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National Policy on Prisons

National Policy on Prisons

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Published by: kvreddy on Oct 17, 2009
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National Policy on Prisons
Institute of Correctional Administration, Chandigarh23 September 2006.
Prisoners Rights
1.1Prisoners should not be deprived of their rights.1.2Expectant Women or Women with Infants should have a system of parole forthem to deliver a baby outside the prison and thereafter to bring up theirinfant in normal society.1.3Grant of parole should not be denied, by quoting the often repeatedargument that there is a threat to law and order. SSP should given specificreasons for not granting parole and there should be proper representation toconvict in case of rejection of his parole. There should not be pre-maturerelease to habitual criminals.1.4There is a need to have outside crèches for those children whose mothers areinside the prison.
Medical Facilities
2.1Better medical facilities should be provided to every prison inmate. Wellequipped Lab with testing facilities in every Central Prison.2.2There should be a lady doctor and nurse in each women prison. There shouldbe a proper medical examination and then a subsequent yearly medicallyexamination of the women inmates.2.3CMO should visit the prison premises every month and get the samples owater and food collected for certification.2.4Diet menu should be drawn by Dietician keeping in view the demographiccomposition of prison population.2.5Supply of adequate medicines should be ensured either through localpurchase or through a central system and in case of non availability, thenSuperintendent should be empowered to purchase up to a limit at a time withno embargo on an annual basis.2.6The physical infrastructure of hospital / laboratory in each prison shoulddepend on prison population and for prison population below 50 a dispensaryis a must.2.7Proper medical examination record of each prisoner should be maintained.2.8System of telemedicine should also be encouraged.2.9Staff should be trained in order to classify inmates scientifically.2.10Biometric Identification of both prisoners and visitors to the prison.
Physical conditions of Prisons
3.1The process of overcrowding should be taken care of by shifting the prisonsfrom towns / centre of city to the outskirts through the process of privatepublic participation in constructing and management of prisons.3.2A modern administrative block with all modern technological devices shouldbe there in each prison to qualitatively improve day to day jail administration,including its security3.3Architecture design should be qualitatively improved keeping in mind theprison security and service.3.4Prison campus should also cater to the housing needs of the staff as well ascommunity centre to cater to the needs of staff and their children.3.5A norm should be adopted to construct flush latrines and bathrooms for theprison inmates. Accordingly, the same number of bathrooms and toilets
should be constructed. There should be Model and Modern kitchen withproper ventilation in each prison along with a dining facility3.6There should be better visiting area for women inmates to meet theirchildren. No meeting behind bars for women and their Children.
Prison Administration
4.1Prison Administration should be run on economic criterion of making it self sustainable, efficient, cost-effective and dynamic.
As far as possible, attempt should be made to segregate under trials from theconvicts. And also ensure better training programs for each of them.
Under trials should be asked to work so as to maintain their upkeepexpenses.4.4The wages paid for work should be reviewed every five years and theSupreme Court judgment regarding wages should be followed, where a partof the wages is paid to the victim’s family.
 To ensure presence of under trials in Court, an attempt should be made tointroduce the video conferencing for under trials to get their cases processedexpeditiously. Delay in production can be avoided through separate prisonescort force for taking under trials to courts .4.6Either double shift in criminal courts should be introduced or more judgesshould be appointed for expeditious disposal of cases.4.7There should be better coordination of the prison Department with otherDepartments and also the Criminal Justice Functionaries. District and Session Judge should ensure smooth coordination between prison departments andall others including police and prosecution.
 There should be PCO Room and each prison must be provided with telephonefacility, E-mail, etc. in order to facilitate better communication and contact of the women inmates with their children and family.4.9The ratio of women staff in prisons should at least be equal to prisonpopulation ratio of women and slowly increased to 50%. Periodic training of women staff.4.10To ensure that education and work programs remain more useful to bothinmates and society, these should be outsourced as far as possible andoutmoded and outdated programs should not be run on account of scarcity of funds. Gardening and landscaping activities for women inmates.4.11Pay scales of prison staff should be at par with police officers. Promotionalopportunities should be there for each level of prison staff with a minimum of three promotions in 25 years of service.4.12The Head of the Prison Department should be from within the prison cadre. Incase of deputation, then a minimum tenure of three years should be given toenable the HOD to make an impact.
Legal Aid Facility
 The timing and places should be properly displayed where legal aid is madeavailable to public at large and families of under trials in general so that themaximum benefit could be extracted in each prison. For this NGOs and Lawstudents should be encouraged to contact the prisoners and their families ona regular basis to fulfill the requirements of approaching the court. Legal AidCell in each prison should be there to help in processing the legal aidapplications and full case record of under trials be kept.
Lok Adalats should be held in each prison
6.Encouraging Alternatives to Imprisonment
6.1More liberal use of bail by judiciary6.2Review of compoundable offences6.3More effective use of probation6.4Public awareness about community service schemes
Community Service Scheme as an alternative for offences under Excise Actand minor theft cases and other minor offences where maximumimprisonment is upto three years.6.6Sensitizing judiciary about alternatives to imprisonment6.7Identity Cards to those offenders who go to the workplace as an alternativeto imprisonment.
More open prisons and their use to encourage reformation and rehabilitationof convicts. Open prisons for women convicts as well.6.9Public awareness about community service schemes
Change in the Law i.e. I.P.C. and Cr.P.C. and Special Laws6.11Awareness programs for judiciary on ‘Alternatives to Imprisonment’.6.12All India Prison and Correctional service for higher level prison staff.
7.Miscellaneous Suggestions
Commendation certificates, citations should be given to efficient staff by theSuperintendent / Inspector General of Prison.7.2Welfare officers to look into welfare issues of staff.7.3Recreational facilities to staff be provided within prison campus7.4Newspapers and magazines supply to women inmates7.5Separate bank account for women who work inside the prison7.6Counseling programs to prepare women for separation from their children7.7Work programs for women inmates like handmade paper, hair cutting,beautician, etc.7.8Variety in Food for children and also for prisoners7.9Gender Sensitization training programs for Prison Staff.7.10Facility for voluntary testing and confidentiality for HIV positive prisoners.7.11Training of Prison Doctors on ‘HIV Issues’.
ARV Treatment for prisoners who are affected by AIDS.
Indoor Display Boards for Self-Help Groups like Alcoholic Anonymous, HIVpositive Helpline, Women Helpline, Suicide Helpline, etc. with telephonenumbers at prison reception area and in mulaquat area.
 Telephone facility for prisoners to avail tele counselling.7.15Psychiatric treatment and facilities for managing drug-addicts.
Under trials data-base and its proper management7.17Non official women members to look into issues of women inmates.7.18Regular review of Diet Scale7.19Pamphlet of rights and duties of prison inmates should be given to everyinmate upon entry.7.20Superintendents must have power to allow prison inmates to attendcremation ceremony.
Religious and meditation program should be organized in each prison.
IGNOU Centers should be set-up in each prison.7.23To ensure physical, mental and spiritual well-being of inmates, outsidecommunity must be encouraged to participate in prison programs.7.24Review of prison offences and punishment powers of Superintendent.7.25Short stay homes for women inmates who are released from Prison.7.26Employment Certificates to inmates who have obtained training during theirstay in prison.

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