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November 15, 2019

Overcrowded

Newspost

 
November 15, 2019

Overcrowding in prisons is a longstanding issue in Pakistan, written about countless times before, yet it doesn't seem to get much political attention. According to the findings, a total of 77,275 inmates are currently languishing in 114 jails in the country. Actually, these prisons only have a combined capacity to house 57,742 people. The report of the federal ombudsmen to the Supreme Court also highlights the plight of juvenile prisoners. Jails house 1,248 juvenile inmates as well as 25,456 convicted and 48,008 under-trial prisoners. Punjab leads with 47,077 prisoners in the 42 jails where the sanctioned strength is 32,477, this is followed by Sindh also where there are 24 jails with 17,239 inmates against its capacity to accommodate only 13,038 prisoners. The same situation is in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well where 10,871 prisoners are kept in 37 prisons against a sanctioned capacity of 9,642. I really appreciate the government of Balochistan in where the prisoners are being kept as per its capacity.

These overcrowded jails are a big challenge to the prison staff. According to some researchers such suffocating conditions also impact the prisoners' conduct towards one another, pointing to a higher rate of assault in spaces with limited movement and space to breathe and think. A sluggish trial process is one of the major reasons prisons are teeming beyond capacity. Thus, it is necessary for the government to create more prisons, detention facilities and juvenile centres, and simultaneously increase the capacity of existing ones.

Imran Rasheed

Kech

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