Women jails exiguous in country; female staff minimal

Tamil Nadu and Kerala have maximum women prisons, three each, housing 312 and 127 inmates, respectively.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published:September 7, 2014 12:11 pm

Less than two per cent of the jails in the country are reserved for women, housing 18 per cent of the total female prisoners, according to latest data of National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

Only 20 out of 1,394 jails in the country are exclusively reserved for women and 3,200 out of the overall 16,951 female prisoners of the country are serving their terms in such prisons.

The data also reveals that women staff across jails in the country is less than 25 per cent of the total female inmates’ population.
The strength of women jail staff as on December 31, 2012 stood at 3,935, of which 189 worked at official level while 2,543 women are in the jail cadre staff, the data showed.

Another alarming revelation is that while only one correctional staff (psychologists, counselors and social workers) per 245 women inmates is available, the ratio for medical staff in such prisons stood at one for every 105 inmates. Besides, 646 women are involved in clerical work in the all-women jails, the data said.

According to NCRB, 55 female inmates died within prison premises during 2012 of which 47 were reported as “natural deaths” while five as “suicides” and three as a result of “assault by outsiders”.

Among the states, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have maximum women prisons, three each, housing 312 and 127 inmates, respectively. Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal have two women jails each, while Bihar, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have one women jail each, the data showed.
The lone female prison in the national capital has the highest number of 540 inmates lodged in it, as per the data. Highest number of female inmates was reported to be in the district jails that are 6,842, while 5,092 female inmates are lodged in the central jails across the country.

Among the states, Tamil Nadu houses 482 female prisoners, followed by Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh with 358 and 312 inmates, respectively.

Further, the data states that the highest number of female inmates lodged in Indian prisons were found in Uttar Pradesh with 3,163 inmates, against the jail’s housing capacity.

Maharashtra and West Bengal follow with 1,338 and 1,31 inmates, respectively. It said out of all female inmates, the highest number belongs to the age group of 18-50.

The data said while 4,875 females lodged in jails have been convicted, the number of undertrials stood at more than 11,000.
Of the 636 female foreign nationals imprisoned in Indian jails, 138 have been convicted while others remain undertrial, the data added.

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