Overcrowding in Jails

New Delhi,As per data available, at the end on 2012, the total number of inmates in the country were 3,85,135, out of total inmates capacity of 3,43,169. In Tihar jail in Delhi the occupancy in its 10 jails was 14,048 inmates out of authorised capacity of 6250 inmates as in May 2014. In order to reduce overcrowding, the Government of India had launched a Non-Plan Scheme of Modernisation of Prisons from 2002 to 2007 and with further extension upto 2009, involving a total outlay of Rs. 1800 crore on a cost sharing basis in the ratio of 75:25 between the Central Government and the State Governments respectively. Under the Scheme of Modernisation of Prisons, 125 new jails, 1579 additional barracks in the existing prisons and 8658 staff quarters for the prison personnel have been constructed by the State Governments which has resulted in reducing the overcrowding in prisons from 122.8% in 2009 to 112.2 % in 2012. 
The Government of India has also issued an advisory to reduce overcrowding in prisons through use of Section 436 A of the Cr P.C which can be accessed at the link http://mha.nic.in/sites/upload_files/mha/files/AdvSec436APrisons-060213_0.pdf which provides for taking up cases of Under Trial Prisoners (UTPs) for review through the following measures to be taken by the prison administrations of the States/UTs- 

1. Constituting a Review Committee in every district with the District Judge as Chairman, and the District Magistrate and District SP as members to meet every three months and review the cases.

2. Jail Superintendent should conduct a survey of all cases where the UTPs have completed more than one-fourth of the maximum sentence. He should prepare a survey list and send the same to the District Legal Service Authority (DLSA) as well as the UT Review Committee.

3. Prison authorities may educate undertrial prisoners on their rights to bail.

4. Providing legal aid – this may be provided through empanelled lawyers of DLSA to cases presented for release on bail and reduction of bail amount.

5. The list should be made available to the non-official visitors as well as District Magistrates/Judges who conduct periodic inspections of the jails.

6. Home Department of the State/UT may also develop management information system to ascertain the progress made jail-wise in this regard.

It is the stated policy of the Government that undertrials and Convicted prisoners should be segregated in prisons to avoid negative influence on the undertrial prisoners through possible association with hardcore criminals. As a result most of the undertrial prisoners are kept in sub-jails and district jails in the States/UTs while convicted prisoners are kept in district jails and central jails. They are also housed in separate barracks.
 Kiren Rijiju MoS (Home) gave this information in Lok Sabha today in a written reply to a question by Shri B.V. Naik. 
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