Minister for Home and Jail Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said here on Monday that a new Prison Act would be enacted in the State to improve basic facilities in prisons.
Inaugurating a prison block, constructed at a cost of Rs.1.34 crore, on the premises of the Mananthavadi sub-jail, Mr. Kodiyeri said the government was planning to replace the outdated Prison Acts, introduced by the British, with a new Prison Act. It would be implemented in the State in 2010, he added.
The Minister said new district prisons and sub-prisons would be opened to solve the problem of overcrowding in jails. He said though the existing prisons in the State had capacity to house only 4,500 prisoners, nearly 7,000 prisoners were lodged in the jails.
The Minister said as per law, Central prisons were meant to house only those convicted of crimes. However, due to lack of infrastructure facilities, even remand prisoners were being imprisoned in central prisons.
He said six sub-jails had been opened after the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government came to power. The LDF government had introduced many reforms in prisons such as telephone facilities for prisoners to communicate with their family members and a raise in daily wages for prisoners.
Mr. Balakrishnan said the government was planning to introduce new job-oriented training facilities in prisons
according to the choice of the prisoners.
K.C. Kunhiraman, MLA, presided over the function.
The Minister also inaugurated a new police station building at Padinjarethara and a government offices complex at Thazheyangadi in Pulpally panchayat.