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UP jails to go hi-tech, courtesy Tihar model

If a set of senior officials of the Uttar Pradesh prison department have its way, then the overcrowded Uttar Pradesh jails may go hi-tech, implementing the model followed in Tihar Jail.

The group of officials are already in New Delhi studying the management and reform schemes launched for prison inmates in Tihar.

Computerised system for maintaining records of all inmates is the strength of Tihar jail. This streamlines the system for counting, sending people for court hearings and and others. Inmates housed in the Tihar Jail have a smart card facility as well. This smart card is credited with Rs 1500, which the inmates use to fulfill their basic needs like buying food from canteens and so on.  The Tihar jail administration also makes arrangements to impart skill to the inmates and also runs a music band called Flying Squad, enthralling people at various platforms.

The UP team led by ADG prisons Rajesh Pratap Singh is in the capital studying how the jail administration ain Tihar is making the best utilisation of space. The officials have plans to implement the Tihar model in the state’s big prisons like Dasna and Naini.

Jail Minister Raghuraj Pratap Singh said, there are reports about inmates’ money being stolen by other fellow inmates. ‘The inmates could utilise this money in a better way. In Tihar, they have the Smart Card system, which is very useful. We want to implement the system in the jails of UP jails,’ he said.

The team is expected to submit a proposal of jail reforms to the state government within a month’s time.

‘We have skilled people inside jail. The government wants to utilize these talents for better purposes. This will help the government in bringing them to the mainstream,’ said Raghuraj Singh.

Detailing the problems clogging UP jails, Singh said, ‘Overcrowding is the main issue in our jails as we have three times more inmates than the capacity. Against the capacity to house 47,048 inmates in the Central, district, women jail and juvenile prisons, there are 77,288 prisoners at present.’

However, he pointed out that the situation in  women and Juvenile prisons were better than the district and central jails. In Shahjahanpur, against the capacity of 511, there are over 2000 prisoners while.

There are 27,219 convicted and over 50,000 undertrial prisoners lodged in different jails. The minister added, 13 jails are under construction in the state.
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