Modernisation of Prisons Project
May 16, 2022
Modernisation of Prisons Project
Q Why is it in News ?
A Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued guidelines to states and Union Territories asking them to Modernize Prisons under the Modernisation of Prisons Project.
Q What is the Need of Modernisation of Prisons Project?
- They are Important Part of Justice System:
- Prisons are an important and integral part of the Criminal Justice System of the country.
- They not only play the critical role in keeping the offenders in custodial segregation but also help in the process of their reformation and reintegration with the society through various correctional programmes in the Jails.
- Indian Prisons Face three Long-Standing Structural Constraints:
- Understaffing and underfunding and
- Violent clashes.
Q What is the Modernisation of Prisons Project?
- The Government of India has decided to provide financial assistance to States and UTs, through the Project for using modern-day security equipment in Prisons for:
- Enhancing the security of jails.
- To facilitate the task of reformation and rehabilitation of prisoners through correctional administration programmes.
- Duration: The duration of the project is for five years - 2021-26.
- Grant: The Central Government will provide Grant in aid to States and UTs for implementation of the project.
- Grants-in-aid are payments in the nature of assistance, donations or contributions made by one government to another government, body, institution or individual.
- Implementation Strategy: MHA shall provide funds to States/UTs depending upon the number of prisons in a State/UT, number of prison inmates, jail staff, etc.
- The proposal of funding will be decided by the Steering Committee constituted for implementation of the modernization of prisons project.
- Coverage: The project will cover all States and Union Territories and shall broadly cover the following prison types- Central Jails, District Jails, Sub-Jails, Women Jails, Open Jails, Special Jails etc.
Q What are the Objectives of the Scheme?
- Filling the existing gaps in security infrastructure of jails.
- Providing new security equipment to jails in line with modern day technologies.
- Strengthening the jail security system through security equipment like Door Frame/ Metal Detectors/ Security Poles, Baggage Scanners/ Frisking/ Search/ Jamming Solutions etc.
- Focus on correctional administration, which includes bringing attitudinal change in the mindset of prison officials handling inmates through extensive training and by introducing appropriate programs for inmates for their skill development and rehabilitation, including engagement of trained correctional experts, behavioural experts, psychologists, etc.
Q What are other Related Initiatives of the Government?
- Modernization of Prisons scheme: The scheme for modernisation of prisons was launched in 2002-03 with the objective of improving the condition of prisons, prisoners and prison personnel.
- E-Prisons Project: The E-Prisons project aims to introduce efficiency in prison management through digitization.
- Model Prison Manual 2016: The manual provides detailed information about the legal services (including free services) available to prison inmates.
- National Legal Services Authority (NALSA ): It was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987 which came into force on 9th November, 1995 to establish a nationwide uniform network for providing free and competent legal services to the weaker sections of the society.