Prisons Dept completed 39 uplift schemes in 3 years


KARACHI – The Sindh Prisons Department completed a total of 39 development schemes with a cost of $79.81 million in the period between 2008 and 2011, whereas additional space for 950 prisoners was also created, Pakistan Today has learnt.
According to official documents, a total of 12 schemes with a cost of $15.78 million of the Prisons Department are in progress, whereas five schemes with a cost of $23.69 million have been approved and two others are in approval process with the Sindh Planning and Development Department.
The schemes include development projects such as construction of the new Nawabshah District Jail for 250 prisoners; extension of the Malir District Jail for 1,000 prisoners, as well as raising and strengthening the existing main compound wall; construction of Bakhsi Khana (temporary detention cell) at the premises the Karachi City Courts; and construction of judicial lock-ups in all the districts of Sindh.
During 2009-10, a total of 12 schemes with a cost of $23.95 million were under execution, whereas work on three of those schemes continued during the said period.
The three schemes included repair and renovation of barracks, hospital, kitchen block, and construction of new bathrooms in each barrack at the Sukkur Central Prison-I; rehabilitation of seven watchtowers at the Sanghar District Jail; and renovation of the Khairpur Central Prison.
During 2008-09, a total of 10 schemes with a cost of $21.38 million were under execution, whereas three of those schemes were completed in the said period with a cost of $6.82 million. The three schemes included construction of 10 new barracks at the Karachi Central Jail, 10 new barracks at the Malir District Jail, and the outer compound wall around the Dadu District Jail.
The Prisons Department has also made roughly 700 appointments to various positions, whereas all officer ranks from assistant superintendent jail to inspector general prisons have been upped a scale. Allowances of the uniformed staff in the ranks of OG Wardens to Chief Wardens of the Sindh Prisons Department have been raised and brought at par with the Sindh Police Department.
In the year 2010, the dietary budget was raised from Rs 170 million to Rs 522 million, whereas the menu of the prisoners’ food has been adequately revised to make it healthier. It is pertinent to mention here that the Sindh government has made a notified amendment in Rule 554 of the Pakistan Prisons Rules, thereby allowing convicts to meet their spouses within the jail’s vicinity.
In view of the guiding principles in the current Judicial Policy, liberal remissions are being granted to prisoners and cases at hand are being adjudicated swiftly.
As a result, the total number of inmates has taken a nosedive from the staggering figure of 20,000 to 13,320 over a period of two years.