Situation of Pakistani Prisons
Situation of Pakistani Prisons: In Pakistani prisons two thirds of the total prison population is either awaiting or are undergoing trial as per National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Cursor Development and Education (Code) Pakistan, report published recently.
The report, titled Addressing Overcrowding in Prisons by Reducing Pre-Conviction Detention in Pakistan added that the situation in prisons is overcrowding and often results in terrible living conditions for inmates and prison staff, the spread of disease and other problems.
In order to prevent a major health crisis in Pakistan’s eight most overcrowded prisons, the report recommended an urgent prison assessment to ensure prisoner’s quarters are well-ventilated and receive 10 to 15 liters of water per prisoner per day.
- The report also recommended access at all times to drinking water stored in appropriate containers,
- a balanced diet consisting of food sufficient in quantity and quality prepared in accordance with hygiene standards,
- a sufficient number of toilets,
- access to open air during the day,
- medical care and the presence of emergency evacuation
Reduce Socioeconomic Marginalization by
- social welfare assistance,
- support for housing,
- by reviewing the age of criminal responsibility to protect children.
- special efforts should be made to keep women and children away from pre-conviction detention.
In Pakistan, 66% of prisoners are in jails without conviction, as compared to the international rate of 27%. NACTA has proposed carrying out research so people are not detained unnecessarily.
Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan is compiling data on prisons and working to complete criminal hearings.
Each civil magistrate in Pakistan hears 200 cases per day, which is not possible anywhere in the world. However, the rate of announcing decisions in three times higher in Pakistan compared to other countries in the region.
Prisoners do not get adequate floor space in prisons; the law requiring prisoners to have a room 14x16ft of space was unrealistic and would not even be possible in developed countries.
It is suggested in the report that the law rule 745 regarding jails should be revised to improve the conditions of the prisoners in jail. Monitoring should also be carried out in real time due to fluctuations in the prison population.
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