The provincial government has decided to introduce reforms in the jails of the province apart from building new facilities in the erstwhile federally administered tribal areas (Fata).
In this regard, it directed Wednesday to finalise a new legal framework for efficient management of prisons in the province.
These directives were issued by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Chief Minister Mahmood Khan as he chaired a meeting of the prison department on Wednesday.
Mahmood directed the Home and Prison Departments to expedite work on building jails in the Malakand and Kohat divisions.
The chief minister further said that proposals should be drafted for the construction of jails in the newly merged districts.
He also approved a proposal for creating the new position of Prisons Deputy Inspector General in all divisions of the province.
A 10 per cent quota for the children of prison employees was also approved.
The chief minister further directed to install closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in prisons throughout the province.
Earlier, participants of the meeting were briefed about the progress made so far on prison reforms, implementation status of developmental projects, issues faced by the department and other related matters.
The meeting was told that the records of all 14 jails in the province, including complete details of prisoners, have been computerised. Computerisation of records at the remaining prisons of the province is underway.
Similarly, the first phase of a project to expand the Central Jail in Peshawar has been completed, enhancing its capacity.
Moreover, it was briefed that healthcare facilities have been provided to some 27,220 prisoners during the ongoing year, while 19,788 prisoners have been screened for various viral diseases.
During the last six months, 178 prisoners have been provided free legal assistance.
Regarding arrangements to impart education to prisoners, the meeting was informed that during the current year, some 1,723 prisoners have received formal education.
Vocational training of various types has also been imparted to 664 prisoners during this period, whereas 6,465 books have been provided to the libraries established inside prisons across the province.
The meeting was also told that open-air fitness gyms have been set up in the Peshawar Central Jail while construction of a badminton court at Mardan jail is in progress.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2020.
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