Prison data shows urgent need for new facilities in state


Pune: There is a dire need for additional new prison space in Maharashtra, with the number of inmates refusing to come down and only increasing exponentially despite the country being stranded for almost a year due to of the pandemic.

According to data from Maharashtra prison released on July 17 this year for 2019-2020, overcrowding peaked in 2019-2020 despite the release of 71,949 inmates, including 10,501 convicted and over 61,000 people awaiting trial. . Central prisons released 1,122 people on bail and 380 people on parole in 2019, which is also a fraction of the number released during the decongestion process mandated by the Supreme Court (SC) in 2020. The state released more than 10,000 inmates on emergency parole and interim release. Other detainees have been released this year.

However, there are a lot of people stuck in prisons because they are unable to meet the criteria mentioned in their conditional bond; either they do not have the money to pay the deposit, or they do not have a guarantor who will take responsibility for it. There are two private organizations working with the prison service to provide corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds in such cases. Although a number of methods are in place to reduce overcrowding, the urgent need for more prison space and a reduction in the number of days required to conclude court cases cannot be emphasized enough.

In the case of Mumbai Central Prison, the lease for the land on which it is built expires in 2024. In addition, the prison has the highest rate of congestion with a population of nearly 3,000 and a capacity of only 800. Therefore, Sunil Ramanand, Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Prison, Maharashtra, said the need for a new facility for the city at the earliest. A 15-acre piece of land belonging to the Department of Women’s and Children’s Development near the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Chembur, has been identified for this purpose.

On July 13, ADG Ramanand declared that the chairman of the committee was the Minister of the Interior.

In addition, as Mumbai Central Prison has no possibility of expansion, the Prison Service has proposed five new prisons in Maharashtra – Mumbai, Gondia, Hingoli, Palghar and Pune. Interior Minister Dilip Walse-Patil, while publishing the statistics, discussed these proposals on Saturday with ADG Ramanand.

Recently, Professor Vijay Raghavan of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) was authorized by the Bombay High Court to contact the high-level committee (HPC) formed to provide suggestions on prison reforms. The court did so after the professor suggested strict adherence to the rules of the Probation of Offenders Act, 1958 in order to decongest prisons.

Number of inmates in Maha prisons

Overcrowded state prisons underscored need for more prison space and reduced number of days to complete court cases

2015-16

Total capacity: 23,592

Total occupancy: 29,806

2016-17

Total capacity: 23,592

Total occupancy: 31,214

2017-18

Total capacity: 23,592

Total occupancy: 32,927

2018-19

Total capacity: 24,032

Total occupancy: 36,366

2019-20

Total capacity: 24,032

Total occupancy: 35,746

Central prisons

Amravati

March 2018: 1066

March 2019: 1224

March 2020: 1318

June 30, 2021: 1,096

Nagpur

2018: 2,169

2019: 2 253

2020: 2 345

June 30, 2021: 2,406

Aurangabad

2018: 1,091

2019: 1307

2020: 1753

June 30, 2021: 1,191

Nashik Road

2018: 3,265

2019: 3 367

2020: 2,756

June 30, 2021: 2381

Kolhapur

2018: 1,941

2019: 2 258

2020: 2228

June 30, 2021: 2038

Yerawada

2018: 5,036

2019: 5,565

2020: 5,693

June 30, 2021: 5575

Bombay

2018: 2,766

2019: 3 095

2020: 2 953

June 30, 2021: 2967

Thane

2018: 3,184

2019: 3,296

2020: 3,716

June 30, 2021: 3,647

Taloja

2018: 2614

2019: 3237

2020: 2,635



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