Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh Thursday approved a series of measures, including artificial intelligence-enabled CCTV system, live wire fencing and creation of a separate prison intelligence wing, to make jails more secure. He also gave the go-ahead to a legislation to establish the ‘Punjab Prison Development Board’ in the ongoing Budget session.
While accepting the Prison Department’s proposal for live wire fencing (220/440 volts) along the outer walls of jails, Amarinder also approved the installation of an AI-enabled CCTV system in nine central jails, seven district jails and two special jails.
Chairing a meeting to review the functioning of the Prisons Department, Amarinder asked Jails Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa to ensure that the best practices of prison administration are followed in the jails and also directed the department to submit, within four weeks, a comprehensive plan for restructuring the jails. He asked ADGP (Jails) Praveen Kumar Sinha to prepare a plan for restructuring, realigning and launching of new schemes encompassing correctional measures for reformation of prisoners, an official spokesperson said.
To cut the expenses involved in presenting undertrials in courts (around Rs 40-50 lakh a day), the CM approved the department’s proposal to install video conferencing system at all jails. He also gave go ahead for filling up 305 posts of warders, already approved by Officers’ Committee and the Cabinet, in addition to another 448 posts of warders and 28 posts of matrons lying vacant. He also conceded the department’s demand of 37 additional vehicles to augment mobility within the prisons.
To beef up the security at Ludhiana Central Jail, Amarinder approved construction of a double barbed wire inner boundary wall and three additional watch towers. He also approved replacement of the outer boundary wall of Patiala Central Jail.
The CM asked the department to work out the modalities for getting inmates treated for serious diseases at the specialised private hospitals under Sarbat Sehat Bima Yojana.
Detailed presentations were made by former DGP Jails Telangana and currently the Director Telangana State Police Academy Vinoy Kumar Singh and Director IIM Rohtak Dheeraj Sharma on issues relating to modernisation and reforms in the jails.
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