MHA issues advisory to States/UTs on Prison Reforms

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written a letter to the Principal Secretary/Secretary Home (In-charge of Prisons) of all States and Union Territories on the resolutions adopted by 5th National Conference of Heads of Prisons of States/UTs on Prison Reforms, which was held at New Delhi on September 29-30, 2016 and attended by 150 delegates from various States/UTs, CPOs, NGOs etc. After detailed deliberations on various aspects of prison administration, some important resolutions were adopted for guidance and implementation by the State/UT Prison authorities. The State/UT Governments have been accordingly advised to consider for implementation the following suggestions which are aimed at having an effective prison administration system:

(i) The nomenclature of Prisons Department may be changed to “Prisons and Correctional Administration”, which should have integrated prison, correctional and probation services.

(ii) Every State should establish a Welfare Wing under Prison Department comprising Welfare Officers, Law Officers, Counselors and Probation Officers.

(iii) In order to ensure basic uniformity in prison rules and regulations, all States and Union Territories should revise their existing Prison Manuals by adopting the provisions of Model Prison Manual, 2016 prepared by Ministry of Home Affairs & circulated to all States and UTs in May 2016.

(iv) The Prisons should be linked with Courts through video conferencing for expeditious trial and to save costs in escorting under-trials to the Courts.

(v) The existing vacancies in all ranks of Prison Departments to be filled up expeditiously.

(vi) Prison e-system should be integrated with Crime and Criminal Tracking Network & Systems (CCTNS) as well as e-Courts on priority basis.

(vii) Combined training of Prison, Police, Health Department and Judiciary on under-trial Management to be conducted periodically. Separate training course on de-radicalization of prisoners should also be conducted.

The States and UTs have been advised to make concerted efforts to implement the same in a time bound manner, which will go a long way in alleviating the condition of prison inmates and bring the desired improvement in prison administration and to intimate the updated status of implementation of the above advice.

Ministry of Home Affairs

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