Social Defence

Probationers, Ex-prisoners and their family welfare

Most families experience financial losses as a result of parental incarceration and the loss is greatest for those families who try to maintain the convicted individual as a family member. There are the costs of maintaining the household, the loss of income of the imprisoned parent who was contributing to the household, legal fees associated with criminal defense and appeals, the costs associated with maintaining contact during imprisonment and the costs of maintaining the prisoner while he is in prison. 

Grandparents and other relatives, who take care of the children of incarcerated fathers/mothers, certainly incur additional financial expenses.

The protection, care, and nurturance of prisoners’ children is a primary concern of prisoners and their families. When parents go to prison, most children go, or continue, to live with relatives. Accordingly, prisoners and their families experience a tremendous sense of loss when incarceration occurs and that loss is compounded when children are involved.

Prisoners’ children and families must also deal with feelings of shame and social stigma. Imprisonment is neither a reason for celebration nor a reason to be proud. It is not the goal one seeks for oneself or one’s children. Many family members do not tell even their closest friends about a relative’s incarceration and go to great lengths to protect the prisoner’s children from the consequences of revealing this family secret.

Schemes, programmes and activities that assist prisoners in carrying out family roles and responsibilities  provide sound reasons to promote and adopt policies which help prisoners maintain family ties and help families carry out their family obligations and responsibilities for their children.

Thus, the idea of Social Defence emerged from 

  1. the desire to bring about the amelioration of the offender through his re-education & 

  2. the desire to promote the concept that an offender is also a human being to whom human treatment should be applied

The concept of social defence leads to a true judicial humanism; such that punishment must be regulated safely by consideration of social defence. Prisons are no longer places for detention of criminals only, but have acquired a new dimension as therapeutic centres to reform the personality and behavior pattern of prisoners. 

According to the Constitution of India, all the subjects of social defense fall within the jurisdiction of the State Governments. Some of these subjects like criminal law and criminal procedure are on the concurrent list of the constitution but the implementation of legislations pertaining to these areas is the responsibility of the State Governments.

In India, the social defense programmes include mainly the following subjects

1.    Prevention and control of juvenile delinquency
2.    Probation services
3.    Prison welfare services
4.    Prevention of Immoral Traffic
5.    Anti-beggary programmes
6.    After- care and rehabilitation of ex-convicts
7.    Correctional training and Research


The age-old idea was that the offender should be confined to the prison and kept away from the community as long as possible. But, in course of time, it has been realized that the protection of society is better ensured if the offender is corrected and reformed through individualized treatments. 

However, it has been perceived that all human beings do not respond in the same manner to a given stimuli. Two individuals may commit the same crime but each act differs from the other in its social, economics, psychological and environmental ramification. This basic understanding has led to the innovation of a number of treatment method for offenders.

Prison or correctional institutions are no longer regarded as custodial institution only but also as treatment and training centres for those who fall foul with laws. But, in due course it was realized that prisons do not serve the purpose of training and rehabilitation of all categories of offenders. Therefore, in course of time, various non-institutional methods of treatment for offenders have been introduced eg: probation, parole, premature release, half-way houses etc. There are all community based non institutional treatment methods.

Thus, Probation is a non-institutional treatment method designed to facilitate the social re-adjustment of offenders. It developed as an alternative to imprisonment. Probation is a method of dealing with specially selected offenders and consists of the conditional suspension of punishment while the offender is placed under the personal supervision of the probation officer and is given individualized treatment. 

The length of the probation varies and is determined by the court. Moreover, probation is the application of modern scientific casework to individuals, outside institution with the authority of the law behind it. It calls for the careful study of the individual and intensive supervision  by the competent, trained probation officers.

The object of probation is the ultimate re-establishment of the offenders in the community. The law helps him to help himself to erase the stigma of conviction and gives him the guidance of the probation officer.

The supervisory function of a Probation Officer are protecting the community and helping individual under care. The probation officer helps the probationer to become law-abiding and stable. During the probation period, the probation officer maintains contact with the offender to ensure compliance with the rules and regulations and also provides various types of assistance to him.

After Care Services

Assistance to After Care Programmes

Social Rehabilitation of ex-convicts and offenders placed under supervision of poor economic condition is a grave social problem.  This scheme is to provide some financial assistance to them for starting some Industry, Craft or Small Trade so as to enable them to earn a livelihood. 

The After Care Programme intended to rehabilitate released prisoners and probationers coming under the supervision of District Probation Officers.  By utilizing this amount they shall be engaged in small scale income generating activities.  The amount of assistance is Rs.15,000/- per head.  If the amount is insufficient for meeting the expenses this can be attached with some bank loan. The beneficiaries will be selected by the ‘After Care Association” organized for the welfare of Ex-convicts.  The application form will be available from the District Probation Officer.

Scheme for the Rehabilitation of Families of Indigent Convicts

The objective of the scheme is to give financial assistance to the families of indigent convicts to start any income generating activities for their rehabilitation.  The scheme was implemented during the financial year 2002-03.  This is a bank loan linked scheme in which the governmental subsidy shall be 30% of the total project proposal approved by a bank.


Transit Home
Mithram scheme- Job skill training for Socially deviants
Jeevanam self-employment scheme to dependents of crime victims
Marriage Assistance to daughters of prisoners
Rehabilitation of cured mentally ill prisoners
Thanalidam Probation home
Nervazhi- Modernization and Strengthening of Probation system
Educational assistance for children of victims of crime
Financial Assistance to Ex-Convicts, Probationers and Ex-Pupils
Educational assistance to children of prisoners (pursuing professional course)
Self-employment scheme for dependents of prisoners
Educational Assistance to Children of Prisoners


Probation and Aftercare


SOP/Protocol State Protocol on Probation services
State Policy State Probation Policy 2021
Act The Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Act, 2010
Rules Financial Assistance to Ex-Convicts, Probationers, Ex-Pupils and Ex-Inmates Rules
Rules Kerala Prisons and Correctional Services (Management) Rules 2014
OTHERS Roles and Responsibilities of Probation Offices as per various Acts/Rules

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