Prisoners may get to meet spouses in family quarters: Adiyala Jail official

Adiyala Jail superintendent says 150 rooms ready; identifies overcrowding as biggest issue

Qaiser Shirazi February 09, 2020
A jail official briefs reporters about items produced by inmates in jail factory. PHOTO: EXPRESS

RAWALPINDI: Prisoners housed in Rawalpindi’s central prison will get the facility of meeting their spouses in private in the family quarters, once the provincial government lays down procedures.

The Adiyala Jail is currently housing more than double the prisoners than its sanctioned capacity.

“There are 5,040 inmates housed in the Rawalpindi central prison against space of 2,175 only,” the Adiyala Jail Superintendent Saqib Naveed said this while talking to the media people who were a visit to the prison on Saturday.

The official accompanied the media personnel during their visit and showed different areas including wards, kitchen, hospital, factory and other sections.

Superintendent Naveed also answered the questions put up by the media personnel. He said that the construction and renovation of 150 family quarters has been completed and the inmates would be allowed to meet their families once the standard operating procedures (SOPs) were constituted.

The official said that at the moment some 27 prisoners including two females were either infected with AIDS or Hepatitis. Naveed further added that some 250 inmates were on death row, however, capital punishment has been put off for the last two years. Besides the local prisoners, there were some 27 foreign nationals including two women housed in Adyala Jail, he added.

Commenting on the over-crowdedness in the central prison, he said that around 1,800 inmates belonged to Islamabad district and added that the capacity of Adyala Jail was only for prisoners arrested from Rawalpindi district. The superintendent said that 190 of 450 seats of siphoys are vacant in the jail.

Jail officials refuse to release prisoners despite orders

Facilitation for prisoners

Besides the literacy centres operating within the jail, the vocational training centres have also been established for the children and both the male and female prisoners, Naveed informed.

The prison has a landline telephone public call office consisting of 25 booths and the inmates are allowed to talk to their families a total of 20 minutes in a week, he said.

However, foreign nationals were deprived of this facility as the prison phone lacked the facility of direct international dialing. Naveed said that they have approached the higher authorities for provision of the facility.

He refuted the claims of internet facility to the imprisoned leaders of Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PMLN) including former Prime Minister Shahid Khakkahn Abbasi and ex- Federal Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

He said that both leaders had no special facility of internet access, reiterating that they lacked the facility of international roaming in the prison.

The official asserted that the central prison is run according to the SOPs and jail manual. Talking about the leniency in punishments for the inmates, the official said that those who memorise the Holy Quran get two years remission in their sentence, whereas those who memorise it with Urdu translation get a relaxation of three years.

Remissions were available to prisoners on special occasions of Eids, and national days. Naveed said that the prisoners could pursue education and complete their matric, intermediate, bachelors and masters degrees while serving their sentence.

There are two libraries and a computer lab for this purpose too, he told. He further added that inmates are taught different skills including electricity wiring, cotton twinning, furniture making, sewing, etc.

More than 10,000 rotis are made every day in two modern roti making plants whereas the carpets prepared in the jail factory are sold in the markets too.

The superintendent said that there was the availability of every kind of medicine in the Adiyala Jail hospital and a prisoner is admitted on the doctor’s recommendation based on merit.

Jail security

He claimed that the security of the Adiyala jail was completely fool-proof and a special high-security barrack which can accommodate some 176 inmates has been made for notable prisoners. The superintended claimed that it was nearly impossible to transport prohibited items in the prison as the parcels are checked both manually and by scanning machines


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