Friday, May 19, 2017
Administration procedure Caning is, in practice, always ordered in addition to a jail sentence and never as a punishment by itself. It is administered in an enclosed area in the prison out of the view of the public and other inmates. A medical officer and the Superintendent of Prisons are required to be present at every caning session. The offender is not told in advance when he will be caned; he is notified only on the day his sentence is to be carried out. Offenders often undergo a lot of psychological distress as a result of being put into such uncertainty. On the day itself, the medical officer examines him by measuring his blood pressure and other physical conditions to check whether he is medically fit for the caning. If he is certified fit, he proceeds to receive his punishment; if he is certified unfit, he is sent back to the court for the sentence to be remitted or converted to additional time in prison. A prison officer confirms with him the number of strokes he has been sentenced to. In practice, the offender is required to strip completely naked for the caning. Once he has removed his clothes, he is restrained in a large wooden trestle based on the British dual-purpose prison flogging frame. He stands barefooted on the trestle base and bends over a padded horizontal crossbar on one side of the trestle, with the crossbar adjusted to around his waist level. His feet are tied to a lower crossbar on the same side by restraining ankle cuffs made of leather, while his hands are secured to another horizontal crossbar on the other side by wrist cuffs of similar design; his hands can hold on to the crossbar. After he is secured to the trestle in a bent-over position at an angle of close to 90° at the hip, protective padding is tied around his lower back to protect the vulnerable kidney and lower spine area from any strokes that might land off-target. The punishment is administered on his bare buttocks. He is not gagged. The caning officer carefully positions himself beside the trestle and takes aim with the cane. The Director of Prisons explained in a 1974 press conference, "Correct positioning is critically important. If he is too near the prisoner, the tip of the cane will fall beyond the buttocks and the force of the stroke will cause the unsupported tip to dip and bend the cane and thus reduce the effect of the stroke. If he is too far, the stroke will only cover part of the buttocks." Strokes are delivered at intervals of about 30 seconds. The caning officer is required to exert as much strength as he can muster for each stroke. The offender receives all the strokes in a single caning session – not in instalments. According to anecdotal evidence, if the sentence involves a large number of strokes (say, six or more), two or more officers will take turns to cane the offender to ensure that the later strokes are as equally forceful as the earlier ones. During the caning, if the medical officer certifies that the offender is not in a fit state of health to undergo the rest of the punishment, the caning must be stopped. The offender will then be sent back to the court for the remaining number of strokes to be remitted or converted to a prison term of no more than 12 months, in addition to the original prison term he was sentenced to.
Posted by Maqsood Qureshi at 12:59 PM