Set up in the mid-80s, two prisons in Delduar and Sakhipur upazilas of Tangail district were used to house offenders for a while.
However, the two sub-jails have remained closed since upazila-level courts in the country were brought under the district courts in 1991.
Encroachers had grabbed the abandoned lands of Sakhipur sub-jail and erected shops on its premises, but the upazila administration evicted those a few months ago.
Unoccupied by prisoners, the prisons have turned into homes for wild animals such as jackals and snakes.
The Department of Social Services, which oversees the two abandoned sub-jails, plans to turn these into child development centres but no action has yet been taken in this regard.
At present, there are 400 beds in the Tongi Child Development Centre, but it houses more than 900 juvenile delinquents.
The social services department said turning the Delduar and Sakhipur prisons into child development centres will ease the pressure on the one in Tongi.
Md Shah Alam, deputy director of Tangail social services department, said, "The process to hand over the land of two sub-jails to us at a token price is still going on. When the process of handing over the land is complete, the two child development centres will be developed."
Tangail Deputy Commissioner Shahidul Islam said as per the initiative taken in the District Development and Coordination Committee meeting on July 19, 2010, a proposal was sent to the social services department regarding setting up of the training centres.
The process is still hanging.
"However, letters are being exchanged. The lands will be handed over soon," the deputy commissioner added.
Sources at the Tangail Department of Social Services said they had taken various initiatives at different times to put the prison compounds to good use.
At first, they attempted to set up an office for the local social services officer and a training centre.
In 2007, the social services department informed the district administration about its plan to turn the prisons into 50-bed safe homes for children. They even sent a letter to the executive engineer of the Public Works Department (PWD) to make an estimate for repair and renovation of the two jails.
But no action could be taken as the PWD never came up with an estimate.
In 2010, the Tangail Department of Social Services came up with a plan to set up training centres in the prisons. They sent a letter to the director general of Social Services seeking guidelines on a course of action.
However, again, no action was taken.