New Delhi: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has emphasized the need for prison reforms, by using technology and improving the infrastructure.
"The prisons should be modernized. The prisons should not be seen only as places of confinement, but also for reforming the prisoners. The prisoners should be imparted appropriate skill training," said Singh while addressing the National Seminar on Prison Reforms organized by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), here on Friday.
The Home Minister said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has already issued Advisories to state governments on the basis of recommendations by the NHRC and the Supreme Court of India. He said that the phase one of modernization of prisons concluded in 2009 and phase two of the modernization scheme will be taken up from February 2015.
Stressing the need of checking the overcrowding in prisons, he expressed concern that two-third of those living in prisons are under-trials. The Home Minister said that this aspect should be addressed by setting up fast-track courts.
Singh also said that centre has asked the states to set up model prisons and only six states have set up such prisons so far.
"Efforts will be made to set up more model prisons," he added.
He also said that care should be taken to provide health and hygiene needs of the prisoners and said that due care needs to be taken of women prisoners and their children staying with them there.
The Home Minister thanked the NHRC for discussing and making recommendations on prison reforms and assured that the centre will make all-out efforts to get them implemented by the state governments. He assured that he will also visit some jails to check whether the recommendations are being properly implemented.