Ludhiana, Amritsar jails among most overcrowded in Punjab
Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala jails are among most overcrowded in Punjab, according to a report filed by the inspector general of police, jails (headquarters) in the Punjab and Haryana high court
Chandigarh : Ludhiana, Amritsar and Patiala jails are among most overcrowded in Punjab, according to a report filed by the inspector general of police, jails (headquarters) in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
The report has been filed in a 2016 suo motu plea in which the court is monitoring facilities such as health, infrastructure and de-addiction facilities and availability of specialised doctors in Punjab jails.
According to the data submitted in the HC by IG jails (headquarters) Roop Kumar, Ludhiana is the most overcrowded jail in the state with 1,071 more male inmates than its capacity. Amritsar jail has 912 more inmates, Patiala 642, Roopnagar 569 and Hoshiarpur 424. However, there is no overcrowding in most jails with women prisoners, the data reveals.
The data further says that Punjab jails have 116 male prisoners lodged against the capacity to accommodate 100. Till March 31, 2023, a total of 29,970 male and female inmates were lodged in jails against the capacity of 26,556. The inmates include 28,357 males, 1,613 females against the capacity of 24,371 males and 2,185 females. There are 44 children living with their mothers in jails, the data reveals.
The report says that of the total 29,970 prisoners, 23,467 are undertrials and 6,503 are convicts.
Punjab has 26 prisons of various categories and against the sanctioned posts of 42 medical officers for central and district jails, 33 have been filled. Medical officers are posted in prisons on rotational basis, the report says, adding that eight medical officers have also been posted where there are no sanctioned posts in the jails.
the report further adds that specialist doctors such as dentists, skin specialists, medicine psychiatrists, gynaecologists etc also visit jails to monitor the health of inmates regularly. To deal with emergency medical conditions, 22 ambulances have been provided besides 15 prison vans, as per the affidavit filed in the HC.
42% inmates lodged under NDPS Act
According to the report, 42% of inmates in Punjab jails have drugs cases registered against them. A large number of 12,522 prisoners of the total 29,970 were arrested in NDPS cases. In this category, 9,309 male prisoners and 565 females are undertrials and 2,522 males and 126 females are convicts.
The report further says that 1 lakh inmates have been treated in de-addiction centres since 2012 and 42,000 in outpatient opioid-assisted treatment (OOAT) specialised clinics, which replaced de-addiction centres in 2018. The report also says there are 17 OOATs, besides some de-addiction centres