Life in a prison A little bit of love is all they need

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Words : Kamanthi Wickramasinghe
Photos : Rushiru Tharanga

“Mokada puthey prashne?” are the first words I hear as I enter the female ward of the Welikada Prison. As for my curiosity I was eager to find out whom the female jailer was referring to and I was surprised to see her talking to a female inmate in such a loving manner.

Contrary to popular beliefs, females inmates are no longer addressed by their respective numbers but they are fondly referred to as ‘puthey’. This is just one step in theextensive rehabilitation programmehappening within the prison premises. It is not easy to deal with over 450 female inmates, sent in for various reasons. Accused for crimes such as drug and alcohol trafficking, murders and other notorious acts, many of them already feel at home while at prison. But, being women, their stories are different to those of the 3000 male inmates in the main section.

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