Tamil Nadu has the lowest occupancy rate in prisons at 61.3 per cent in comparison with other states, the annual report for 2017 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) revealed. Uttar Pradesh topped the list of jailbirds with 165 percent, followed by Chhattisgarh with 157.2 and Madhya Pradesh with 137.2 percent, the report showed.
The occupancy rate is measured on the basis of the number of prisoners against the authorized capacity of 100 inmates.
As of 2017 data, Tamil Nadu houses 5,213 convicts in jail compared to 27,501 in Uttar Pradesh. Interestingly, out of 1,361 prisons in the country, Tamil Nadu has 138 prisons, the highest in the country.
The total available capacity of prisons in the country stands at 3,91,574. In this, UP has reported the highest capacity (58,400) followed by Bihar (39,913), Madhya Pradesh (28,227), Maharashtra (24,475), Punjab (23,318) and Tamil Nadu (22,792). However, despite a large capacity, Tamil Nadu confined only 13,969 prisoners out of 4,50,696.
There are various types of jail institutions like central jails, district jails, sub jails besides other establishments like women jails, borstal schools, open jails, and special jails. According to NCRB, out of 1,361 jails in the country, Tamil Nadu has 138 types of jails – the highest in the country. It has 96 district jails, five women jails, and 12 borstal schools. Apart from this, the state also has the presence of nine central Jails, three open jails, and three special jails. In district jails, Tamil Nadu has an occupancy rate of 40.19 percent and in borstal, 256 inmates are confined out of total 579. Despite the presence of a large number of women jails, Tamil Nadu recorded the lowest in occupancy rate with 24.38 percent.
In Tamil Nadu, the capacity of prisons was for 22,792 inmates. However, the occupancy rate in these prisons is much low. There is a total of 13,368 male inmates and 601 female inmates and 112 foreigners. The number of undertrials in Tamil Nadu also stands at 7,946. Also, the state has reported the highest number of detainees (810) out of 2,096 Indian nationals inmates. In terms of escapees, 24 inmates tried to flee the prisons and 22 of them were caught.
A total of six convicts were serving capital punishment and 2,495 inmates life imprisonment.