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Maha Govt Directs Jail Superintendents to Discuss Decongestion Plans With District Judges


Maha Govt Directs Jail Superintendents to Discuss Decongestion Plans With District Judges
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The Maharashtra State Department has asked Superintendents of jails in every district to conduct meetings with district judges and come up with viable solutions to decongest prisons through the Undertrial Review Committee. 

This comes as 41 prisoners have tested positive for coronavirus this week at the Byculla women’s jail. Two COVID related prison deaths have been reported this year with both incidents taking place in Nagpur jail. State prisons data show that 7 prisoners died in 2020 due to COVID-19. 

ReadIndrani Mukherjea, 39 Other Women Prisoners In Byculla Jail Tested Positive For COVID-19

Around 35,000 inmates are currently in Maharashtra’s jails, while the capacity is only 23,217. A large number of these prisoners are undertrials. The deteriorating situation around the pandemic has led officials to take up the matter of decongesting jails more seriously. 

As COVID-19 cases mounted across Maharashtra’s prisons last year, the State Government appointed a committee that recommended releasing up to 50 per cent of the prisoners on emergency parole and undertrials on temporary bail. Though around 10,000 prisoners were released and haven’t been ordered to return to the prison yet, officials said that a series of new arrests have led to jails reaching capacity again.  

Also read30 Inmates Of Aadharwadi Jail In Kalyan Test Positive For Coronavirus

“We have to take urgent steps to reduce crowding again and hence have asked prison officials to coordinate with judicial officers to decide on steps that can be taken,” a prison official was quoted as saying.

Maharashtra’s prisons currently have around 250 active COVID-19 cases among inmates and more than 100 among the staff. Officials said that all jails across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region are overcrowded while at least half of all jails in Maharashtra are facing the same issue.  

ReadAround 3,500 Prisoners Released From Jails In Thane District: Anil Deshmukh

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