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UP jails are 60% overcrowded, reveals RTI query

An RTI query has revealed that jails in Uttar Pradesh are massively overcrowded, by almost 60% of their official capacity. The official capacity of various jails in UP is 58,111 persons, but actual number of people in jails is 93,301. It may be recalled that overcrowding is a major problem in all jails in India and not just Uttar Pradesh. Last year, the Supreme Court had said that the overcrowding in Indian jails is not only tragic but also a pathetic situation. The RTI response was provided by Akhtar Riaz, Additional IG (Administration) Jails. As per the RTI response, there are a total of 70 jails in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Of these, five are central jails located at Naini (Allahabad), Varanasi, Fatehabad, Bareilly and Agra. There are three special jails as well, located at Lucknow and Bareilly.

The capacity of these 70 jails is 58,111 persons, including space for 51,839 men, 2,956 women and 3,316 juvenile prisoners. However, the actual number of people lodged in these jails is 93,301. This figure includes foreign prisoners that number 364. Another noteworthy aspect is that the number of undertrials is around 2.4 times the number of convicts. Speaking about the overcrowding in jails, Nutan Thakur, the man who filed the RTI query, said, “The overcrowding of the state prisons along with presence of such large number of undertrials is indeed a worrying situation that needs to be sorted out without delay.”

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