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National Conference on ‘Criminal Activities and Radicalization in Jails’

  • 14 Sep 2019
  • 4 min read

Recently, a National Conference on ‘Criminal Activities and Radicalization in Jails: Vulnerability of Inmates and Jail Staff and their Protection’ was held in New Delhi.

  • The two-day conference was organized by the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D).
  • The conference will focus on the following issues:
    • To consider vulnerabilities at individual and gang levels and to suggest safety measures for the same.
    • To understand various facets of radicalization as well as de-radicalization in prisons.
    • To analyze and formulate the security and protection standards for prison staff.
    • To provide an interdisciplinary platform for correctional personnel to exchange and share their experience on prison reforms.
  • The conference enforced an aspect of “Correctional Administration” in Prison reforms.

Correctional Administration

  • A program that prepares individuals to plan and manage institutional facilities and programs for housing and rehabilitating prisoners in the public and/or private sectors.
  • Correctional Administration includes:
    • Programme of the welfare of convicts/undertrials
    • Rehabilitation after release.
    • Involvement of Community.
  • It also emphasized to convert the prison as a centre of reformation.
  • Challenges addressed during the conference include:
    • Aggravation of sufferings during the process of imprisonment.
    • Rehabilitating and streamlining convicts back into society,
    • Overcrowding in prisons,
    • A large number of under-trials,
    • Inadequate prison infrastructure,
    • Criminal activities and radicalization in jails,
    • Safety of women prisoners and their young children,
    • Shortage of funds and staff for proper prison administration.

Rights of Prisoners

  • Article 21 of Indian Constitution enforces “Right to Life” as a Fundamental Right.
  • The Imprisonment itself is a punishment for a convicted person thus prison conditions should not be an additional punishment.
  • Imprisonment deprives someone of their liberty and impacts on certain other rights, such as freedom of movement, but human rights and fundamental freedoms of convicts shall not be restricted.

Prison Administration in India

  • Article 39(A) of Indian Constitution states that State shall ensure Equal Justice and Free Legal Aid for poor.
  • Prisons being a State subject, its modernisation is undertaken by respective State Governments.
  • In a number of judgements on various aspects of prison administration, the Supreme Court of India has laid down three broad principles:
    • A person in prison does not become a non-person.
    • A person in prison is entitled to all human rights within the limitations of imprisonment.
    • There is no justification in aggravating the suffering already inherent in the process of incarceration.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs is supporting the States/UTs in implementing the E-Prisons Project and has issued the Model Prison Manual.
    • E-Prisons Project.
      • It aims to introduce efficiency in prison management through digitization.
      • It supplements the Prisoner Information Management system (PIMS), which provides a centralized approach for recording and managing prisoner information.
    • Model Prison Manual
      • It mentions Legal Aid, provides detailed information about the legal services available to prison inmates and also free legal services available to them.
      • It is intended to provide assistance to under trial prison inmates.
  • The National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) had also launched a web application to facilitate the under trial prisoners for providing them with free legal services.

Source: PIB

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