FURLOUGH (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     23rd May 2024        

Context: The Supreme Court recently ruled that double-murder convicts are not eligible for an extension of furlough.


  • Definition: Furlough refers to a temporary release of inmates from prison.
  • Purpose: It’s a short-term leave granted to prisoners, allowing them to go outside prison for specific reasons, such as maintaining family ties and facilitating reintegration into society.
  • Guidelines: The Model Prison Manual 2016, issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, offers detailed guidelines on inmates’ contact with the outside world, including provisions for remission, premature release, parole, and furlough.
  • Eligibility Criteria: Release on parole and furlough is granted selectively based on criteria such as the nature of the offense, prisoner behavior, and potential impact on public peace and order.
  • Rehabilitation Focus: Furlough aims to strike a balance between inmates' rights and society's safety, serving as a tool for prisoner rehabilitation and eventual societal reintegration.
  • Legal Framework: While there are no specific provisions on parole and furlough in the Prisons Act, 1894, and the Prisoners Act, 1900, Section 59 of the Prisons Act empowers states to establish rules for sentence shortening as rewards for good conduct.


  • About: It refers to the system of releasing a prisoner with the suspension of their sentence.
  • Conditional Release: The release through parole is conditional, often contingent on the behavior of the prisoner.
  • Periodic Reporting: Those on parole are typically required to report to authorities at regular intervals for a specified duration.