A hundred years ago August 31, 1921 Archives

From the Archives (August 31, 1921): Prison reform

Even prior to the outbreak of the European war, public men in India had come to recognise that the Indian prison system was a little out of date and needed considerable improvement and the gravamen of the charge against the Government— if it was a charge at all — was that India was still far behind the other civilised countries in the matter of the treatment of criminals. The Government of India had constituted a Committee with a Madras civilian, having some experience of jail administration in the Southern Presidency, as its President, to make a comprehensive survey of jail administration in the western countries and make recommendations, after recording evidence of experts, to “bring the jail administration (in India) up-to-date.” As we had already remarked the Committee had shown in many of its multifarious recommendations a desire that Indian prison conditions should approximate to the humanitarian conceptions of jail reform, but they had not suggested anything like a perfect scheme of reform.

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