Quotes: Gandhi once said, “Hate the Crime and Not the Criminal”
The primary goal of jail is to rehabilitate and turn criminals into moral and law-abiding individuals by instilling in them a dislike of crime and criminality. The purpose of prisons is to reintegrate criminals into society. The Standard Minimum Rules for Treatment of Prisoners (Nelson Mandela Rules), which list the rights of the prisoners including the right to contact the outside world, the right to adequate sleep and clothing, the right to security, the right to adequate healthcare, etc., are also mandated by the UN. In contrast to the aforementioned requirements, the current reality in Indian prisons. Every day, inmates’ fundamental human rights are infringed, and jails are unable to fulfill their intended functions.
Significant Issues in Indian Prisons
- Overcrowding: In 2016, India had more over 4,33,000 convicts, or almost 20% more than it could hold, according to NCRB data. More serious concern is the high percentage of under-trials, who make up about 68% of India’s popultion and contribute to overcrowding in some prisons by more than 500% in states like UP and WB.
- Understaffing: 33% of the total requirement of prison officials still lies vacant.
Overcrowding and understaffing result in escalating violence and other criminal activity in jails, which contributes to overcrowding and understaffing.
- a) Poor living and hygienic conditions
- b) Inadequate food and clothing
- Differences in jail regulations between states: Because prison administration is a state responsibility, each state has its own prison manual.
- Lack of aftercare, rehabilitation, and probation:
There is also nothing in place that looks after criminals after they are released from jail. Very little emphasis is placed on reformation, vocational training, etc. The focus is on retribution.
These amenities are crucial for their social reintegration.
- Lack of ongoing education makes it difficult for them to integrate into society.Most states do not have a board of visitors who evaluate the jails. The few boards that do exist meet infrequently.
Effects of the aforementioned Issues
1) Prisoners’ Human Rights Violations
The detainees’ poor conditions are a violation of their fundamental human rights and should not be tolerated.
An increase in homicides and suicides and mental disorders in prisons More over 9,000 convicts have mental illness, and there have been more than 150 suicides, according to the 2021 NCRB Report. Additionally, psychiatrists and psychologists are few in Indian prisons.
The link to join the course : Online Courses
2) Indian prisons have poor security, corruption, discrimination, and inequality.
Not every prisoner receives the same treatment. Politicians are treated better than the common populace, who are subjected to inhumane conditions. For those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, it is still torment.
The corruption in Indian jails makes it possible for many illicit operations to be carried out there, and the security of the prison is further compromised by subpar facilities and a lack of employees. As a result prisoners occasionally manage to escape from them.
3) The focus on reforming inmates has been neglected. Reformation can only occur until prisoners’ fundamental human rights have been respected.
4) Difficulty in Extraditing Criminals to India:
- On numerous occasions, foreign courts have refused to extradite criminals to India due to the deplorable human rights conditions of Indian prisons.
Committee established in the Past
The 1980s saw the formation of the Justice A.N. Mulla Committee and the Justice Krishan Iyer Committee (on women inmates).More rights and improved prison conditions were fought for by the Mulla
Committee. It also stressed bringing prison management under the concurrent list would have also helped to bring uniformity in the process of jail management.
» There were measures suggested to deal with overcrowding and the high percentage of under trial population in India.
» There were also suggestions to increase the number of staff through mechanisms like an All India Services to deal with vacancies in prisons.But up until now, the majority of these suggestions have been disregarded.
Steps need to be taken
The Prison Act of 1894 needs to be revised, among other things.
Many of the provisions in the act are redundant and out-of- date because it is over a century old and does not meet the needs of the socioeconomic and political climate of today .In order to modernize prisons in India, it is suggested that a National Prison Commission be established .Mulla Committee (1980–1983) All India Committee on Jail Reforms’ suggestion.
More resources for prisons, particularly human resources, are needed for basic needs.
- Better sanitary conditions
- Infrastructure: Additional jails separate prisons with varying levels of security for those awaiting trial.
- Those convicted those who have committed serious crimes, etc. Installing jammers inside jails to stop inmates from using their mobile phones to communicate with the outside world.
Measures to address overpopulation
Strictly enforce Section 436A of the CrPC and raise awareness of the provision among prison authorities.
Adopt the 2017 LCI recommendation, which calls for the release on bail of defendants awaiting trial who have served 30 percent of the maximum sentence for crimes punishable by up to seven years in prison. Improving infrastructure and encouraging ideas like Rajasthan’s open jails steps to expedite the legal process in relation to aftercare.
Ongoing research on prisons
In a negotiated agreement Ambedkar agreed for the downtrodden classes with Gandhi candidates to be chosen by an electoral college .On his urging, however, somewhat more than twice as 147 chairs were set aside for the grieving classes in the legislature compared to before given out as part of the Community Award. Aside from that The Poona Pact ensured an accurate portrayal of the poor classes working in the public sector while offering public services a portion of the educational grant is designated for they are raised.
Indian jails have often been dubbed as a university for grooming criminals due to pathetic and inhumane conditions. In the absence of a robust Whistleblower Protection Act and structural changes to address the issues of overcrowding and understaﬃng, India’s prisons will continue to be heaven for political connected criminals and hell for socio-economically disadvantaged under trials, some regular media uproars notwithstanding .
Fundamental rights of prisoners cannot be placed in the back-burner and the Centre and the states need to be more pro-active in sensitizing staﬀ about the need to treat prisoners as human.
Conclusion: Today, model prisons are needed, where inmates are accommodated with adequate consideration for their basic human needs and are treated with dignity. Since prisoners aren’t permitted to vote, there doesn’t seem to be any political will at all to make this happen right now. As a pressure group on legislators to enact these reforms, Civil Society Organisations can
play a significant role in raising awareness of the need for prison reforms.
It’s time to start implementing the jail reform proposals that have already been made by several expert committees
Topic for mains
- “Reforms in prisons are essential to reforming prisoners.” Discuss in light of the main issues Indian jails face. (200 words, 12.5 marks)
- Prisons are designed to aid in rehabilitation, but due to a mental health crisis, they have turned into dehumanizing environments. In light of the just-released NCRB Prison Statistics India Report, discuss [10 points, 150 words].
Best Online Coaching for Civil Service_IAS_ UPSC_IFS_IPS
once said: Hate the Crime and Not the Criminal | GS Paper 4 | Ethics and Essay Paper
#Mahatmagandhi #political #NCRB_Report #Criminal #Hate_the_Crime #EssayPaper #GSPaper4 #Ethics #UPSC #civil_services_study #ensemble_ias_academy #geography_optional #k_siddharthasir #ias #upsc_exam #civilservices #upsc_motivation #upsc_aspirants #trendsingeography