Nepal | July 06, 2020

Prison capacity increased to 15,466

Jails across Nepal are cramped with over 23,000 inmates

Himalayan News Service
Share Now:

Kathmandu, December 15

The government has increased housing capacity of prisons to 15,466 from 11,300 under infrastructure development programme.

According to a report of the Ministry of Home Affairs, newly constructed infrastructure had provided space for 4,166 more jailbirds over a period of one year. With the increase in holding capacity of prison houses, the government expects to tackle the rising number of prisoners and other inmates serving immediate custodial sentence. The MoHA said construction of a prison building with the capacity of 300 jailbirds would be completed within current fiscal.

Despite increase in housing capacity of prisons, 74 jails with a total capacity of just 15,466 persons have been crammed with at least 23,775 inmates, including 1,269 foreigners, as of mid-November.

“The government will soon start construction of a prison house with capacity for 300 inmates. Prison houses are also under construction in Sarlahi, Sindhuli, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Palpa, Manang, Mugu, Dolpa, Surkhet and Jajarkot. We hope that the problem of overcrowded prisons will be solved within a few years,” the report read.

The process of relocating the Central Jail to Nuwakot is also picking pace, of late. The government has already obtained 539 ropani land for the Central Jail. The prison facility, with capacity to house 7,000 prisoners, will have five blocks, including one for females. The MoHA said one of the blocks with capacity of 1,500 persons would be completed by mid-July next year.

“The government is doing groundwork to implement the concept of open prison. Administrative and infrastructure work have been initiated for this purpose,” the report stated. An open prison is a penal establishment where prisoners, who have served at least half of their jail term and have demonstrated good conduct, are trusted to do their time with minimal supervision. It aims to ease the pressure of jailbirds in crowded prisons and to turn prisons into correction centres.

According to the Department of Prison Management, it has been working on a draft of guidelines on open prison, which will be submitted to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval.

National and international rights bodies have long criticised the government’s poor handling of jailbirds. Increased crime rate has led to overcrowded prisons. The country has 74 prisons in 72 of 77 districts. According to the National Human Rights Commission, jailbirds have been deprived of basic amenities and rights, including sanitation, room space, quality food and regular health check-up.

Many prisons lack space for jailbirds to sleep conveniently. Jailbirds have not been given access to sports, entertainment materials and books for their education.

A version of this article appears in print on December 16, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Lockdown tightened in Lamjung

LAMJUNG, JULY 4 Lamjung District COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre today decided to open essential shops and businesses besides pharmacies from 5:00am to 12:00noon. A meeting of the centre took the decision in view of the rising COVID-19 cases in the district. Lamjung CDO Krishna Prasad Adh Read More...

Province 2

Quarantine facilities emptying in Province 2

JANAKPUR, JULY 4 The number of people staying in quarantine centres has been decreasing. As of last Thursday, the number of people quarantined in eight districts of Province 2 has gone down to 3,770. Two weeks ago, the number of people staying in 455 quarantines facilities of the province w Read More...

Dhankuta map

Opening of new park in Dhankuta delayed due to dispute

DHANKUTA, JULY 4 Even after the completion of construction work of Banjhakri Park months before the deadline, its scheduled inauguration couldn’t take place yesterday due to a dispute between the provincial and local government over the right to inaugurate the park in Dhankuta’s Mahalaxmi Mun Read More...

Benchmark index surges 4.54 per cent in volatile trading

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 The Nepal Stock Exchange (Nepse) reopened fully for the first time after the lockdown was imposed on June 29 and in volatile trading till July 2, the benchmark index surged by 4.54 per cent or 54.53 points. After the trading in the sole secondary market was suspended followin Read More...

Over 1,000 Nepalis return home on repatriation flights

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Under the government’s evacuation schedule, a total of 1,082 migrant workers were repatriated today from five destinations. A total of seven flights were conducted today. Of them, Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) conducted three flights and Himalaya Airlines conducted two f Read More...

Bullion price slightly down in domestic market

KATHMANDU, JULY 4 Bullion price in the domestic market declined in the trading week between June 28 and July 3. According to the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FeNeGoSiDA), gold was traded at Rs 91,300 per tola on Sunday and it remained constant on Monday. On Tuesd Read More...

WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs in COVID trials after failure to reduce death

GENEVA: The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalised patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality. The setback came as the WHO also repo Read More...

WHO reports record daily increase in global coronavirus cases, up more than 212,000

The World Health Organization reported a record increase in global coronavirus cases on Saturday, with the total rising by 212,326 in 24 hours. The biggest increases were from the United States, Brazil and India, according to a daily report here The previous WHO record for new cases was 189,077 Read More...