Packed like sardines: AP central jails overcrowded, understaffed

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  18 Jan 2020 3:37 AM GMT
Packed like sardines: AP central jails overcrowded, understaffed

Visakhapatnam: Four main prisons across Andhra Pradesh are packed beyond their capacity and are being managed by too few staff, says the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau. These central jails are located in Vizag, Rajahmundry, Nellore, and Kadapa.

Against their combined capacity of 3,814 prisoners, the central jails in AP had 4,212 prisoners, including 163 female inmates, in 2018, taking the occupancy rate to 110.4 per cent. In 2017, these jails had 4,690 prisoners, while the figure was 4,126 in 2016, said the NCRB report.

Officials said a spurt in the number of undertrials has made the central jails overcrowded. S Rahul, Superintendent of Vizag Central Prison, said undertrials comprise about 60 per cent of the prisoners in the central jails.

The facilities are also struggling with poor manpower and are understaffed by at least 24 per cent.

The overall occupancy rate in all 105 jails – central jails, sub-jails, district jails, women jail, open jails – in AP was 79.5 per cent in 2018. A total of 6,988 prisoners, including 414 female inmates, were in various prisons in the state against their total capacity of 8,786.

A total of 2,373 convicts prisoners were in the central and other jails in the state. Of these inmates, 1,574 were involved in murders, while 163 were doing time in rape cases.

Senior advocate K Muralidhar said that some undertrial prisoners who were involved in ganja transportation and few other cases are struggling to get bail due to various reasons. "As more youngsters take to activities like cybercrime and ganja trade for easy money, there is a need to increase the capacity of the central jails in the state."

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