More jails for women planned

Multan prison houses 877 inmates against capacity of 166

Muhammad Shahzad January 05, 2023


The Punjab Prisons Department has decided to establish three new jails specified for women in the province.

There currently is only one women’s jail in Punjab, situated in Multan. It has an authorised capacity to host 166 female prisoners.

However, as many as 877 female inmates are detained in various jails of the province.

The jail authorities have decided to establish three prisons for women in Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi.

“Initially, the already available structures will be used with minimum spending to set up the new jails,” Punjab Prisons Inspector General Malik Mubashir Ahmad Khan said while speaking to The Express Tribune.

The new women’s jails will have a capacity to accommodate 300 inmates each.

Only women staffers will be deputed in the prisons to perform the duties on the premises as well as taking the inmates to present them before courts.

No male will be allowed inside these prisons as is the practice at the Multan Women Jail.

According to officials of the department, there are 58 female inmates in five jails of Sargodha region. The jails of the region have a total authorised accommodation capacity of 4,564 inmates. They currently hosting as many as 5,053 inmates.

There are seven females at the Mianwali Central Jail Mianwali out of a total 1,762 inmates. The jail has an authorised capacity of 1,050. There are 17 female inmates in Sargodha District Jail that hosts 1,203 prisoners as compared to its capacity of 584.

At least 14 females are among the total 1,057 prisoners detained at Shahpur District jail that has a capacity of 412.

There were two females in Bhakar District Jail among 335 inmates and 18 females out of 682 inmates in Hafizabad District Jail.

Multan region has four jails and a sub-jail. The region also has the existing women’s jail. There are a total of 76 women inmates in the region out of a total 3,358. All of them are in the women’s jail.

Bahawalpur region also has five jails that are accommodating at least 27 female inmates. Of them, 12 are in Bahawalpur Central Jail, six in District Jail Rahim Yar Khan and nine in Bahawalnagar district jails.

In the four prisons of Dera Ghazi Khan region, there are 16 female inmates in the DG Khan Cental Jail and DG Khan and four at District Jail Layyah.

In the seven jails of Lahore region, a total of 295 females are detained. As many of 135 of them are in the Lahore and 53 in Gujranwala Central Jail, in addition to 14 in the Kasur, 43 in Sheikhpura, 47 in Sialkot and three in the Narowal District Jail.

In the Sahiwal region, at least 73 female prisoners are detained -- 33 in the central jail, 13 in Okara District Jail, 18 in Pakpattan and nine in Okara.

In five jails and one sub jail of Rawalpindi region, as many as 196 females have been detained; 146 at Central Jail Rawalpindi, 10 at District Jail Attock, 26 at District Jail Gujrat and 14 at District Jail Jhelum.

There are 117 female prisoners in five jails of Faisalabad region, of whom 74 are in the Faisalabad District jail, 33 in Jhang and 10 in Toba Tek Singh District Jail.

Lawyers and rights activists have frequently pointed out that women in Pakistan suffer regardless of whether they are at home or in jail.

They claim that in prisons across the province no one does anything to address feminine hygiene or increase access to healthcare for female prisoners. Infections like jaundice, tuberculosis, and cholera are rampant in jails.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 5th, 2023.


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