Revising the outdated prison manual, the Odisha government has issued the new Odisha Model Jail Manual, 2020, which includes the judicial and legislative changes related to jails made over the past 78 years.
According to the state government, the revision was necessitated as per the direction of the Government of India to bring around uniformity among all States and Union Territories on procedures to be adopted for Jail administration and correctional services.
The Bureau of Police Research and Development, New Delhi, had in 2016 prescribed a Model Prison Manual incorporating various provisions enshrined in various court decisions of Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission guidelines in respect of children and women, legal aid to prisoners, etc.
Accordingly, a draft jail manual was prepared on recommended 32 chapters to cater to needs of our state which have been vetted by the Government in Law Department.
The previous Odisha Jail Manual, 1942 had some extra chapters, which have also been retained in new jail manual (16 chapters) which have been thoroughly scrutinized and vetted by the Law Department.
Speaking on the development, Odisha Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services Santosh Upadhyay on Monday said that the new manual incorporates the judicial and legislative changes made over the years and guarantees more facilities and rights to the prisoners.
"BPRD, which looks after research related to police and prison, had constituted a committee of experts including jurist, advocates, police officers, etc to bring a uniform prison manual for all the States and UTs of the country," Upadhyay said.
"Accordingly, BPRD suggested a sample model in 2016 for all states with the basic purpose of bringing uniformity as all the states had different nomenclature because of the pre-scenario. Over the years, various judicial pronouncements have taken place including that by the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission and the Legislature," he added.
Upadhyay said that these rights have granted to the inmates were incorporated within the framework of the law under the new manual.
He said that the new manual lays down the procedure for board of visitors, canteen facilities, provision of laundry, hygiene, quantification of leave, parole, furlows, children staying with mothers and the segregations of different criminals.