A story in a national English daily on Friday told a terrible story about how the Dhaka Central Jail turned into a heaven of drug addicts with jail guards and other officials working as cohorts to supply the inmates with the drugs. They have in fact turned the jail into a new breeding ground of crimes and corruption instead of using it as a correction center for people who are otherwise a big threat to the social peace. The report highlighted the nexus between the guards and inmates who regularly get supplies of heroin, yaba and cannabis inside the jail. If one has the connections and money, there is no problem to get the supply. The report said business is booming, as a large number of jail inmates are accused or are convicts in drug-related cases. They can’t live without drugs and moreover use their stay in the jail to run the business. About 65 percent of around 7,500 prisoners in Dhaka Central Jail in September last year were accused or were convicts in drug related cases, according to jail sources and two-thirds of them are on trial and appear before courts almost regularly. They get the supply of drugs on return from the courts. Some get the supply of cannabis in small balls wrapped with plastic and swallow them on return from the court and then get them back through using toilets. The money to buy drugs also makes its way through secret channels. Prison guards take 20 percent of the smuggled money. The story said, on the very first day of the prison life, newcomers are briefed how luxuries can be bought inside. A guard helped to smuggle in Tk 30,000 in two months. The amount was spent to buy drugs, the report said quoting the jail sources. The disclosure gives the perfect story of the drug business inside the jail which is estimated at over half a crore taka per month. We are really confused as to why the government is running these jails if its very purpose is being severely compromised. In fact, jails have become a cruel detention center where illegal business and corrupt practices flourish and prison guards and officials sell favours to inmates. The power of money is so strong that dreaded criminals can live very comfortable lives spending huge amounts per month to get almost every service. There is an underlying jail economy running with a sideline business that include payments for meeting with family members and guests, collecting foods, drugs, sneaking messages and making telephone calls to people outside the jail. Moreover, hard core criminals run their network from inside the jail paying bribes regularly to guards and prison officials. We hold the view that the jail administration must be thoroughly purged to bring back discipline. Scanner equipment must be installed and security cheeks and counter intelligence must be ensured to let things work in perfect order. Otherwise, the breaking of jail rules and such other incidences may not be ruled out at anytime. Meanwhile, the internal environment of the jail needs to be improved so that inmates can live in healthy conditions.