Delhi prisons at 151% capacity, operating with 50% staff: NCRB

Procedure to fill up posts in final stages, says DG (Prisons) Sandeep Goel

Published - October 23, 2019 12:43 am IST - New Delhi

Delhi prisons have nearly 50% vacant staff posts at various ranks, much below the national average of 68.8%, according to 2017 prison statistics released by the National Crime Records Bureau.

The data show that the actual strength of the jail staff is 49.8% of the sanctioned strength in Delhi.

The Capital’s jails are near the top of the list of understaffed prisons in the country. Jharkhand topped the list at 33.5% while Tripura shared the spot with Delhi.

Director General (Prisons) Sandeep Goel told The Hindu that they are in the process of filling up the posts and the procedure is in its final stages.

“Delhi Subordinate Services Selection Board conducts the tests. The written test has been conducted and the results will be declared shortly. Almost all the vacant posts will be filled,” he said.

While the posts at Tihar Central Jail to manage the prison lie vacant, Delhi prisons recorded the third highest occupancy rate in the country in 2017 at 151.22% after Uttar Pradesh at 165% and Chhattisgarh at 157.23%.

The capacity of Delhi prisons is 10,026 but the number of inmates stands at 15,168.

Among the Union Territories, Delhi has reported the highest overcrowding.

“In recent years, it is one of the biggest problems faced by prison inmates. Overcrowding results in poor hygiene, lack of sleep etc. [sic],” the report read.

Over 12,000 undertrials

Also, Delhi has the second-highest number of undertrial prisoners, including 11,972 Indians and 292 foreigners.

The data also show that the Capital has reported the highest number of times the inmates were moved for medical issues — 2,67,874.

This is followed by Maharashtra, which stands at 54,250 times, and Kerala at 41,144 times.

“These figures include medical visits of inmates to the jail hospital and jail dispensaries as well. All our jails have doctors and dispensaries. We also have a hospital for inmates. If medical assistance provided inside the premises is not enough then inmates are sent to the nearby government hospital,” Mr. Goel said.

The data also showed that Delhi had 122 vacant posts in medical staff, which make it one of the three among States and UTs recording the highest number of vacant staff.

Jharkhand has reported the highest number of vacant medical posts at 145 followed by Uttar Pradesh with 140 posts.

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