The pandemic has put the spotlight on inhumane conditions in Indian prisons
Drawing by Arun Ferreira
The Indian Express / by Teesta Setalvad
They are overcrowded, unhygienic and have little oversight. There’s a need to expand use of house arrest as punitive measure.
The prison, it is famously said, holds a mirror to society. The conditions within prisons, to stretch this analogy, reflect the quality of any democracy. By that yardstick, India needs soul-searching. Not only has our collapsing criminal justice system ensured a mockery of reasonably speedy trials but tardy and often skewed (if not biased) investigations and prosecutions have ensured that undertrials languish in jails for decades. Courts rarely step in to ensure a thorough investigation and robust prosecutions, or a time-bound conclusion to trials.
► Also read/ watch: Bhima Koregaon, COVID-19 And Custodial Apathy In Jails / Video + Press Release (May 15)
► Also read: Crowded Jails & COVID: 16 Bhima Koregaon Accused’s Kin Share Fears (The Quint, May 18)