The Union Home Minister, Shri Rajnath Singh has emphasised on the need of prison reforms, by using technology and improving the infrastructure. Addressing the National Seminar on Prison Reforms organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), here today, he said that the prisons should be modernized. Shri Singh said that the prisons should not be seen only as places of confinement, but also for reforming the prisoners. He said that the prisoners should be imparted appropriate skill training.
Shri Rajnath Singh said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has already issued Advisories to state governments on the basis of recommendations by the NHRC and the Supreme Court of India. The Minister said that the phase 1 of modernization of prisons concluded in 2009 and phase 2 of the modernization scheme will be taken up from February 2015.
Stressing the need of checking the overcrowding in prisons, he expressed concern that two-third of those living in prisons are under-trials. The Union Home Minister said that this aspect should be addressed by setting up fast-track courts. The Minister also said that centre has asked the states to set up model prisons and only 6 states have set up such prisons so far. Efforts will be taken to set up more model prisons, he added. The Minister said that care should be taken of health and hygiene needs of the prisoners. Shri Rajnath Singh said that due care needs to be taken of women prisoners and their children staying with them there.
The Union Home Minister thanked the NHRC for discussing and making recommendations on prison reforms and assured that the centre will put all-out efforts to get them implemented by the state governments. The Minister also assured that he will also visit some jails to check whether the recommendations are being properly implemented.
Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chairman, NHRC, other members and officials of the NHRC were present on the occasion.