The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) has come up with its report titled ‘Women in Prisons’ which aims to build an understanding of the various entitlements of women in prisons, the various issues faced by them, and possible methods for resolution of the same.
The report – released Monday – contains a comprehensive list of 134 recommendations for improving the lives of women under incarceration, addressing a wide range of issues pertaining to pregnancy and childbirth in prison, mental health, legal aid, reintegration in society and their care-giving responsibilities among others.
Various changes in the National Model Prison Manual 2016 have also been suggested to bring it in line with international standards and norms.
Speaking about the report, India’s Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Sanjay Gandhi said that this initiative should change the way prison administration perceives women inmates.
As per most recent data available from the end of 2015, there are 4,19,623 persons in jail in India, of which, 17,834 (about 4.3%) are women. Of these, 11,916 (66.8%) are undertrial prisoners.
In India, an analysis of prison statistics at five-year intervals reveals an increasing trend in the number of women prisoners – from 3.3% of all prisoners in 2000 to 4.3% in 2015.
A majority of female inmates are in the age group of 30-50 years (50.5%), followed by 18-30 years (31.3%). Of the total 1,401 prisons in India, only 18 are exclusive for women, housing 2,985 female prisoners. Thus, a majority of women inmates are housed in women’s enclosures of general prisons.
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