Ombudsman wants biometric system installed at KP prisons

October 16, 2021

PESHAWAR: Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz said on Friday biometric identification system be installed in jails in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the departments of criminal administrative justice...

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PESHAWAR: Federal Ombudsman Syed Tahir Shahbaz said on Friday biometric identification system be installed in jails in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the departments of criminal administrative justice system would be integrated.

He chaired a high-level meeting along with Chief Secretary Dr. Kazim Niaz to review the progress and implementation status of the recommendations of the Prisons Reforms Committee entrusted by the Supreme Court.

The meeting was attended by the IGP, IG Prisons, Home Secretary, Secretaries Law, Industries, Social Welfare, Health and Secretary Wafaqi Mohtasib Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui, Senior Adviser Ejaz A. Qureshi and other stakeholders.

Giving a briefing to the meeting, IG Prisons Khalid Abbas said overcrowding in jails had been reduced up to 37 percent by upgrading different jails.

He said during the current financial year, the under construction jails of Swat and Hangu, would be completed which would accommodate 800 prisoners.

He said that in the second phase the Central Jails in Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan and District Jails in Swabi and Swat would be completed, whereas construction of District Jails in Tank, Shangla and Upper Dir were in pipeline.

He said the biometric identification system had been installed in 14 jails and an agreement signed with UNODC for up-gradation.

During the meeting, the progress of Provincial, District Oversight Committees (DOC) and Welfare Committees to improve life of prisoners especially children, women and destitute prisoners was discussed.

It was informed that during the current quarter, 56 visits were made by DOCs, 15 visits by Provincial Oversight Committees (POC) and five meetings were convened by the POC in the matter.

The IG Prisons said that juveniles and women prisoners had already been segregated, adding that the Prisoners Voluntary Donations Fund and Free Legal Aid Committee had been established.

He said Rescue 1122 started emergency treatment in five central prisons, whereas patients of viral diseases i.e. Hepatitis B, V & HIV have been screened and mini-labs have been established in 12 jail hospitals.

He said the provincial government had exempted prisoners from examination/verification fees. He said 2,598 prisoners were imparted formal education.

He informed the meeting that Rs70,52,551 were donated in the last 06 months for release and payment of Arsh, Daman and Diyyat for the destitute prisoners.

The federal ombudsman asked the provincial government for early completion of the prisoners biometric identification system and its integration with departments concerned including the Police, Prisons, Prosecution and the National Database and Registration Authority.



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