mental illness are all symptoms that have root cause inbuilt in
their inability to manage their own emotions.
CONNECT- A PRAGMATIC APPROACH
The need in the jail
today is to build an emotional connect with the inmates, to give an opportunity
to them to “express” more freely
about their desires or any “causes” that led to bitter experiences in life.
Therefore, working on their emotions with a more focused and collective way is
the need of the hour.
A continuous effort
is required to understand an inmate and then work on his or her emotional
intelligence so that he is able to take better decisions in life.It’s time to
look at the jail inmates with a more pragmatic approach. Sometimes we ignore
the basic causes that lead to such heinous crimes failing to understand the
sensitivity of “emotion” attached to the human being. Emotions that are basic,
emotions that are sensitive, emotions that govern us everyday has largely been
ignored in general. It becomes imperative especially while bringing a positive
change in a jail inmate’s life that we look inside the “inner world”,
understand and then start working on it.
The ways prisoners
seek to manage their emotions and the underlying motives for such
self-regulation would be interesting to study.
In India, we need to introduce more programs that focus on emotional
intelligence and emotional wellness of jail inmates. There is a dire need
of organizations working with jail inmates on emotional wellness to provide a
more accurate framework of how emotions function in prison, while also
developing an increased understanding of prisoner’s inner worlds and how he
relates to the outer world.
At the Mind-Life dialogue at Dharamshala, Dalai Lama focused
on the theme, “Re-imagining Human Flourishing” that centered on the need of
developing compassion, awareness and social and emotional learning from early
childhood. He said that this would prevent depression and anxiety in our
children to a larger extent.
Many juvenile crimes are a result of imbalance of human emotions. It is
so important that we need to nurture emotional intelligence at that age when
children are sensitive to commit human errors. Thus, more programs need to be
designed for juvenile inmates that nurture their emotional intelligence leading
to their holistic development.
Created on Nov 26th 2019 07:08. Viewed 187 times.