POSCO Prison Project
ASHA has recently started a project named POCSO Prison Project in Yerawada Central Jail, Pune from October 2023. The main objective of this project was –
(i) Assessment and Counseling work with those convicted under POCSO Act 2012.
(ii) Awareness generation program with children for ‘bad touch’.
Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act 2012, (POCSO) makes sure those persons harming children by using them as sexual objects are punished.
We know from available evidence that such a person is likely to have significant psychopathology and are likely to offend again. To protect children from such offenders is important and difficult as well as there is
no reliable follow up system available in India.
We propose to work with convicted offenders while they are serving their sentence in Jail. Qualified clinical psychologists and psychiatrists will undertake this work. Jail authorities and mental health teams will be part of the program as well.
Appropriate counseling help will be offered to offenders with aim of addressing underlying mental health issues and preventing reoffending. Initially we have started this project at Yerwada Central Jail in Pune. We have permission to extend this to all 9 central jails in Maharashtra as soon as we are ready with funds.