SP govt to ‘return’ prison dept its jail training institute

The campus of the Sampoornanand Jail Training Institute (SJTI), which was transferred to the Housing Department by the Mayawati government, reportedly for converting it into a memorial, will be soon handed back to the Prison Department and will house the state's prison headquarters, which is presently running from rented building.

The campus of SJTI was handed over to the Housing Department along with the Lucknow District Prison, Model Prison and Nari Bandi Niketan for developing Manyavar Kanshiram Eco (Green) Garden. The District Prison, Model Prison and Nari Bandi Niketan were razed, but SJTI building somehow escaped that fate. It happened due to a road which separates SJTI from the other jail buildings. However, the ownership of the campus and the SJTI building remained with the Housing Department.

"We are fortunate that SJTI was not demolished during the previous regime. It is the oldest training institute for Prison Department officials and employees in the country. It is the lone institute which covers three states — UP, Uttrakhand and Bihar," Minister for Prisons Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiyya said.

The SJTI was established in 1940 and the campus is spread over 10 acres.

"We have already started the proceedings for reclaiming SJTI from the Housing Department. Though SJTI still runs from the same building, technically the ownership is not with us," the minister added.

He also stated that due to the ownership issue, SJTI is facing several problems. "We don't have right to even whitewash the building. For even minor repairs, we have to seek permission from the Housing Department. The procedure is both lengthy and tardy. It is better if we get back the ownership of the SJTI. Ideally also, it should belong to the Prison Department," Singh said.

The transfer of SJTI building and campus from Housing Department to Prison Department has to be done through a Cabinet decision. "I am aware of the technicality and soon we will get it cleared from the Cabinet," Singh added.

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