Human Rights Day Today: State’s Prison Overcrowded By 164%

Human Rights Day Today: State’s Prison Overcrowded By 164%

MP has the fifth highest prison occupancy rate in the country

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, December 09, 2023, 10:26 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The state stood fifth in the prison occupancy rate with 164%, which is 33% higher than the national figure of 131%.

Delhi has the most overcrowded jails in the country, with an occupancy rate of 184%, followed by Uttarakhand (183%) and Uttar Pradesh (179%).

Prison occupancy rate denotes the state of overcrowding in prisons. Forcing prisoners to live in overcrowded jails amounts to a violation of human rights.

According to the latest Prison Statistics India 2022, published by the NCRB, the total capacity of jails in Madhya Pradesh is 29,715 inmates, which is the third highest in the country. Uttar Pradesh ranks number one with a capacity of 67,600, followed by Bihar (47,750).

However, the total population of prisoners in MP is 48,857— 64% higher than the capacity. The capacity of male and female prisoners in the state’s jails is 27,795 and 1,916, respectively, whereas their actual numbers are 46,946 and 1,911, respectively. The total number of children in MP jails is 133, who are living with 123 women inmates. Around 55% of the prisoners are undertrial, whereas 44% are convicts. It means that the crime of a majority of prisoners is yet to be proved.

The state has 132 prisons, including 11 central, 4 district, 73 sub and 7 open jails. There is no separate jail for women in the state.

Of the 48,857 prisoners, 23,527 were taken outside the jail premises for medical treatment. It means that around 48% prisoners had to be taken to hospitals. It shows the poor condition of medical facilities in the jails and also that a large number of prisoners are falling ill due to various reasons. As many as 622 prisoners (461 convicts and 161 undertrials) are suffering from mental illness. UP ranks first with 2,113 cases of mental illnesses among prisoners, followed by Kerala (854) and Odisha (820).

The number of deaths in prisons in MP 2022 was 139—fifth highest in the country. Of them, 125 were natural deaths and five were unnatural. The reasons behind natural deaths were age factor (1) and diseases (124) including heart related (43), lungs related (17), liver related (1), kidney related (4), HIV (1), cancer (10) and TB (6). The factor behind the unnatural death of five prisoners is suicide by hanging (3) and accident (2), respectively.

The number of complaints received by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) from prisoners in the state’s jails was three in 2022, whereas 56 complaints were received by the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC).

MPHRC to hold seminar today

A seminar on Bandiyo ki Swasthya Evam Suraksha ka Adhikar - Manav Adhikar will be held at Golden Jubilee Auditorium of RCVP Noronha Academy of Administration in the city on Sunday.

Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) will organise the event to mark Human Rights Day. Justice Jitendra Kumar Maheshwari and Justice Sujay Paul, Chairman, (governing council), Madhya Pradesh State Judicial Academy, High Court, Jabalpur, will be chief guest and special guest at the inaugural session.

The subject expert will be Vartika Nanda, Head of Department (Department of Journalism), Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi. It will be presided over by Manohar Mamtani, Chairman, MPHRC.

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