A retail outlet vending various products made by jail inmates at a very affordable price was inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Minister for Law, Courts, Prisons and Correctional Services S. Reghupathy on Friday here.

Branded as 'Freedom', the new Prison Bazaar outlet located at the Prison Headquarters in Egmore here sells products ranging from cooking oil, ready made garments, shoes, snacks and others at a price which is much lower than that are sold in other outlets.

"Products from all the prisons in the state (including Special Prisons for Women) will be sold in the newly inaugurated store," Amaraesh Pujari, Director General, Prisons and Correctional Services told IANS.

The Gingelly/Sesame Oil (Rs 350/litre), Groundnut Oil (Rs 250/litre) are certainly far lower than those sold in other retail outlets, a homemaker told IANS.

With the objective of providing an opportunity to the prisoners for reformation and rehabilitation by channelising their energy in a positive direction, the Tamil Nadu government has established the Prison Bazaars at the boundary of the Central Prisons, certain District Jails and Sub Jail complexes.

TN prisons' product 'Freedom'
TN prisons' product 'Freedom'IANS

According to the Policy Note for the year 2023-24, a Corpus Fund of Rs 10 lakh was sanctioned for the development of the Prison Bazaar.

The government said the turnover of the Prison Bazaars for FY2022023 (up to February 2023) was about Rs 5.23 crore with a net profit of about Rs 1 crore.

The profit earned from the Prison Bazaar is apportioned as follows:-

a) 20 per cent to the prisoners who worked to produce the goods

b) 20 per cent to Government Account

c) 20 per cent to the Prison Staff Welfare Fund

d) 40 per cent to the Tamil Nadu Prison Department Manufacture of Goods Fund (TNPDMGF).

Many of the products made in the prison are supplied to various departments of the Tamil Nadu government.

Being a service department, the Prisons and Correctional Services Department enjoys special privilege of supplying articles to various government Departments.


The value of the industrial production for the year 2022-2023 (up to February, 2023) is Rs 44.30 crore, the government said.

Be that as it may, the Minister Reghupathy also inaugurated a gym at the Prison Headquarters for the staff and released the Prison Department's monthly magazine 'Sirakithazh'.

(With inputs from IANS)