Seven Community radio stations in Bangladesh now involved in increasing community awareness on Improvement of the Real Situation of Overcrowding in Prisons through broadcasting radio magazine program under a three-month project titled “Media Campaign through Community Radio on Improvement of the Real Situation of Overcrowding in Prisons in Bangladesh (IRSOP)’’ under the coordination of Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio and Communication (BNNRC) in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) – Bangladesh.
The Program is aimed to provide the grassroots level community the information related to legal assistance, legal rights, restorative justice through alternative resolution, reducing repeated crimes and referral system in case of drug addiction and thus contribute in reducing prison overcrowding and improving legal protection for poor and vulnerable prisoners through radio magazine program.
Under this project 7 community radio stations of the country – Radio Padma 99.2 (Rajshahi), Community Radio Nalta 99.2 (Satkhira), Community Radio Pollikontho 99.2 (Moulvibazar), Community Radio Sagar Giri 99.2 (Chittagang), Community Radio Chilmari 99.2 (Kurigram), Community Radio Jhunuk 99.2 (Jhenaidha) and Community Radio Bikrampur 99.2 (Munshigonj) started broadcasting magazine program in the name of “khola Janala”. The program is giving emphasis on the issues like Over Crowding & Restorative Justice, Legal Assistance, and Training & Rehabilitation of Prisoners, Village Court, Reducing Repeated Crimes and Referral System in case of Drug Addiction.
The 45 minutes program is designed in two segments: first is a 25 minutes magazine program. It is combination of report, vox-pop, interview, promo, public service announcement (PSA), local song, and drama etc. The second segment in the program is a 20 min. dialogue, where two local guests discussed on that broadcasting issue. They would be Jailer/ Jail Super/ members of Jail Inspection Committee, Advocate, and members of Para-Legal, representation of Social Welfare Department and Local government, Civil Society members, local NGOs and development workers etc. Besides, there is a quiz contest system in the program. In every espied, a question is asked to the audience on issues that broadcasted and three persons are selected through lottery from who responded correctly. Later they are awarded by radio sets.
Until 10 December, 2015, the radio stations have broadcast two episodes among six episodes of the magazine program on Over Crowding & Restorative Justice, Village Court and Legal Assistance. The programs were rebroadcast two times respectively on the day after broadcasting and first rebroadcasting.
In the light of the dialogue segment of the magazine program, we can expect the opportunity to initiate the dialogue between 84 (per episode 2 guests x 6 episode x 7 radio stations=84) local resources and community radio as well community people.
Mentioned that, total 21 youth and youth women (community broadcasters) have got better understanding, knowledge and gathered skills on how to produce a fruitful magazine program on the issues through a day long project orientation program. It is most important that, through the magazine program 3.382 million community people of the target areas (07 CR station areas in 07 districts of the country) will be aware reagarding legal protection and restorative justice which can help to resolve/mediate the conflict in an alternative way at local level. There is a focus on speeding up the release of those detainees whose detention was unlawful or disproportionate, especially women, children and other disadvantaged groups.