Number of prisoners released on parole in Maha falls, furlough figure rises
The latest Maharashtra state prisons department annual report shows that that the number of convicts let off on parole has gone down by almost half the number released in 2016-2017.
In 2018-2019, only 520 inmates were released on parole compared to 719 in 2017-2018 and 1,028 in 2018-2019. The Yerawada Central Jail houses 5,563 prisoners, the highest number of inmates in state prisons. The occupancy rate in state prisons has surged to 148% as compared to previous year.
The jail report states that the number of prisoners released on parole has dived post strengthening of rules. It states that 20 prisoners released on furlough have not returned during the past one year.
The convicts are given two types of leaves — parole and furlough. Furlough is a right of the prisoner. On completion of a requisite tenure in the jail, a prisoner is entitled to be released on furlough subject to condition of demonstrated good behaviour before the prison authorities. However, granting parole is within the powers of the divisional commissioner of the region where the jail is located.
During the last three years, the number of prisoners released on parole has dwindled. During 2015-2016, 1,502 convicts were granted parole while in 2018-2019, only 502 prisoners were released on parole.
During the current year, five prisoners released on parole escaped, while in 2015, the figure was 84. Out of 1,757 prisoners released on furlough during 2017-2018, 21 escaped. During 2018-2019, 2,707 prisoners were released on furlough and 15 of them had escaped.
The observation of director general (prisons department) mentioned in the report states: “The prisons and corrections department is playing an important role in rehabilitation of a convict by inculcating good habits through corrective measures. The department through its officers is taking collective efforts in ensuring that a conducive environment for the welfare and growth of prisoners is created inside the prisons across the state. At the same time, professional work is being done to main the highest jail standards as mandated by the government”.
Cases behind bars
Of the 135 prisoner deaths in the state in 2018-19 due to diseases, 16 were reported in Yerawada jail and 24 in Nashik prison
Year Parole Furlough
2018-2019 520 2,207
2017-2018 719 1,757
2016-2017 1,028 2,100