Remand Homes (Observation Homes)
These homes are meant for children during the pendency of trial in the courts, but they are also used for keeping the homeless, destitute and neglected children. The stay here is used for evaluating their personality traits and behaviour. As such, these Homes are viewed more as observation homes than as places of detention.
The more important characteristics of a good Remand (Observation) Home are supposed to be: segregation, education, training, recreation facilities, health care, controlled discipline and effective supervision.
Since a child in an Observation Home comes into contact with the law for the first time, if the environment is not cordial/sympathetic, the child might become suspicious and defiant towards the court.
According to 1998 figures, Remand/Observation Homes are found only in 14 out of the 25 states and in one union territory. The highest number of Observation Homes is found in Maharashtra, followed by Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal. Of about 154 Remand/Observation Homes, a little more than a half are run by various governments and little less than a half are voluntary.
There are separate homes for boys and girls. Of the total inmates in Observation Homes, 15 to 20 per cent are juvenile delinquents and the rest are homeless, destitute, neglected children and so forth. Of the total inmates, two-thirds belong to 714 years age group while the remaining one-third is either below seven years or between 14 and 18 years.
About 50 per cent inmates are kept here for less than six weeks, 35 per cent between six weeks and six months and 15 per cent for more than six months. Doctors are appointed for health care on both full-time and part-time basis. While the average expenditure per inmate per month in a Remand Home in 1973 was about Rs. 60, in 1998 it was believed to be Rs. 400.