Psychological Health of Inmates of Mandoli Central Jail


Nilesh Singh1, Subhash Meena2

1M. A.  Psychology, Department of Psychology, Vasanta College for Women, B.H.U., Varanasi

2Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Vasanta College for Women,

Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi

*Corresponding Author Email:,



The experience of being kept behind the bars has a Traumatic and Psychological effect on everyone whosoever endures it. A study on “Psychological Health of Inmates of Mandoli Central Jail” presents a life of inmates of jail. The psychological health of inmates is affected by many factors inside the jail like sudden change in social environment, poor hygiene, bad company, non-pleasurable space, poor food quality, separation from family and loved ones, societal pressure, etc. All these factors lead to poor physical and mental health, which can sometimes, make the person traumatized and he/she may suffer several psychological problems like Depression, Social Isolation, Hallucinations, Insomnia, Irritability, Anxiety etc. Among which Depression and Insomnia are the most common.


KEYWORDS: Psychological Health, Depression, Insomnia, Poor Mental Health.




Most of us, including me, have grown up with a not-so-pleasant stories regarding prisons and jails.  The impressions of a jail I had in my mind have now changed completely after I did internship with Central Jail no.13, Mandoli. I did 3 months internship with Mandoli Jail. During the course of internship I interacted with several inmates (approx. 110) and had a one-on-one conversation with them, as I was assigned to provide them Psychological First Aid under project Samarthan.


Jail no.13 happens to be the Hospital of Mandoli Jail. There I met several people with lots of physical disabilities and/or usual body illnesses. During the interaction I came across so many people who were suffering from some or other kind of Mental Problem/illness.


Majority of which were Depression, Insomnia, Isolation (Anti-social), Irritability, Emotional Stress, Anxiety etc. Several other problems which they used to face were lack of appetite, anger, increased impulsivity and many more alike. On a daily basis, I used to interact with 4-7 people (inmates) and have a session of 10-15 minutes, majorly depending upon the severity of the problem they were facing. Every inmate was fighting his own battle; some were dealing with stress, some with insomnia or some with just the environment. During counseling I came across many different kinds of personalities, and also came to know when and why a person commits a crime, their psychology behind their motives and conditions that force a person to take such unethical steps. According to the Socio-demographic data that was collected, a picture came across which depicted that most of the inmates commit almost the same crime and followed similar pattern of committing the crime. The most common sections were 107/151, 376, 392, 394. Most of the inmates were drug/alcohol addicts and committed those crimes while they were not in their senses. Be it stealing, theft, injuring other person or even a murder. Their basic motive behind those crimes being- getting away with the money in order to buy their daily dose of Substance (Drug, Alcohol, Nicotine etc.) One major reason behind most of the kinds of psychological problems that were observed in the jail was withdrawal symptom. The moment they enter into the jail they have to discontinue their daily intake of any kind of substance, which causes symptoms of Anxiety (like Panic attack, restlessness, irritability), Depression (like Social isolation, lack of enjoyment, fatigue, poor appetite), Sleep (like Insomnia, difficulty in falling asleep, or sometimes oversleeping), Cognitive (Poor Concentration, Poor Memory). Along with these four major symptoms many inmates claim to be suffering from hallucination as well. Not only psychological symptoms, they also experience several physiological problems like excessive sweating, vomiting, increased heart rate, low & high blood pressure, irregular pulse rate, trembling, excessive body heat etc. In order to recover from such symptoms they used to look for sedatives like sleeping pills and other psychiatric medicines. They even fake being an insomniac to get those sleeping pills. But there were many who were actually suffering from sleeping problems I used to suggest them various yoga positions and exercises in order to make their body fall asleep.


According to a report (Press Information Bureau, 2018) by Ministry of Women and Child Development, Physical and Sexual Violence is a common scenario in prison, faced by inmates at the hands of authorities and other prisoners not only in women cells but also in jails of male inmates, which affect them badly.  Sometimes they get more depressed by the act and sometimes they become more violent which leads to serious fights and injuries inside the jail premises. However, a jail is considered as a correctional home and/or rehabilitation of criminal but situations like these nourish a criminal mind even more. As a result, they become stubborn and insensitive.


P. Sanath Kumar (sep, 2018) in his research work on Thane Central Jail stated that psychosocial health (Trauma) on incarcerated is surrounded by different factors, internal or external to the prison environment. The Incarcerated is affected by different factors. The first is the general condition of inmates in prison which constitutes of issues like food quality served, overcrowding and health; is affected. The second is the social isolation and victimization experienced by the researcher. This includes the experiences with the legal, police and the judiciary system. The factors external to the prison environment play an important role in determining the psychosocial health of Inmates. This includes concern for children and family, concern about the effect of imprisonment on the extended family members and neighborhood and community to which they belong. All the factors mentioned leave a negative impact on self-esteem, self-confidence and adjustment capacity of an individual.


Poor mental health of prisoners has always been a matter of concern to the authorities because it leads to suicide and suicide attempts in jail. Most of the suicidal attempts happen either just after entering into the jail (by the Mulayeza) or following the court date in which either the hearing goes against them or turns out conclusion less. It is the most critical moment of their time span in prison. It sometimes leads to serious causalities, and during this time they should be kept under a vigil.


They can traumatize a person in & out, and because of conditions like these we reap a criminal mind with our own hands.



1.      P. Sanath Kumar, Dr. Jahanara, "Effects of Psychosocial Health (Trauma) on Incarcerated in Thane Central Jail", International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR),, Volume 7 Issue 9, September 2018, 366 – 368






Received on 23.04.2019         Modified on 10.05.2019

Accepted on 27.05.2019      ©A&V Publications All right reserved

Res.  J. Humanities and Social Sciences. 2019; 10(3):765-766.

DOI: 10.5958/2321-5828.2019.00125.6