Why is it in the news?
- The act was suggested by the central government to implement in the states. It aims to comprehensively address prison administration issues.
- It replaces the Prisons Act (1894) and incorporates relevant provisions from the Prisoners Act (1900) and Transfer of Prisoners Act (1950).
Features of the Model Act
- High Security Prison: Establishment of independent, self-sufficient prisons with enhanced security systems. Includes independent court complexes for housing gangsters and hardened criminals.
- Directorate of Prisons and Correctional Services: To implement prison policies and coordinate various prison and correctional services.
- Classification of Prisoners: Broad categories include Civil, Criminal, Convicted, Undertrial, Detenues, Habitual Offenders, and Recidivists.
- Segregate Accommodation: Provides separate facilities for various categories of prisoners. Addresses special needs of women, transgender individuals, and others.
- Staff Welfare Wing: To be established by the Head of Prisons and Correctional Services. Aids the government in implementing welfare measures for prison staff.
- Use of Technology: Aims to computerize the entire prison administration. Integrates the database with the Interoperable Criminal Justice System.
- Use of Electronic Tracking Devices: Implemented for prisoners granted leave. For instance, Jammu and Kashmir police introduced GPS tracker anklets for monitoring terror accused individuals out on bail.
- Prisoners’ Health Care: Ensures that all prisoners have access to adequate, gender-responsive healthcare facilities.
|Governance of Prisons in India|
· In India, prisons and persons detained therein are constitutionally designated as a ‘State’ subject, falling under the purview of individual state governments.
· However, due to the critical role of prisons in the overall Criminal Justice System, the Ministry of Home Affairs has consistently offered guidance and support to both states and union territories in effectively managing and administering their prison systems. This collaborative approach aims to ensure the proper functioning of prisons and the safeguarding of prisoners’ rights and welfare across the country.