Curious about prison life? You can pay and find out for a day at this Kerala jail

Curious about prison life? You can pay and find out for a day at this Kerala jail
  • Under the programme called 'experience the jail', people can now find out how a regular day in prison is.
  • They can pay and stay in a special closure in the Viyyur central prison and be treated like “prisoners” for a day along with prison uniform and jail food.
  • The project hopes to ascertain for the people that jail is not a pleasant place and crimes must be avoided at all costs.
We do suppose that many of us have wondered about how life behind bars is like? And when TV shows and movies don’t cut it for you anymore - to find out first-hand is perhaps a good option. Now, we cannot encourage you to get arrested, but there is a way you can find out.

Taking inspiration from Telangana’s jail tourism model, Kerala prisons and correctional services department have decided to give the general public an idea about what life as a prisoner looks like. And the programme is called 'experience the jail'.

People can come and stay for 24 hours at a separate closure in the Viyyur central prison compound, in Thrissur, which also has a jail museum in the making.

During the stay, just like the other 'prisoners', they will be provided with a prison uniform made of khadi, a steel meal plate and a glass, a mug, washing soap, bathing soap, bedding, fan and other facilities as per the state prison manual.

The original plan for the compound was to build a museum which would include British and royal era records, torture equipment, armaments, handcuff models, uniform models of British police personnel and rare prison photographs. It will also to have an exhibition area, library, cafeteria and a light and sound show.


But, the idea of the jail museum is being set aside for now to give people a chance to see life on the other side. The whole idea is to convey the message that prison is not a pleasant place and the state believes that a first-hand experience will help people realise that and steer them off crimes.

The ‘experience the jail’ proposal is worth ₹60 million and is still under the process of getting the final clearance from the state. Though, ₹30 million has already been sanctioned for the construction of the museum, the rest is under deliberation.

However, this is not a first. A similar initiative was launched in Telangana in 2016. Citizens are charged ₹500 each to stay a night at Sangareddy jail, which is a 220-year-old defunct prison converted for the 'feel the jail' project.