Don't be fooled into thinking that the Chennai prison was a place of leisure; there were only a few buildings like this, which were built to accommodate convalescing prisoners - and the high-profile ones at that. Even that luxury disppeared a few decades ago, when these buildings were converted into study areas on the ground floor and maybe some office spaces on the first floor. Convalescing or not, prisoners had to stay in their cells. Along with all the other buildings of the complex, this one is gone too, and the 11-acre space will soon have a new look.
Replacing the stony blocks of prison cells will be a blood bank attached to the General Hospital, as well as a station of the proposed Chennai Metro. There are a couple of smaller buildings planned, but it seems that a reasonably large part of the space will be given over to a park and some recreational facility - what a change that would be from its previous use!
Some more photos of the former Chennai Central Prison complex are here.