In-person visits at Delhi’s prisons to restart on Oct 1

Several prisoners have written to jail officers over the last two months, asking not only to meet their families but requesting that visitors be allowed to bring a fresh set of clothes.
Starting October 1, one member of every prisoner’s family will be allowed inside the jail each month.(Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Starting October 1, one member of every prisoner’s family will be allowed inside the jail each month.(Vipin Kumar/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 01, 2020 02:56 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Around 14,000 inmates of Delhi’s three jails will be allowed to meet their families in person for the first time in six months, starting Thursday, senior officials said. The bi-weekly prison visits were suspended on March 23 due to the burgeoning coronavirus disease crisis.

Several prisoners have written to jail officers over the last two months, asking not only to meet their families but requesting that visitors be allowed to bring a fresh set of clothes, saying the ones they were wearing over the past six months were either torn or worn out.

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A senior prison officer, who asked not to be named, said that starting October 1, one member of every prisoner’s family will be allowed inside the jail each month. Until March 23, before visits were suspended, a prisoner was allowed to meet their family twice a week.

In an order issued by the prison headquarters that HT has seen, every visitor will be allowed to get one set of clothes.

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With in-person visits disallowed, prison inmates were allowed to interact with family members over video conferencing, a practice jail officers said would continue, saying it would help curb the spread of Covid-19.

Earlier this month, at least 15 inmates across jails had written to senior prison officers requesting new clothes.

“The number of visitors at every visiting room inside the jail will be almost half of what it was before the lockdown. Rooms will be sanitised before every meeting by a team of prisoners. This is for every one’s safety. Every visitor will be thermally scanned and have to give an undertaking that they have not come in touch with any Covid-positive person,” the senior prison officer told HT.

A second officer, who also asked not to be named, said new rules regulating the visits will also be in place for prisoners. “The clothes will have to be soaked in soap water for at least half an hour before it is worn the first time,” the officer said.

Till Wednesday, at least 83 prisoners of Tihar, Mandoli, and Rohini jails, and 207 staffers had been infected with Covid-19.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Prawesh Lama covers crime, policing, and issues of security in Delhi. Raised in Darjeeling, educated in Mumbai, he also looks at special features on social welfare in the National Capital.

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