Introduction

Al-Birr Foundation Mumbai, is a Non-Profitable Trust for objectives including Criminology and Justice, registered with the office of the Charity Commissioner of Mumbai City, under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950.  We have been working on the issues of under-trials prisoners who from downtrodden and socially backward sections of society.  Our main target groups are first time offenders, youth and women under trial prisoners.

 

We work towards helping these non-habitual offenders & under-trials :

• To get their rightful treatment in prisons.

• To safeguard their access to cash bail as well as fair & speedy trial.

• To facilitate bail procedure and work towards various other procedural requirements.

• To ensure that these accused under-trials, first time non-habitual offenders make efforts towards their own reformation and an honest occupation. So, that they do not have to fight for their survival.

AL-Birr Foundation’s focus is to rehabilitate such non-habitual first time offenders as law-abiding citizens. We have a panel of lawyers, volunteers and the community (from which the accused come and to which they return on securing their lawful release). This panel gets actively involved in the treatment during incarceration.

 

In this context and work, Al-Birr Foundation’s focus is on service delivery, networking, training, research and documentation, and policy change with respect to the custodial & institutional rights and the subsequent rehabilitation of socio-economically vulnerable individuals and groups.

 

Our Philosophy and Approach

A philosophy and practice is encouraged which respects to both the individual’s rights, human dignity of human resources, creates opportunities for the development of skills and abilities which will assist the offender to live a crime-free life upon lawful release from prison.

Our welfare work and efforts include working towards securing the rights of persons and groups affected by the criminal justice system and helping them gain enhanced access to information, education, training, health, opportunities for livelihood and to assist them to leading their lives in a safe and healthy environment; thereby channelizing significant human resource to contribute to a developing economy.

 

Mission

Our Mission is three-fold:

• We advocate respect for human dignity, welfare, protection, rights and rehabilitation of crime victims as well as those who are first-time non-habitual offenders accused of petty crimes.

• We advocate the development of effective crime prevention and equitable, fair and speedy justice strategies and practices.

• We seek to contribute knowledge and influence policy and process of criminal justice and allied systems in India, with specific reference to those that are in judicial custody and are from the socio-economically vulnerable sections of society – those that are excluded from mainstream public facilities and welfare, and those who are at greater risk of being further criminalised or exposed to human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

 

Rationale

Those accused and/or convicted of petty crimes are referred to penal/protective institutions as a consequence of detention/arrest for alleged commission or after conviction of an offence. Such individuals are exposed to unstable shelter and/or support systems, neglect, destitution, mental disturbance, and/or vulnerability to mental/physical/ sexual dangers and exploitation. The status could be of an (alleged) offender, or one in distress requiring support. The rationale behind justice is not to let prisoners off easy, it is to offer an alternative perspective to our definition of punishment and of the criminal himself.

 

Vision

Overall Objectives

• To protect basic and developmental needs of victims and under trial prisoners exposed to violence, deviance and unstable environments

• To promote paralegal training and citizenship rights.

• To demonstrate and create after-care opportunities for the victims in conflict with law.

• To advocate implementation and change in procedure in youth and child welfare systems.

• To encourage various development strategies and practices for victims of crime and of exploitation

• To restore the protection and well being of people affected by criminality.

• To educate society for adoption of good norms of good citizenship and to inculcate into people’s minds the ideals of national unity.