Panel to tackle the issue of children living in prisons

Supreme Court directed the government to form a panel headed by a retired judge of the Supreme Court to tackle the issue of children living in prisons, most of them are there because of their mothers are convicts.

The panned headed by apex court retired judge will also consists of two or three Central government officers, the aim is to study the problems of mothers and children living inside prisons.

The court also ordered to circulate manuals to Director General of Prisons and Secretaries of Prison Department in each State Government/UT and also to three training institutes.

Why such a move is needed ?
According a report India has 18 jails exclusively for women, while other jails have separate areas for women, yet these jails are not modelled to house women inmates with minor children staying with them.

The constitution guarantees fundamental right to life and dignity of the prisoners, therefore the importance of prison reforms should be highlighted and related concerns should be resolved.

More than 240 jails across the country are holding inmates 150 per cent above their normal capacity. Staff-prisoner ratio is also worse, in UP about 5000 prison staff monitor over 92,000 inmates.

Way ahead
Taking a note of the already overflowing prisons, the court advised the government to allocate social service duties to criminals having a sentence of six months to a year, rather them sending the to already occupied jails.

Additionally 60 per cent of under-trial prisoners behind the bars, need not actually be arrested. Again, half of those arrested, need not be remanded, but they are still remanded

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