Data

Five charts that explain India’s incarceration rate

In most Indian states, undertrials make up over half the prison population. Photo: K.V. Ramana

In most Indian states, undertrials make up over half the prison population. Photo: K.V. Ramana  

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New prison statistics for 2013 released earlier this week show that >undertrials are filling India’s prisons. But how does India’s prison population compare globally?

Within India, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have far higher incarceration rates (prisoners for every 100,000 people) than other states. Bear in mind that these are for the population as a whole, but since 96 per cent of India’s prison population is male, these rates are nearly double for the male population.

How does this compare globally? It puts India near the bottom, even its worst states. (The international data here is from the International Centre for Prison Studies.)

And how does India’s undertrial situation look in the global context?

Among Indian states, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar stand out, housing over 85,000 undertrials between them. In most Indian states, undertrials make up over half the prison population.

Here, India’s worst states are worse off than the countries at the bottom of the world’s list, and India itself does worse or nearly as badly as its neighbours.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2020 3:28:15 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/data/five-charts-that-explain-indias-incarceration-rate/article6552717.ece

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