Uttar Pradesh, usually known for its poor educational standards, could perhaps salvage whatever is left of its reputation if one considered the educational qualifications of criminals put behind bars in the state.
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report on the country’s jails, every fourth convict with a post graduate degree is in a jail in Uttar Pradesh. And that is not all.
The state also holds the dubious distinction of having the highest number of graduate convicts in its jails, at 1,218.
There are a total of 1,551 post graduate convicts in the country’s jails. Out of this the highest number of convicts (398) is lodged in UP jails. Madhya Pradesh stands second, with 156 post graduate prisoners in its jails.
In the under-trial prisoners category, the state’s jails lead once again by having the highest number of post graduates at 776. The number of graduates in the same category stands at 2,824. At 80,311, the state’s jails also house the highest number of prisoners in India — which is about 20.9% of the country’s total number of prisoners.
Experts blame the country’s flawed educational system. “Such a high number of educated prisoners being in jails clearly indicates that there is something definitely lacking in our education system,” says Balraj Chauhan, ex-VC of Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow. “We will have to analyse and remove factors that push educated people to commit crime,” he adds.
Former UP police chief H Rao says unemployment could be a major reason for the alarming numbers. “I believe most of these educated prisoners were driven to crime by desperate situations and not by choice,” he says.
Psychologist PK Khatri points out that many youngsters turn to crime to fulfil desires. “The desire to flaunt expensive gadgets and fulfil wishful needs drives them to petty crimes,” he says.