The President’s caution on overcrowding of prisons is a wake-up call to the executive and judiciary

Source: The post is based on the article “The President’s caution on overcrowding of prisons is a wake-up call to the executive and judiciary” published in the Indian Express on 28th November 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – Prison reforms

Relevance: About overcrowding of prisons.

News: Recently, the President called the government and the judiciary to address the issue of overcrowding of prisons. The President mentioned that India is “forced to make new prisons because prisons are overcrowded. This raises questions about India’s move towards progress as a society.

Note: Recently, the law minister also suggested that only trial courts ought to decide to grant bail.

What is the present status of the overcrowding of prisons according to Prison Statistics?

Prison Statistics India is a report published by the Ministry of Home Affairs. According to its 2021 edition, a) Between 2016-2021, the number of convicts in jails decreased by 9.5% whereas the number of undertrial inmates increased by 45.8%, b) With three out of four prisoners being undertrials, the problem of overcrowding of prisons is essentially an undertrial issue, c) Around 80% of prisoners were confined for periods up to a year.

What needs to be done to address the overcrowding of prisons?

The government need to tackle the root cause instead of providing bail. Such as addressing the indiscriminate arrest of individuals.

Similarly, the government has to identify those who cannot afford bail and facilitate them with bail.

Read more: About Prison reforms: What numbers don’t tell us

 

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