Good conduct is key to early release: SC - The Hindu - 03/10/2020

Supreme Court Judgement:

Justice Kant wrote: “Society has a right to lead a peaceful and fearless life, without free-roaming criminals creating havoc in the lives of ordinary peace-loving citizens. But equally strong is the foundation of reformative theory, which propounds that a civilised society cannot be achieved only through punitive attitudes and vindictiveness.”

The length of a prison sentence or the gravity of the crime cannot be the sole basis for denying a convict premature release from jail.

A three-judge Bench said that an assessment of the tendency to commit a crime upon release must be based on antecedents as well as the conduct of the prisoner while in jail, and not merely on his age or apprehensions of the victims and witnesses.

First-time offenders should especially be given a second chance at life, the court observed.
The punishment must lay greater stress on reformation, correction and rehabilitation of criminals.
The court said reformative justice should not merely focus on public harmony but should foster brotherhood and mutual acceptability.

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