The brazen pre-dawn jailbreak by two hardcore criminals from the high-security Kannur Central Jail has exposed the vulnerability of jails in the State. Though the escapees have been nabbed from Udagamandalam in Tamil Nadu and Kasaragod, the incident has led the authorities to review the security of the jails.
The Kozhikode District Jail, constructed between 1905 and 1907, is no exception when it comes to providing low prison security.
An acute shortage of trained staff is a major problem. There are only 32 warders entrusted with watch-and-ward duty for 287 inmates, including 10 women. Only six have been directly appointed through the Public Service Commission. The others have been recruited on a daily basis from the Employment Exchange.
Preference is usually given to ex-servicemen.