INTRODUCTION George Bernard Shaw once remarked, “If you are to punish a man retributively, you must injure him. If you are to reform him, you must improve him. And, men are not improved by injuries.” The above remarks seems to be true in the sense that custodial measure and institutional incarceration are two such crucial problems in the modern penology branch but at the same time, no doubt it increases the independence of offender and decreases his capacity to readjust himself in the normal society after release. No one can give guarantee that the prisoner has changed himself into a law abiding citizen after serving or conforming with strict adherence of prison discipline. There are other inevitable consequences that flow from prisonisation of offender and those are loss of job, family separation and contamination dud to association with other harden criminals. There by the very purpose of awarding punishment to the wrongdoer is not achieved but simply it aggravates the situation like gunpowder to match stick. The purpose of punishment is reflected in the different theories of punishment, namely, retributive, deterrent, prevention and reformative. Retribution was the main punishment in primitive society which was based upon the principle of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” It was permissible for the wronged person to have his revenge against the wrongdoer. As the society progressed, the idea of private revenge was given up and the State came forward to punish the idea of private revenge was given up and the State came forward to punish the wrongdoer in place of private individual. The deterrent punishment presupposes infliction of severe penalties on offenders with a view to deter them from committing crimes. It is also create some kind of fear in the mind of others by providing adequate penalty and exemplary punishment to the offender which acts as a sufficient warning to the other members of the society. The preventive theory seeks to prevent the repetition of crimes by incapacitating the offenders. Prisonisation of criminals was considered to be the best mode of preventive of crime. Till the beginning of the 19th Century, the penal laws of England had deterrent theory of punishment. In India too mutilation of limbs or death were the forms of punishment imposed even for trivial offences. The experience showed that people continued to commit crimes even when there was provision for very severe punishment (death) for petty offences like pick–pocketing. Thus the crimes increased with the increased in the severity of punishment. At times, the prison life fills the offender with the spirit of heartedness towards other fellow human beings by destroying all his finest sentiments and tenderness.