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Delhi has 10 prisons of which, 9 central prisons are in Tihar and a district jail is located in Rohini. Jails of Delhi have an approved capacity of 6250 prisoners in Tihar jail and 1050 prisoners in Rohini. The jails are under the administration of Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi. The framework of these jails still follow British Prison model. Tihar jail of Delhi was run under the state of Punjab but the controls were transferred to Delhi government in1966.
District Jail of Rohini
This prison in Rohini was inaugurated in 2004 with the aim of disbursing the congregation in Tihar jail. The jail can house 1050 prisoners but is overcrowded like Tihar jail. The jail has gymnasium and an open air theatre, kitchen, medical ward and nine high-security cells.
The Tihar Jail in Delhi is South Asia’s largest prison located in Hari Nagar area of West Delhi, spreading over 400 acres of land. Prison was built in 1958 and was later expanded to a total of 9 jails inside the complex itself. Each of the barracks here is provided with a proper flushing system exhaust and ceiling fan. There are separate cells for first time offenders, women and adolescent. But the irony of the prison is its occupancy ratio which has also been upto 300% in 1999. The space congestion has lead to many hygiene and discipline related problems. So there are plans to construct more jails in Mandoli, Narela and Baprola areas.
This notorious jail was put to a major reform by super cop, ‘Kiran Bedi’. The prison and prisoners were rehabilitated by introducing prisoners to NGO activities, morning prayers and meditative sessions etc. Hence Tihar jail has been of a great interest to many embassies, NGOs. Due to the emphasis of the prison’s motives of inculcating positive knowledge, attitude and practices in the prisoners, Tihar has also been termed as a model prison for the country.
The Jail Road
The road accompanying Tihar Jail lies on the stretch from from Hari Nagar to Tilak Nagar. This road is also popularly known as Jail road. This road is also a very big furniture market that puts up about 400 furniture shops, which offer much reasonable deals on furniture than the very popular Kirti Nagar furniture market. This market took to this form in early 70’s, but unlike Kirti Nagar which also provides manufacturing facilities, this market only facilitates selling and buying furniture.
Overcrowding and Corruption in Delhi Jails
The prisoner population is on a constant rise, mending pressure to bring more prisons in the region. Many of these prisoners are stuck in the prison for not being able to afford lawyer’s fees, which would have otherwise got them an option to bail out. A major chunk of this prisoner population is awaiting trial. It estimated that the prisoner’s population will not be less than 16000 inmates by 11th five year plan. Hence the plans to bring up more prisons in the state are under process.
Corruption and violence have often been reported from beyond these prison gates, but without any relief or rescue to this jeopardy. The jail authorities grumble that the inmates do not have fear inside and pass time conspiring more criminal activities. Time and again the news of the inmates committing suicide and getting into violent clashes in these jails creeps up and gets subsided. This has often raised issues on security issues inside the prison premises.
Reformation of the Jails
Aiming at reforming the jail inmates, these jails of centre provide educational facilities, vocational facilities, yoga, meditation and creative art therapies to mend positive desires and improving the personality of prisoners. Tihar has been a place of transformation for many as well. There are prisoners whose talents to music and paintings have developed and groomed inside Tihar jail. Some write poetry and a few have even formed a rock band inside which organizes concerts inside.