The Meghalaya Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has directed the District Prison and Correctional Home in Jowai to temporarily convert the hall for vocational training into a ward for the inmates to ease the problem of congestion.
The direction was given by MHRC Chairperson Justice T. Vaiphei, who along with members of the panel B. Girt and P.J.P. Hanaman and Secretary FM Dopth, made a surprise visit to the correction home today.
The commission found the prison in Jowai was highly congested as against the capacity of 120 the facility was housing as many as 298 inmates. The prison has been asked to shift the vocational training facility to the video conferencing room, which according to the panel was spacious.
Dopth in a statement said that the commission desires that additional buildings should be constructed by the government to ensure decongestion of the wards.
“Only one toilet was available in each ward which was highly inadequate to cater to the needs of as many as 50 inmates who were presently being housed in each ward and there was an urgent necessity for construction for additional toilets in each ward,” he said.
Furthermore, the commission also directed the Deputy Superintendent of the Jail to submit a report on the status of the cases pending against each inmate to enable the commission to take up the matter with the concerned legal services authority for expeditious disposal of their cases, which it observed that it could be a step towards decongesting the jail.
The commission members during their visit was not happy with the absence of a medical officer of the jail during the visit, as there was a large number of inmates who needed constant medical supervision, Dopth said.