Indian jails remained overcrowded and under-staffed in 2019: NCRB data

NEW DELHI: Jails across India remained overcrowded in 2019 with these facilities lodging 4.78 lakh prisoners against the actual capacity of 4.03 lakh, reveals the latest data by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
On the other hand, the prisons were under-staffed with a sanctioned strength of 87,599, while the actual strength was 60,787 as on December 31, 2019, the data showed.
The actual capacity of prisons has increased to 4.03 lakh in 2019 from 3.91 lakh in 2017 and 3.96 lakh in 2018 (as on December 31 of these respective years), it said.
The number of prisoners lodged in various jails increased to 4.78 lakh in 2019 from 4.50 lakh in 2017 and 4.66 lakh in 2018 (as on December 31 of each year).
The total number of prisons in the country were 1,361, 1,339 and 1,350 at the end of 2017, 2018 and 2019, respectively. The occupancy rates during the period rose steadily at 115.1 per cent, 117.6 per cent and 118.5 per cent, respectively, according to the data.
Out of the 4.78 lakh prisoners in 2019, 4.58 lakh were men and 19,913 women, the NCRB, under the Union home ministry, stated.
The total 1,350 prisons in the country in 2019 consisted of 617 sub jails, 410 district jails, 144 central jails, 86 open jails, 41 special jails, 31 women jails, 19 Borstal School and two other jails, it added.
The central jails of the country had the highest capacity of inmates (1.77 lakh) followed by district jails (1.58 lakh) and sub jails (45,071) last year.
Among the other types of jails, special jails, open jails and women jails had the capacity of 7,262, 6,113 and 6,511 inmates, respectively, as on December 31, 2019, the data said.
The highest number of inmates were lodged in central jails (2.20 lakh) followed by district jails (2.06 lakh) and sub jails (38,030).
The total number of inmates in women jails were 3,652, the data showed.
The highest occupancy rate was in district jails (129.7 per cent) followed by central jails (123.9 per cent) and sub jails (84.4 per cent). The occupancy rate in women jails was 56.1 per cent by the end of 2019, it showed.
According to the data, the sanctioned strength of jail staff was 87,599, while the actual strength was 60,787 by the end of 2019.
Among the jail staff, the sanctioned strength of officers (DG/Additional DG/IG, DIG, AIG, superintendent) was 7,239, but the actual strength was 4,840.
Similarly, the sanctioned strength for jail cadre staff (head warder, head matron, warder) and correctional staff (probation officer or welfare officer, psychologist/psychiatrist) was 72,273 and 1,307, respectively, while their actual strength was 51,126 and 761, respectively last year, the NCRB data said.
The sanctioned strength of medical staff was 3,320, while the actual strength was 1,962 as on December 31, 2019. The actual strength of women jail officers and staff was 7,794 (including 254 medical staff) that year, the data added.

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