Supreme Court gives directions for prison reforms | Fusion - WeRIndia

Supreme Court gives directions for prison reforms

Supreme Court gives directions for prison reforms

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of India passed several directions for prison reforms throughout the country. The governments of every state must appoint counsellors for prisoners, especially first-time offenders, and they must provide support for these counsellors as well.

Additionally, the Supreme Court asked all high courts to identify the families of prisoners who had died an unnatural death after 2012. These families must then be given suitable compensation.

They have also asked all state governments to analyze the current availability of medical assistance to prisoners, and to take steps to improve its availability.

Justices M. B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta said that they asked the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to create and register a public interest litigation which will identify the next of kin of all prisoners who have died an unnatural death between the years 2012 and 2015.

Compensation must then be awarded to them, unless compensation has already been awarded to them in the past.

They also asked the Secretary General of the Supreme Court to send the verdict to the Registrar General of each high court within a week’s time.

This is an effort to reform and improve the quality of Indian prisons, hundreds of which have prevailing inhuman conditions.

The justices stated that all state governments must appoint and support counsellors for prisoners, and for first-time offender prisoners in particular. They also said that the services of all recognized NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) can be taken and should be encouraged.

Additionally, the Supreme Court asked the Ministry of Woman and Child Development to help the state governments make and formulate procedures to collect data on the number of children who have suffered unnatural deaths in child care institutions where they are kept in custody, either because they are in conflict with the law or because they are being kept for their own protection.

Hopefully, these reforms enacted by the Supreme Court will help improve the inhuman situations in hundreds of prisons around the country.

Image Credit: Aliven Sarkar / CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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