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Overcrowded KP jails home to over 10,000 inmates despite capacity of 6,600

Overcrowded KP jails home to over 10,000 inmates despite capacity of 6,600

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s (KP) judicial lockup facilities and central and district jails are overcrowded, housing over 1.5 times as many prisoners as the approved prisoner strength.

A KP Home Department document shared with DawnNews shows there are 10,040 prisoners behind bars in the province's 22 jails and lockups, whereas the total authorised inmate capacity is 6,601 prisoners.

Of this number, 7,100 are under-trial prisoners (UTPs), while 2,940 convicts ? including 196 death-row inmates ? are housed in various jails in the province.

The document also reveals 27 male juvenile convicts, 311 male juvenile UTPs and two female juvenile UTPs are held in KP's prisons.

The three most notable differences in actual and authorised accommodation are as follows:

Peshawar central jail holds 2,529 prisoners, despite authorised accommodation of just 450 prisoners. The document reveals there are 2,079 more prisoners than are recommended, or over five times more than the authorised accommodation.

Swabi judicial lockup holds 341 more prisoners than the authorised accommodation of 130 ? nearly four times as many as the recommended number of inmates.

Timergara district jail holds 571 prisoners, 321 prisoners more than the authorised number of 250 inmates, which is twice the recommended number of prisoners.

Also read: ‘Overcrowding in prisons leading to growing radicalisation’

The district jails in Swat and Abbottabad are under construction, while expansion of Peshawar and Dera Ismail Khan prisons are in progress.

In September, during a KP provincial assembly (PA) session, an official reply submitted to PA had said a total of 9,433 inmates have been languishing in the province’s 22 prisons and judicial lockups, whereas capacity was 8,091, Dawn newspaper reported.

MPA Najma Shaheen of JUI-F had insisted the figures provided in the house were inaccurate and said the condition of prisons and lockups was deplorable.

Law and parliamentary affairs minister Imtiaz Shahid had claimed prisons were in perfect condition and that facilities were being provided to inmates according to the jail menu.

He said he had inspected the Peshawar central jail and found all facilities, including healthcare, were available to prisoners, and added that a Rs6.4 million healthcare provision had been given to prisons during fiscal year 2015-2016.

Explore: Caged: Behind the walls of Pakistan's prisons

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