The National Commission for Women (NCW) organized an All India meeting with the Director Generals (DG) and Inspector Generals (IG) of Prisons on ‘Police Administration in Light of the Rights of Women Prisoners’ to discuss provisions that impact the welfare of women inmates in prisons. The meeting was attended by around 16 DGs/IGs of Prisons and representatives from States across India along with officials from DLSAs, NGOs and academia.
The meeting was chaired by Chairperson, NCW, Ms. Rekha Sharma, and also attended by Shri Asholi Chalai, Joint Secretary of NCW, and Shri James Miahlung, Deputy Secretary of the NCW. In her inaugural address, Ms. Sharma emphasized on the importance of ensuring that women prisoners have access to all necessary amenities. She called on the Director General (DGs) of Prisons to facilitate the economic rehabilitation and reintegration of these women with their families and society after their release from prison.
As part of its mandate, the NCW examines various jails throughout India, paying close attention to ensuring the rights of women inmates.
The DGs and Inspectors General (IGs) presented the best practices adopted by the states with regard to the amenities offered to inmates, counseling services, skill development trainings for female inmates, and the reintegration of these women into society.
During the meeting, several suggestions were made to improve the condition of women inmates. These suggestions included hiring more prison staff, focusing on the mental health problems faced by inmates, addressing infrastructure problems of prisons, giving inmates access to quality legal aid and assistance, and ensuring that they receive robust vocational training.
The recommendations also included facilitating more in-person meetings of inmates with their family members, providing recreational facilities to the inmates, exploring the possibility of more open prisons and half-way homes, looking into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for inmates’ welfare, and establishing links between the prisons administration and the District Legal Services Authority.
The meeting covered a wide range of topics, including the overcrowding in prisons, availability of proper sanitation and hygiene facilities for women prisoners, and appointing trained and sensitive staff, particularly female officers and guards in these prisons.
The meeting also discussed new skill development trainings, legal assistance and aid for under trials, and the need to provide employment opportunities to the inmates.
The Commission will be taking all the recommendations discussed during the meeting forward to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to improve the welfare of women inmates in prisons.