Prison Modernization Plan – Today Current Affairs
- Recently, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has issued guidelines to the States and Union Territories to modernize the prisons under the Prisons Modernization Project.
Need for Prison Modernization Plan:
An integral part of the justice system:
- Prisons are an important and integral part of the criminal justice system of the country.
- They not only play an important role in detaining criminals but also help in the process of their reformation and reintegration into the society through various reform programs in prisons.
- Indian prisons are facing three long standing structural constraints which include:
- Overcrowding in prisons.
- Lack of staff and lack of finance.
- Violent confrontation between prisoners.
Today Current Affairs
Prison Modernization Plan:
- It has been decided by the Government of India to provide financial assistance to the States and Union Territories through Prison Modernization Scheme for using modern security equipment in prisons which includes:
- Enhancing the security of prisons.
- To facilitate the task of reform and rehabilitation of prisoners through corrective administrative programmes.
- Duration: The duration of this scheme is five years (Year 2021 to Year 2026).
Grant : The Hindu Analysis
- The Central Government will provide grants-in-aid to the States and Union Territories for the implementation of the project.
- Grants-in-aid is the payment of aid, donation or contribution given by one government to another government, body, institution or person.
Implementation Strategy : The Hindu Analysis
- The Ministry of Home Affairs will provide funds to the States/UTs on the basis of the number of prisons in a State/UT, the number of prisoners in jail, prison staff, etc.
- Decision on the proposal of financing will be taken by the Steering Committee constituted for the implementation of the Jail Modernization Plan.
Coverage : The Hindu Analysis
- The project will cover all the States and Union Territories and will specifically cover different types of prisons like Central Jail, District Jail, Sub-jail, Women’s Jail, Open Jail, Special Jail etc.
Objective of the scheme : The Hindu Analysis
- Addressing the existing gaps in the security structure of prisons.
- Providing new security equipment to the prisons as per modern technology.
- Strengthening the prison security system through security devices like door frames / metal detectors / security poles, baggage scanners / frisking / search / jamming solutions etc.
- Administrative reforms, which include changing the mindset of prison officers handling prisoners through extensive training and introducing suitable programs for skill development and rehabilitation of prisoners including appointment of trained correctional specialists, behavioral experts, psychologists etc.
Other related initiatives of the government : The Hindu Analysis
- Modernization Scheme of Prisons: The scheme for modernization of prisons was started in the year 2002-03 with the objective of improving the condition of prisons, prisoners and prison workers.
- E-Jail Project: The E-Jail project aims to bring efficiency in prison management through digitization.
- Model Jail Manual 2016: The manual provides detailed information about the legal services (including free services) available to prison inmates.
- National Legal Services Authority (NALSA): It was constituted under the Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, which came into force on 9th November, 1995 to establish a nationwide network for providing free and efficient legal services to the weaker sections of the society.