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A Brief Report On Yerawada Central Prison Of Pune Located In Maharashtra

Yerawada Central Prison

Yerawada Central Prison is known as one of the historical prisons in India which was constructed in 1871 during the British era which is one of the highest security prisons in Maharashtra. This is one of the largest jails in Maharashtra and also the largest prisons in South Asia of housing more than 5,000 prisoners both national and international ones. It has various barracks and security zones, with the open jail which is outside the premises.

Yerawada Prison is known as historical prison because it had various leaders like- Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bhose, Chaphekar Brothers, and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. This prison is spread over 512 acres. The main security jail is protected by four high walls and it is divided into barracks and security zones. It also has egg-shaped cells where Ajmal Kasab was kept which is one of the highest securities in the jail. This jail is one of the overcrowded jail has the capacity is of 5000 prisoners more than it resides over there.

Egg Cells Or Anda Shaped Cell:

Egg Cells or Anda shaped Cells are the high-security blocks. Its two sections are divided into 10ft* 10ft compartments spread over nearly 1000sq.ft. Its inmates are not allowed to go outside a prescribed area and cannot mingle with others. The Anda cell is usually for gangsters or terrorists, who officials suspect can create law and order problem or face a threat. This Anda cell does not have enough light and has insufficient ventilation. In this Anda Cell, Ajmal Kasab was kept before he got hanged.

Kishor Vibhag:

This is a section for prisoners whose age is from 18 to 21 years where they are provided with educational, cultural training such that after completion of their sentence they should not involve in criminal activities and should live the normal and happy life.

Female Jail:

The capacity for female jail is about 300 prisoners where in this jail 2 females are convicted for life imprisonment. Here the female prisoners are also provided with vocational training courses like- Stitching, tailoring, Saree making, art and craftwork, etc.

Yerawada Open Jail:

It is situated outside the Yerawada Central Jail which is within the campus and it is for house life sentence prisoners who have properly completed five years in the central jail. This open jail is for those prisoners who are found to be good behaviour and are physically and mentally sound or for those who are willing to accept and undertake such work or employment as may be provided in the open jail and agree to abide by the rules and regulations prescribed by the governance of the prison or are sentenced to imprisonment for seven years or more and have undergone half of their sentences without remissions on the date of their selection and these prisoners are kept under basic security but here they are not kept in prison cells.

Following are the conditions which are needed to be obeyed by the prisoners:
  • Here the prisoner shall reside in the colony during the period of suspension of his sentence and shall not go beyond the limits of the specified area of the colony under any pretext without the permission of the Liaison Officer;
  • That the Prisoner shall obey all the lawful orders and reasonable directions of the Liaison Officer;
  • That the Prisoner shall be of good behaviour and shall not commit any offence punishable by or under any law in India;
  • That the Prisoner shall not associate with bad characters or lead a dissolute life;
  • That the Prisoner shall perform the assigned work diligently by putting his 8 hours of work in a day, and earn his livelihood and that of his family members, who may come to stay with him with the permission of the Inspector General of Prisons;

Following is the History Sheet of the Prisoner in the Open Jail:
  1. Name of the prisoner.
  2. The number of prisoners.
  3. Age.
  4. Sentence.
  5. Section.
  6. Habitual or casual.
  7. Criminal history and statement of the prisoner regarding present and previous crimes, if any.
  8. Social History:
    1. Childhood.
    2. Health history.
    3. Neighbourhood.
    4. Educational background.
    5. Adolescence.
    6. Economic background.
    7. Employment history.
    8. Associations, companionship, etc.
  9. Personality (general) impressions only.
  10. Clues regarding the sequence of criminal behaviours.
  11. Is he a social or individualised criminal? Is he an ordinary criminal careerist or professional criminal or organised criminal?
  12. Is his criminal act, the behaviour of the moment or eruptive behaviour?
  13. Is his mal-adjustment at the surface level or at the deep emotional level?
  14. His defects and weaknesses. His assets.
  15. Which are the favourable and unfavourable points for his rehabilitation?
  16. Suggestions about the reference to experts like psychologist, psychiatrist, etc.
  17. Indications about other sources from where information about the inmate’s social background can be available. Suggestions about additional material to be collected.
The date on which the case history was prepared ..............
Prison ..............

Types Of Prisoners:

In Yerawada Jail we came across different types of Prisoners like the Under-Trial Prisoners and the Convicted Prisoners.
The Under -Trial Prisoners are not allowed to work and are not given with the Uniform but for those who want to work voluntarily they can work and if he works he is also provided with the daily wages and his performance also gets counts. In Yerawada Prison there are about 4000 Under Trial Prisoners.

Whereas the Convicted Prisoners have to work to earn the money and to fulfil his daily expenses. There are different colour bands on their Normal White Color Clothes to identify them which are as follows:
  • Yellow Band represents that these prisoners are the representatives of their group or of their barracks.
  • Violet/ Blue Band represents that these prisoners are working as Volunteers.
  • Red Band represents that these prisoners had tried to escape from jail.

Daily Routine Of Prisoners:

  • Alarm at 05:00 AM
  • Daily Morning Routine from 05:00AM to 06:00AM
  • Breakfast at 06:30AM
  • Working at Prison from 10:00AM to 05:00 PM
  • There would be lunch in between their working hours followed by some rest.
  • Dinner would be at 06:00PM
  • Prisoners will go into their barracks at 07:00PM
  • Barracks gets closed at 08:00PM

Classification Of Prisoners According To Their Skills:

  • Skilled Prisoners: These are the Prisoners who are provided with training of various tasks such as Carpentry, Shoe-making, Paithani making, etc. where they get Rs.61 as their daily wage.
  • Semi-Skilled Prisoners: These are the prisoners who are equipped with basic skills such as cutting vegetables, cooking, etc. where they get Rs.55 as their daily wage.
  • Unskilled Prisoners: These are the prisoners who are unskilled and does not perform any technical or training work where they perform the basic tasks such as Gardening, Cleaning, etc. where they earn Rs.45 as their daily wage.

Institutions In Yerawada Jail:

  • Gandhi Ward:

    In 1932, Mahatma Gandhi was lodged in Yerawada Jail during the Civil Disobedience Movement it is a place along with Mahatma Gandhi other freedom fighters were imprisoned. The ward is unoccupied and serves as a memorial to the national leader where there it consists of documents signed by Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bhose and also includes Charkha which Mahatma Gandhi used.
     
  • Mulakat Kaksha:

    It is a type of room where prisoners can communicate with their lawyers or family members with certain timings that is from 08:00AM to 12:00 in Morning and from 02:00PM to 06:00PM in Evening. The Registration time for the meeting is from 01:00 to 02:00PM.
    Here the Under-trial prisoners can meet once in a week and Convicted Prisoners can meet once in 15 days.
    For their ID Proof (Adhar Card) and same Surname is needed to meet the prisoner.
     
  • Prison Panchayat:

    It is a committee of officers and prisoners. It decides on what facilities should be provided by understanding what problems are faced by Prisoners such as any health issues, etc. It has a view to training the prisoners to live like in a co-operative, democratic and disciplined manner to inculcate a sense of responsibility and self-reliance amongst them, panchayats of convicted prisoners have been set-up central prisons and district prisons. It is held once in a year. There are various advantages of this Panchayat that is helps to reduce the gap between the officers and the prisoners as well as it helps to improves the relationship among the prisoners.
     
  • Lok Adalats:

    Lok Adalats are a supplementary forum for conciliatory settlement of disputes. All categories of cases can be settled through Lok Adalats except criminal cases which are not compoundable. Lok Adalats have acquired a statutory base and the awards passed by the Lok Adalats are deemed to be the decrees of the civil court or the order of any other court and are binding on all the parties to the dispute. There does not lie any appeal to any court against an award passed by Lok Adalat. Permanent and Continuous Lok Adalats are being set up in all the districts for encouraging the parties to resolve their disputes and differences amicably.
     
  • Radio Station:

    In Yerawada Prison there is no frequency setup where the channels can operate thus they have a mike and speaker setup where the Radio Jockeys talk on Mics and it is thus spread throughout the jail through speakers where they talk on several topics from motivation to entertainment which would help the prisoners to forget that past thing do things better now. Thus, previously Sanjay Dutt was the Radio Jockey in this Radio Station, these stations also play the songs which are recommended by the prisoners for entertainment.
     
  • Days Celebration:

    There are various occasions which are celebrated in the Prison including Independence Day, Republic Day, Raksha Bandhan, Gandhi Jayanti, Makar Sankranti, Eid and Diwali to have entertainment and relaxation for the prisoners.
     
  • Education In Prison:

    Education is now compulsory in all prisons, there is a requirement of additional posts for organizing educational and cultural program for prisoners. They are provided with various classes for educational purpose both to the Kishor Vibhag Prisoners and the other ones and are encouraged to appear for English, Sanskrit and Hindi Examinations conducted by various educational institutions. Along with education, they are also provided with vocational training in carpentry, tailoring, and other trades. These are conducted twice a week and they are closely related to institutional work program.
     
  • Computer Training:

    Prisoners are being provided with computer training to get acquainted with various computer and technical skills.
     
  • Karagrah Karmchari Bhavan:

    It is been constructed on the grounds of Jail Officers Training School to provide facilities like- Rest House and other facilities like- Library and Recreation Arrangements for Indoor games, Reading Room, Yogasana and Gymnasium.
     
  • Prison Canteen Or Swayapak Gruha:

    : Here the prisoners are provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast includes Pohe/ Upma/ Egg/ Milk/ Khichdi, Lunch includes 3 Roti’s, Pulses, Dal, Rice for Under-trial Prisoners and 4 Roti’s, Pulses, Dal, Rice for Convicted Prisoners.

    There are some Special Diet like- Mutton Biryani on the occasion of Eid and Puran Poli on the occasion of Makar Sankranti where Prisoners can buy them on their own expenses.
    In this Canteen, meals are daily checked by Scientists to check its quality thus here any of the menu does not gets repeated in a week which means each day they have different menus.
     
  • Jail Hospital:

    Except Surgery, every kind of treatment is provided in the Jail hospital thus for Surgery the Prisoners are taken to Sassoon hospital. There are various visits which are associated by the doctors to examine the physical and mental state of the prisoners and if there occurs any medical issue that prisoner is operated immediately with good cause.

    The prisoners who are facing mental damage are consulted, provided with various medical treatments and if the case is out of the control they are transferred to Yerawada Mental Hospital for their Mental treatments.
     
  • Jail Manufacturing Industries

    The industries as shown in annexure have been organized which are in fact production-cum-training units as prisoners gain practical knowledge of the working of the industries in which they work. The working knowledge of different trades so gained by prisoners helps them to earn their livelihood on release from prison. Articles manufactured in the prison industries are supplied to other Government departments, semi-Government bodies and are also sold to the public.
     
  • Prisoners Welfare Fund

    This fund has been organized at all central and district prisons with a view to extending necessary help to the needy prisoners. Prisoners are allowed to contribute to this fund on a voluntary basis. It has been decided that from 1974-75, the amount representing net profits of the prison canteens should be contributed to the prisoners' Welfare Fund through Government account.
     
  • Prison Agriculture

    Greater attention is being paid to the reorganization and development of prison farms so as to achieve self-sufficiency in regard to the requirements of vegetables and food grains.

Issues Faced In Prison:

Despite the relatively low number of persons in prisons as compared to many other countries in the world, there are some very serious problems in prisons across India.

These are overcrowding, prolonged detention of undertrials, unsatisfactory living conditions, staff shortage and poor training, corruption and extortion, inadequate social reintegration programs, poor spending on healthcare and welfare, lack of legal aid and allegations of indifferent and even inhuman approach of prison staff among others.

Following are the issues which are mainly faced in various prisons of India:
  • 80% of the Prisoners are Under-trial leading to overcrowding of the jails.
  • Even though the bail is granted, prisoners are not released due to slow administration or of not being aware of the order.
  • Lack of sufficient medical aid facilities.
  • Lack of proper legal aid.
  • High amount of surety ordered by court which indigent prisoners cannot pay.
  • There is a rejection of surety bonds due to lack of money or verification of addresses as indigent prisoners do not have houses.

Prison Reforms In India:

The concept of modern prison in India originated with the Minute by TB Macaulay in 1835. A Prison Discipline Committee was appointed which submitted its report on 1838. The committee recommended increased rigorousness of treatment while rejecting all humanitarian needs and reform of prisoners. Following the recommendations of the Committee, Central Prisons were constructed from 1846.

The contemporary Prison administration in India is thus a legacy of British rule. It is based on the notion that the best criminal code can be of little use to a community unless there is good machinery for the infliction of punishment.

In 1864, the Second Commission of Inquiry into Jail Management and Discipline made similar recommendations as to the 1838 Committee.

In addition, this Commission made some specific suggestions regarding accommodation for prisoners, improvement in diet, clothing, bedding and medical care.

In 1888, the Fourth Jail Commission was appointed. On the basis of its recommendations, a consolidated prison bill was formulated. Provisions regarding jail offences and punishment were specially examined by a committee of experts on Jail Management. In 1894, the draft bill became law with the assent of the Viceroy. It is this Act which forms the basis for the present-day jail management and administration in India.

This Act has hardly undergone any substantial changes since its inception. However, the process of review of prison problems in India continued. In the report of the Indian Jail Committee 1919-20, for the first time in the history of prisons, 'reformation and rehabilitation' of offenders were identified as the objectives of prison.

The Government of India Act 1935 resulted in the transfer of the subject of jails from the Central List to the control of Provincial Governments and henceforth reduced the possibility of uniform implementation of a prison policy at the national level. Thus, State Governments have their own rules and regulations for the day to day administration of prisons, maintenance of prisoners, and prescribing procedures.

The Mulla Committee:

In 1980 the Government of India set-up a Committee on Jail Reforms under the Chairmanship of Justice A. N. Mulla. The Mulla Committee submitted its report in1983.
Some of the prominent recommendations of the Mulla committee are:
  • Improving prison condition by making available proper food, clothing, sanitation,
  • The prison staff to be properly trained and organized into different cadres. Setting up an All India Service called the Indian Prisons & Correctional Service.
  • After-care, rehabilitation and probation to be an integral part of prison service.
  • The press and public to be allowed inside prisons and allied correctional institutions periodically, so that the public may have first-hand information about the conditions of prisons and be willing to co-operate in rehabilitation work.
  • Undertrials in jails to be reduced to bare minimum and they are kept away from convicts. Undertrials constitute a sizable portion of the prison population. Their number to be reduced by speedy trial and liberalization of bail provisions.
  • The Government may make an effort to provide adequate financial resources.

Legislative Approach:

The Rights guaranteed in Part III of the Indian Constitution are available to the prisoners because a prisoner is treated as a person in prison.

There are various Enactments and Rules for the Prisoners which are as follows:

The Prison Act, 1894:

This is the first act in India for the prisoners.
The following are some of the important provisions regarding Prisoners Rights:
  • Accommodation and Sanitary Conditions of the Prisoners;
  • Provisions relating to the mental and physical state of prisoners;
  • Examination of prisoners by the qualified medical officer;
  • Separation of prisoners for male, female, criminal, civil, convicted, under-trial prisoners;
  • Provisions for treatment of under-trials, civil prisoners, parole and temporary release of prisoners.

The Prisoners Act, 1990:

  • It is the duty of the government for the removal of any prisoner detained under any order or sentence of any court, which is of unsound mind to a lunatic asylum and another place where he will be given proper treatment.
  • Any court which is a high court may in the case in which it has recommended to government the granting of a free pardon to any prisoner, permit him to be at liberty on his own cognizance.

The Transfer Of Prisoners Act, 1950:

The Act was enacted for the transfer of prisoners from one state to another for rehabilitation or vocational training and from overpopulated jails to less congested jails within the state. Following are the Rights to the Prisoners in India:
  1. Prisoners have the Right to Personal liberty which is under Article 14 of the Constitution of India as the State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India.
  2. They also have the Protection of their life and Personal Property which is mentioned in Article 21 of Constitution of India that No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law.
  3. If there is any Cruelty to any prisoners it shall be dealt with the Prisons Act, 1894.
  4. Right to Legal Aid- Prisoners have the right to hire an advocate for him/ her or if he can’t hire it is the government responsibility to hire an advocate for him.
  5. Right to Speedy Trial.
  6. Right to provide Reasonable wages in Prison.

Judicial Approach:
  • In the case of D.B.M Patnaik v. State of Andra Pradesh: The Supreme Court held that the mere detention does not deprive the convicts of all the fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution.
  • In the case of R.D. Upadhaya v. State of Andra Pradesh and Orissa: The right to fair treatment and right of judicial remedy is pre-requisite of administration of prison justice.

Suggestions For Prisons:

  • There is a need to increase the number of Prisons to avoid the overcrowding of the prisons.
  • There should be different prisons for Under-trial and Convicted they should not be kept together as there are a maximum number of under-trial prisoners.
  • The rights to the highest attainable standard of health should also apply to prison health conditions and health care.
  • Improvement in the standard of education in jails.
  • Employment after release, providing training in various fields so they will not indulge in criminal activities again and would have better living standards thereafter.
  • There should have uniform jail manual throughout India it should not differ from state-to-state.

Conclusion:
Through various bodies have studied the problems of prisons in India and laws are made for improving jail conditions, it is a fact that many problems plague our prisons. In many cases, prisoners come out of jails as hardened criminals more than as reformed wrongdoers willing to join the mainstream social processes. The emphasis on prison buildings, but what goes on inside them that needs to be changed.

The focus must be on the human rights of prisoners besides improving their correctional aspect needs to be strengthened through counselling programmes by experts. The mindset of the prison staff must change. The management of prisons must be marked by discipline and due regard to the human rights of prisoners. Prison reform is not just about amenities and medical health conditions.

As we had the visit to Yerawada Jail, one comes to know the importance of freedom which an individual has as well as it helps us to understand what is the right which is given by the Constitution of India to the Indian citizens by understanding each and every responsibility which one should fulfil for the country’s growth in terms of all spheres that is of economic, social, legal, technological, other aspects.

It also helps us to understand that how our law protects the people from facing any public or private wrong such that it helps the society to maintain in peace and harmony as well as it has smooth functioning of all the institutions which are there in India.

It warns the people from doing any wrong and understanding the meaning of Justice in the aspects of social, economic and political status.

One of the most important thing which helped me to understand how the citizens of India have the liberty of thoughts, expressions and beliefs which the prisoners don’t have. Being a citizen of India it is the duty of each and every citizen of India to try to protect the people from any injury and try to help each other when they are in difficulties without thinking and having any discrimination in the minds.

References
  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yerawada
  2. https://www.humanrightsinitiative.org/publications/prisons/maharashtra's_abandoned_prisons_a_study_of_sub-jails.pdf
  3. https://www.mha.gov.in/sites/default/files/PrisonManual2016.pdf

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