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Kerala jails crammed beyond capacity


Thiruvananthapuram : Jails in Kerala are overflowing and the inmates appear to be running short of space and basic amenities, reveals a study.

The study by the public works department conducted in 41 jails, including three central jails of the state, says there are 6,557 prisoners lodged despite a capacity for 3,665 only.

The central jail in the capital, which has space for 713 inmates, has 1,536 prisoners and the same is the case with the Viyur Jail which has 596 detainees in a space for 376 only, according to the study.

The situation at the Kozhikode district jail is no different with 347 inmates as against a capacity for 138 only.

Criminologist James Vadkumchery says this is a clear violation of the basic rights of a prisoner.

“The rules are very clear and every prisoner’s human rights (should) be protected,” Vadkumchery said.

India is a signatory to the “Minimum Standards Rules of the Treatment of Prisoners” act adopted by the United Nations in 1956, which specifies that in a jail barrack every inmate has to have a minimum space of 3.72 square metres and eight square metres.