Government to introduce new jail reforms for women prisoners

New Delhi, Jan 5 : Taking note of the critical situation of women prisoners in the country, the Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD), in association with the National Commission for Women (NCW), is planning to introduce new jail reforms.

“There have been many disturbing reports on how women are treated inside jails. There is a strong need of an ombudsman so that they can complain,” WCD Minister Maneka Gandhi said on Friday.

The Minister said NCW has prepared a proforma with the assistance of WCD which has been already circulated in 144 central jails across the country.

“Once we get the proforma, there will representatives from the NCW, a local NGO and even state women commission representative for assistance. We had earlier given many recommendations for improvement but, unfortunately, these were never considered seriously. This time, we will get it implemented then and there,” acting NCW Chairperson Rekha Sharma said.

The WCD Minister further added that most of the jails were over-crowded and women inmates were often deprived of basic needs like medical facilities, sanitary napkins, education facilities and even legal awareness.

“We are also planning to approach the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in order to start some skill-oriented training programmes inside jails,” Gandhi said.

The WCD ministry has also approached the National Law University, Delhi, to prepare a prison manual for women inmates.