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Revised Jail Manual In Odisha: Separation Of Categories Of Inmates, 1 Guard For Every 6 Prisoners

Bhubaneswar: Under-trial review committees and legal aid clinics will be set up in every prison across the state, according to the revised jail manual which was released by the Odisha government on Friday.

The manual has also paved way for many reformative and progressive moves to provide succour to jail inmates, like treatment of drug addict prisoners in hospitals both within and outside the state. The manual has come into effect from September 29, as per a notification issued to this effect.

The other important features of the revised jail manual include a direction to define adolescent and transgender prisoners. Moreover, the administration shall ensure separation of different categories of prisoners, such as civil prisoners, under-trials, female prisoners, convicted prisoners, young offenders, first time offenders, habitual offenders and high security prisoners.

According to the new manual, close prisons have been classified into three categories: circle jail, district jail and sub-jails, while one guarding staff will be deployed for every six prisoners.

It has also been decided that every prison will have its own mechanised laundry. Every convict prisoner shall be allowed interview twice a month. Every newly convicted shall be allowed reasonable facilities for seeing or communication with relatives and friends.

The manual calls for adoption of standard procedure for handling emergencies like, escape, outbreak of riots, gang-war, strikes and epidemics in jails. Moreover, the new guidelines will ensure that classification of prison labour like hard, medium and light is done. Sales counter in every jail will open for the marketing of the jail products.

Sources in the legal fraternity said that the revised prison manual has been prepared by taking into consideration the observations and decisions made by the Supreme Court of India and NHRC guidelines in respect of children and women and legal aid to prisoners.

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