A master plan for the overall development of prisons in Punjab is ordered.
It will be implemented in a phased manner over another four years, chief minister Parkash Singh Badal has said. It lays emphasis on the construction of new sub-jails at the division and district levels.
At his official residence here on Saturday, Badal sat in a meeting with the jail superintendents and top officers of the prison and health departments. There, he decided that the jail department would work on improving prison administration and implement reforms about security, diet and healthcare.
With a view to making inmates more responsive and disciplined, Badal wants the nambardar system reintroduced in jails. The CM approved Rs. 1.72 crore for the urgent maintenance of various jails. The jail department now is also free to use the annual lease money being received from the industries department against some land in Ludhiana. The money will go into the development work in jails.
To improve the quality of food served behind bars, Badal ordered a review of the diet rules and the displaying of diet chart in all prisons. A committee comprising the inspector general of police (jails), representatives of the central and sub jails, and a dietician from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, has 15 days to submit its recommendation on proper and nutritious diet for inmates.
The jail superintendents will work out how to run two mechanised kitchens in each central jail. The jail department will introduce credit card system for inmates in all eight central jails to enable them to buy items from the prison canteen. The state government will release Rs. 8 crore under the Integrated Child Protection Scheme to juvenile homes, and the money is for reforms.
Expressing concern over the poor healthcare available to prisoners, Badal suggested using the services of private gynaecologists and pediatricians.