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Prison Reform Committee's Recommendations & Rationale



  Sep 08, 2023

Supreme Court Committee on Prison Reforms Recommendations and Their Rationale:


The "Supreme Court Committee on Prison Reforms," established by the Supreme Court of India, was tasked with addressing the state of affairs in prisons across the country. The committee, headed by ex-judge Amitava Roy, was formed in compliance with a 2018 order from the Supreme Court. Its purpose was to study and recommend reforms related to various aspects of the prison system, including overcrowding, conditions of inmates, and other related issues.
 

1. Segregation of Inmates:

Recommendation: Mandatory segregation of undertrials, convicts, and first-time offenders during court appearances and hospital visits.
 
Rationale: This measure prevents negative influences and disturbances among different categories of prisoners, maintaining order and reducing the risk of recruitment of criminals within prison premises.
 

2. Special Fast-Track Courts:

Recommendation: Establishment of special fast-track courts to handle petty offenses and cases pending for five years or more.
 
Rationale: This step aims to expedite trials and reduce overcrowding caused by undertrial prisoners, helping to curb the rise in the number of undertrial prisoners languishing in jails.
 

3. Suicide-Proof Barracks:

Recommendation: Construction of suicide-proof barracks with collapsible materials to prevent hanging-related suicides.
 
Rationale: By identifying potential hanging points and creating suicide-resistant cells/barracks, this measure enhances inmate safety and addresses one of the most severe violations of human rights within prisons.
 

4. Welfare Schemes for Transgender Inmates:

Recommendation: Designating a 'complaint officer' for transgender inmates and formulating welfare schemes for their rights and well-being.
 
Rationale: Lack of designated officers and welfare schemes for transgender inmates has been identified as an issue. Addressing this can improve the living conditions and rights of transgender prisoners.
 

5. Cloud-Based Photo Documentation:

Recommendation: Implementation of a cloud-based photo documentation system for project management within the CPWD.
 
Rationale: The smart helmet technology with 360-degree cameras and AI systems enhances communication, project monitoring, and real-time decision-making, leading to efficient project management.
 

6. Addressing Infertility Trends:

Recommendation: Identifying factors contributing to higher infertility rates and addressing age of marriage, lifestyle, biological aspects, and living conditions.
 
Rationale: States with higher infertility rates, especially in southern India, need interventions to address biological, lifestyle, and societal factors leading to infertility among couples.
 

7. Examining Overcrowding and Death in Prisons:

Recommendation: Investigating aspects of overcrowding, death in prisons, and implementing measures to prevent suicides.
 
Rationale: Addressing overcrowding, preventing suicides, and improving the overall conditions of prisons are essential to uphold human rights and provide a safer environment for inmates.
 

8. Ensuring Transparent Communication:

Recommendation: Using photo documentation and cloud-based systems for real-time communication and decision-making.
 
Rationale: Enhancing communication among officials, managers, and stakeholders through visual documentation can improve transparency and facilitate timely decision-making in project management.
 

9. Providing Access to Welfare Schemes:

Recommendation: Extending welfare schemes to transgender inmates and facilitating their access to relevant schemes.
 
Rationale: Extending existing welfare schemes to transgender prisoners and ensuring access can contribute to improving their rights, well-being, and overall living conditions.
 

10. Impact on Reproductive and Productive Lives:

Recommendation: Addressing rising infertility rates and their potential long-term impact on reproductive and productive lives.
 
Rationale: The increasing infertility rate, particularly in southern states, requires attention to prevent adverse consequences on people's reproductive and productive well-being in the future.
 
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