Prisons being a State subject, modernization of prisons is undertaken by respective State Governments. The Ministry of Home Affairs is supporting the States/UTs in implementing the E-Prisons project that aims to introduce efficiency in prison management through digitization. An allocation of Rs. 33 crore has been approved for the current financial year.
The E-prisons project supplements the Prisoner Information Management system (PIMS), developed by National Informatics Centre, which provides a centralized approach for recording and managing prisoner information and generating different kinds of reports. The PIMS records Prisoners Basic Details, Family Details, Biometrics (fingerprint), Photograph, Medical Details, Prisoner Case History, Prisoner Movements, Punishment details etc. The availability of these details on an electronic platform will be useful to track the status of prisoners and smooth functioning of the prison system.
The Ministry of Home Affairs has issued an advisory to all States and UTs informing them about the Legal aid facility available to under-trial prison inmates. Besides this, Model Prison Manual 2016, which has a dedicated chapter on Legal Aid, provides detailed information about the legal services available to prison inmates and also free legal services available to them. The Manual was circulated to all States and UTs for their guidance in May 2016. The information/guidance provided to the States/UTs in the form of advisories and Model Prison Manual is intended to provide assistance to under trial prison inmates.
The National Legal Services authority had also launched a web application on 29.06.2017 with a view to facilitating the under trial prisoners for providing them free legal services. The objective of the above application is to make the legal services system more transparent and useful for all authorities to monitor the provision of legal aid to prison inmates to ensure that no prisoner goes unrepresented right from the first day of his production in the Court.
This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Hansraj Gangaram Ahir in a written reply to question in the Lok Sabha today.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)