High-security Kapurthala Modern Jail overcrowded, understaffed

  • Parampreet Singh Narula, Hindustan Times, Kapurthala
  • Updated: Nov 26, 2014 21:29 IST

Besides facing an acute staff shortage, the high-security Modern Jail in Kapurthala has about 3,900 prisoners against the capacity of 2,670 inmates.

The jail has 93 wardens and 23 head wardens, against the sanctioned posts of 190 wardens and 50 head wardens.

Of the 11 sanctioned posts of assistant superintendent of police (ASP) in the jail, seven posts have been lying vacant for a long time.

It is becoming difficult for the jail authorities to manage the overcrowded prison with less staff.
The jail has 90 barracks with a capacity of 25-40 prisoners each but every barrack houses 60-70 prisoners.

It has around 45 prison cells. In view of the jail being filled beyond capacity and short of staff, several incidents of group clashes on its premises have taken place, putting the lives of prisoners at risk.

The inmate overload leads to choking of sewage drainage at times. Moreover, sewage starts overflowing in prison barracks as a result of which foul smell emanates from all over.

The sewage treatment plant in the jail has also stopped working due to overflow from the water tank. The inmates live in congested and unhygienic barracks.

Paramjit Singh Sandhu, superintendent of police (jails), said on the Supreme Court’s orders the district courts have started identifying undertrial prisoners who have undergone almost half of the sentence in prison and give them bail.

“It will help decreasing the number of prisoners in the jail since it has around 2,800 undertrial prisoners,” he said.

The jail has 3,700 male and 200 female inmates from Kapurthala, Jalandhar and Nawanshahr districts.

Glance at prison

Total prisoners: 3,900

Prison capacity: 2,670

ASPs: Four against 11 sanctioned posts

Head wardens: 23 against 50 sanctioned posts

Wardens: 93 against 190 sanctioned posts

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