Preventing Prisons from Becoming a Breeding Ground for Anti-National Activity: MHA Writes to States and UTs | India News

NEW DELHI: The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has written to all States and Union Territories and their prison authorities to take effective action to prevent prisons from becoming a breeding ground for anti-national activities.
For this, the ministry, in a decree published on Monday, proposed to carry out a regular inspection of prisons. The order also stressed the need to take appropriate measures to strengthen security arrangements and implement effective administration in prisons.
In the order, which was issued Monday to the ACS and the Principal Secretary (Home) of all states and UT as well as the Chief Executive Officer or Inspector General (Prisons), it is ordered that inmates be motivated to leave the life of crime behind and become responsible citizens of the nation.
In this order, states and UTs are urged to expedite various measures to strengthen prison administration and ensure prison security.
It was suggested that states and UTs strengthen and improve medical facilities in prisons so as to reduce the requirement of dismissal of inmates outside the prison complex.
It is suggested that the psychological assessment of inmates be carried out by knowledgeable health professionals to reduce depression in inmates and provide them with a positive outlook on life.
“Assessment of inmates by psychologists and correctional experts may be carried out wherever necessary to investigate inmates’ stress and behavioral problems and appropriate programs may be prescribed for them,” the order states.
The order emphasized the need to train prison and correctional staff stressing that they play an important role in the effective management of prisons.
“States and UTs may identify and establish appropriate training institutes to provide regular training to prison staff on various aspects of prisons and prison administration.”
The order advises that prison staff be encouraged to use innovative methods for better prison administration and that they also receive appropriate training in this regard, and that “non-habitual criminals among prisoners should be trained to provide training to other inmates”.
To discourage complacency and corrupt practices in prisons, the order emphasizes that prison staff may be rotated on a regular basis. “Inter-prison (not intra-prison) transfer of staff every two years is considered desirable.”
The order also suggests restricting unnecessary movement of prison staff in and out of prison and for which it says to keep proper entry and exit records of prison staff.
He points out that the prison structure and the perimeter wall of all prisons should be inspected and, as far as possible, “it can be ensured that the distance between the outer wall and the wall of the ward or compound of the prison is designed in such a way that incidents of throwing contraband from outside the prison are not possible”.
It further calls for periodic background checks of NGOs involved in prison activities and that “appropriate monitoring may also be exercised over the literature available in prison libraries to ensure that prisoners are not negatively influenced”.
The order goes on to focus on ensuring effective jamming solutions through the use of modern technological advancements to restrict the illegal access or use of cell phones by inmates.
In the end, the order suggests that first-time offenders and repeat offenders be separated and housed in separate wards or prison complexes to ensure that repeat offenders are not able to negatively influence first-time offenders.
Considering the importance of prisons in the criminal justice system, the order also mentions that the Government of India constantly endeavors to share the latest guiding principles, best practices, Supreme Court guidance and commission recommendations. permanent parliamentarians on the effectiveness of prisons. Administration, with states and UTs.
Referring to the 2016 Model Prison Manual, released to all states and UTs in May 2016, the order says it was also a step in that direction and aimed to standardize the basic principles governing prisons nationwide. .
“Despite constant monitoring by the Department of the Interior, many states have yet to confirm the status of adoption of the Model Prisons Handbook, 2016 in their jurisdictions.