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No Detoxification Centres For Prisoners In KP, SC Told

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Ombudsman on Monday informed the Supreme Court that the relevant department was yet to establish detoxification centres for the drugs addict prisoners in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Federal Ombudsman, tasked by the apex court to make recommendations to redress the plight of prisoners, in its report said the Punjab Prisons Department had launched a scheme for constructing 20-bed unit at all the prisons. A 27-bed unit at the District Jail Lahore had been made functional, while the drug addicts barrack in each jail was designated as rehabilitation centre, it added.

According to the report, the Sindh Prisons Department says separation and shifting of drug users and mentally insane prisoners from jails require construction of new buildings in each district with medical and allied treatment facilities.

Drug users and mentally insane patients are presently kept in separate rooms inside the jails of Balochistan where basic medical treatment is being provided by the jail doctor, while the qualified psychiatrist also visits the jails in cases where specialised treatment of any prisoner is required.

The Federal Ombudsman says 198 prisoners appeared in the masters and another 400 in bachelors exams from different universities during the last five years in Punjab. It lamented that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IG Prisons was still waiting for the response from educational institutions regarding educating the prisoners in the province.

Regarding Sindh, the report stated that the instructors and teachers of the provincial Prisons Department were being engaged to educate the willing prisoners.

In Balochistan, a project titled “Strengthening the Realization of the rights of Children and Human Detainees in Pakistan” is being started in District Prison Quetta and Central Prison Mach with the partnership of UNICEF and the National Commissioner for Children’s Office.

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The suo motu action was initiated in 2006 by the apex court to redress the plight of female prisoners in the prisons and later the Federal Ombudsman was tasked with formulating recommendations on the subject.

According to the Sindh Home Department, three jails are under construction in Thatta, Shaheed Benazirabad along with extension of District Prison Malir, Karachi, for 1,000 prisoners. The schemes for construction of new prisons at West Karachi, Tharparker (Mithi), Kamber-Shahdadkot and Kashmore-Kandhkot are being proposed in the ADP 2019-20.

According to the Punjab Home Department, jail is available in every district of the Punjab except Chiniot, Nankana and Khushab and steps were being taken for construction of jails in these districts. Meanwhile, 854 female prisoners were confined in 28 prisons of Punjab and separate barracks/blocks of female prisoners were constructed in all these jails. Moreover, female blocks were being supervised by female staff.

As far as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is concerned, prisons exist in 21 out of 25 districts. The construction process is in progress three districts — Qilla Saifullah, Harnai and Gwadar — and the amount would be allocated for the remaining one in the next ADP.

Regarding Balochistan, in some districts like Ziarat and Duki, the average number of prisoners in the existing judicial lockups varies from 10 to 15 prisoners only; therefore, constructing a district jail for only 15 prisoners would not be desirable. However, district jails are also required at Qilla Abdullah, Panjgur, Dera Allah Yar and Kalat. It has been recommended that the funds should be allocated for completion of Central Jail Loralai.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Interior says 720-kanal land for Islamabad Model Prison has been acquired in Sector H-16 for which the PC-I is approved at a cost of Rs3.9 billion.

On the other hand, the Punjab Prisons Department has launched Prisoner Management Information System (PMIS) in collaboration with Punjab Information Technology Board and the United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in order to bring about more efficiency and accountability in the function of the prisons and to ensure 100 per cent court appearance of the under trial inmates.

Computerization of record/scanning of prisoners at the time of admission in jail, before/after court production through biometric system has been completed at District Jail Lahore. The automation of six more jails of Punjab will be completed during the current financial year.

Meanwhile, biometric system facility is available at 14 jails of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and provision of this facility to eight jails was under process in collaboration with the UNODC.
Regarding Balochistan, the matter has been taken up with Information Technology Department to coordinate with the IG Prisons for feasibility and devising a plan for the purpose. A MoU is being signed between the Prison Department and UNODC for installation of MIS System at 11 jails.

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