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October 11, 2020

Adiyala Jail put on track of reforms and change


October 11, 2020

Rawalpindi : Adiyala Jail put on track of reforms and change despite challenges and odds.

Commitment and dedication to ensure reforms and change could be done if one set the mind to do despite plethora of challenges and difficulties. A similar tale was witnessed under the supervision of IG Punjab (Prisons) Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig during of Central Jail Adiyala.

Reforms and change could be ensured despite resource issues and other multiple challenges but with commitment, vision and clarity of mind, things starts moving to right track, when one sets mind to do so.

Inspector General (Prisons) Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig, DIG Shaukat Feroz and Superintend Central Jail Chaudry Asghar Ali in history of the country set a precedent to take into account mental health issues of prisoners in jails relating stress, mental disorders and psychological issues being faced by jail inmates owing to delayed justice and other multiple challenges.

A seminar was arranged at Central Jail Adiyala here on Thursday with participation of notable psychiatrists and psychologists to share their thoughts and observations on psychological issues of prisoners relating their stay in jails and simultaneously other issues mental issues of man and woman prisoners specifically.

During course of the seminar, the psychologists and psychiatrists presented their research and findings on psychological problems ofprisoners highlighting several mental compl-exities of prisoners on account of social, emotional and sexual issues.

Speaking on this occasion, psychologists underlined that majority of prisoners in jails become victims of stress, depressions and severe mental disorders on account of delaying and prolonged justice system in the country. There are many instances where prisoners have to wait years and years for rehearsal of their cases in the courts owing to choked judicial system.

In many cases, it has also been learn that trials goes on years and years and to prove one’s innocence, sometimes, it took 10 years for an innocent person to prove his innocence.

Delayed and prolonged justice system is one of root cause of mental depressions and mental disorders among prisoners who become victims of multiple mental problems owing to this prolonged judicial system.

Anything on account of reforms and change on part of incumbent PTI government has not been initiated in police institution as well in Prisons across the country during last two years.

A legacy that was introduced in KP Police in the supervision of IG KP Police Nasir Khan Durrani, a similar precedent is witnessed in Prisons in the command of IG (Prisons) who has been found working to mould prisons on reform in a positive way. Prisons across the country are facing grave issues relating capacity of prisoners and scarcity of staff.

There are 114 Jails across the country overall with a capacity of 19,000 prisoners but more than 77,000 prisoners have been languishing in jails in miserable circumstances. In Punjab’s 46 jails, approximately 45,000 prisoners are sentenced in jails.

Taking into account, basic rights of jail inmates, IG Prisons Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig has set a precedent to acknowledge rights and facilities for prisoners in jails with availability of clean drinking water, clean washrooms for prisoners and good quality food with a friendly environment for prisoners to mould himself being a good citizen.

IG (Prisons) Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig states that a safe and protected environment for women prisoners is also being provided without any distinction. It is our wish that prisoners after their completing their sentence at jails went to society being a mentally fit and good citizens with positive mindset to become responsible citizens of the country and society.

In the past, jails prove to be dens of criminals where organised gangs use to maneuver jails activities but all such practices had become a past and it is our bid to build every prisoner on the footnote of responsible citizen.

There are volunteers available in our society who want to work for oppressed and helpless people sentenced in jails but authorities concerned simply have to devise a mechanism to allow these individual who are willing and committed to help out others for sake of blessings. It is need of the hour that pro-bono desks should be constituted with availability of data about those prisoners languishing in jails on accounts of petty crimes. If the authorities simply established these pro bono desks in district courts, volunteer and emerging lawyers could possibly become voice for these souls sentenced in jails for years and years to be listen in the court to prove their innocence. IG (Prisons) said that to address mental issues of prisoners, Mental Rehabilitation Center is being established in Lahore and similar centers will also be established at other jails respectively.

He said that prisoners in jails are being divided as per age relating Less than 16, 18-21 and above as per their age group and intensity of crime. Juvenile criminals are segregated and motivated to learn different skills to become positive part of society and responsible citizens.