Odisha Government issues Model Jail Manual 2020

The Odisha government has issued a new Model Jail Manual 2020. The new manual combines the judicial and legislative reforms made over the past 78 years and provides more conveniences and rights to the prisoners. The reworking of the old manual, according to the state government, was directed as per the guidelines of the union government to establish uniformity among all States and Union Territories on systems to be adopted for Jail administration and correctional services.

In 2016, the Bureau of Police Research and Development (New Delhi), had designed a Model Prison Manual consolidating numerous provisions approved in multiple court decisions of the Supreme Court, National Human Rights Commission guidelines in respect of children and women, legal aid to prisoners. Post the successful evaluation of the Model Prison Manual, a jail manual was drafted on 32 recommended chapters to serve the needs of all states.

The previous Odisha Jail Manual, 1942 had some extra chapters, out of which 16 chapters have been retained in the new jail manual that was thoroughly scrutinised and vetted by the Law Department.

Santosh Upadhyay, Odisha Director General of Prisons and Correctional Services, commented, “BPRD, which looks after research related to police and prison, had constituted a committee of experts including jurist, advocates, police officers, etc to bring a uniform prison manual for all the States and UTs of the country. Accordingly, BPRD suggested a sample model in 2016 for all states with the basic purpose of bringing uniformity as all the states had different nomenclature because of the pre-scenario. Over the years, various judicial pronouncements have taken place including that by the Supreme Court and the National Human Rights Commission and the Legislature”.

Notably, the new manual aims to bring about improvements in canteen facilities, provision of laundry, hygiene, quantification of leave, parole, furlows, children staying with mothers and the segregation of convicts.

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