Guidelines for Implementation of “Modernization of Prisons” Project

Guidelines for Implementation of “Modernization of Prisons” Project

The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued guidelines for the implementation of the Prisons Modernization Project.

The guidelines include the following:

  • The Ministry of Home Affairs will provide grants-in-aid to the states for a period of 5 years (from 2021-22 to 2025-26).
  • This grant will be given on the basis of number of undertrials, jail staff etc.
  • The project will cover all prisons including Central Prison, District Jail, Women’s Jail, Open Jail etc.
  • Key components include video conference infrastructure, body-mounted cameras, door frames, metal detectors, etc.

Major Objectives of Prisons Modernization Project

  • Addressing the existing gaps in the security infrastructure of prisons.
  • Providing new security equipment to prisons in line with modern day technologies.
  • Focus on ‘corrective administration’. This includes bringing about behavioral changes by changing the mindset of the prison officers through extensive training. In addition, it also includes introducing suitable programs for prisoners.

Significance of Prison Reforms:

  • Prisons and their administration are subjects of the State List in the Seventh Schedule. They are an integral part of the criminal justice system of the country.
  • Jails play an important role in keeping criminals away from the society.
  • Prison reforms help in the process of reformation of the offender and re-integration with the society.

Other measures taken by the Central Government:

  • E-Jail Project: It aims to bring efficiency in prison management through digitization.
  • Model Jail Manual 2016 has been distributed to all the States and Union Territories for their guidance.

Current problems of prisons:

  • Overcrowding: In the year 2019, prisons had 118.5% more prisoners than their capacity.
  • Indiscipline, aggression and violence by prisoners has been a major problem.
  • Lack of modern security system etc.

Source – The Hindu

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