Govt initiates 2nd phase of jail reforms to reduce overcrowding

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New Delhi, Oct 21 (UNI) To reduce overcrowding in jails, the government has initiated work on the second phase of the scheme to reduce the congestion, the Lok Sabha was informed today.

Apart from technical upgradation of prisons, training to jail staff and initiative on correctional services, during the second phase the main emphasis has been given to construction of new jails/additional barracks so that at the end of it, the congestion may be reduced to the minimal, Minister of State for Home Shakeel Ahmad said in a written reply.

As per the data compiled by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), the total number of prisoners in the country at the end of 2006 were 3,73,271 against a prison capacity of 2,63,911. So, the overcrowding was to the extent of 41.4 per cent.

Earlier, to improve the condition of jails and prisoners, the Central government started a non-plan scheme in 2002-03 for construction of additional prisons/barracks to reduce the overcrowding, repair and renovation of existing prisons, improvement in sanitation and water supply and living conditions of prisoners as also accommodation for prison staff.

The scheme is being implemented over a period of five years with a total outlay of Rs 18,00 crore on cost sharing basis in the ratio of 75:25 between the Central and State Governments respectively. The scheme has since been extended upto March 31,2009.

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