Written By:  Supriti Bhargava

In India, total population of prisoners is 419623 which were recorded by National Crime Record Bureau on 31st December 2015. According to National Crime Record Bureau the maximum capacity of Indian Prison was 366781 on 31st December 2015. The prison structure in most of the countries like USA, England, Russia, India etc are concerned with too many problems like overcrowding as above mentioned maximum capacity of Indian prison is 366781but 419623 are in the prison this leads to overcrowding in such a way that an occupancy rate is of 14% which is more than the capacity. Prisons are overcrowded by 77.9% in Meghalaya, 68.8% in Uttar Pradesh and 39.8% in Madhya Pradesh. Overcrowded in the prisons is caused due to delay in the disposal of under trail cases in the courts and partly because of inadequate capacity of prison in India to accommodate all the persons sent to prison.

Major elements which are responsible for the overcrowding in the prison are:

  1. Shortage of adequate accommodation

Therefore, less number of shortages of barracks and cells is considered as the major element which leads to overcrowding in the prisons. This leads to increase in population as day to day crime rate increase at high pace. In 2006, maximum capacity of Indian Prisoners noticed was only 263911. Thus the total population in that year was 373271 and this led to shortage of 109360 cells and barracks. Similarly, time passed but condition remains the same like in year 2015 maximum capacity was 366781. Thus the total population in that year was 419623 and this led to shortage of 52842 cells and barracks.

  1. Increasing number of under trial prisoners

Increasing number of under trial prisoners also plays the major role for increasing population in the Indian jails which proved that 65% population of Indian Prisoner are under trails and lodged in various Jails of India. Thus increasing number of under trail is a serious problem and is also responsible for overcrowding to a great extent.

  1. Lack of uniform and adequate policy of probation, parole, remission and commutation of sentence and other form of pre-mature release.

In the Indian Jails, there are unquestionable class of convicted prisoners who should not be retained in the custody if the Administration acquires an unbiased and unconventional mechanism of probation, parole, remission and commutation of sentence and other forms of pre-mature release. Hence the number of such convicts is very enormous, this is one of the basic reasons for overcrowding. If an apparatus is put in place it would substantially help in providing relief to the convicts. This results in reducing the problem of overcrowding.

Consequence of overcrowding

  1. Overcrowding adversely influences the health and hygiene of the prisoners.
  2. Space given to the prisoner is not appropriate for sleeping.
  3. Due to overcrowding the quality of food suffers at a glance.
  4. The problem of sanitation increases due to Overcrowding.
  5. Problem of Overcrowding arises due to increasing number of under trials.

If problem of Overcrowding is solved by the help of constructing more cells and barracks maximum problem will come to an end like prisoners will be provided by proper health food, prisoner will get proper space for sleeping which a normal person requires, quality of food will be maintained and sanitation problem will be solved.

Edited By: Rachit Mehrotra

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