Workshop on Prison Visiting System for Non-Official Visitors
CHRI concluded a two day workshop on the 14th and 15th of February 2012 at the State Institute of Health and Family Welfare, Jaipur on the Prison Visiting System for Non-Official Visitors (NOV) to strengthen prison oversight. The main focus of the workshop was to educate NOVs on their rights and duties regarding visits to the prison.
The workshop dealt with the NOV’s perceptions about prisons, prisoners and their duties of observation, complaint and follow-up. The NOVs from three divisions of Rajasthan - Jaipur, Bharatpur and Ajmer - had an opportunity to present their problems and difficulties before the resource persons who included R.K. Saxena, Retd. I.G. (Prisons), Rajasthan, Dr. Upneet Lalli, Deputy Director, ICA, Chandigarh. Maja Daruwala, Director, CHRI and Omendra Bharadwaj, D.G.(Prisons), Rajasthan. Discussion on the difficulties faced by prisoners in court production, provisions for health and basic amenities in sub jails, the crucial need for appointment of a Board of Visitors, as well as innovative prison models in the country figured prominently in the workshop.
One of the highlights of the workshop was a visit to the Jaipur Central Jail to give the NOVs practical knowledge on the dos and don’ts of prison visits.
The concrete outcomes of the workshop were a commitment on the part of the DG (Prisons) to issue ID cards to NOVs to facilitate prison visits, on the part of CHRI to improve interaction between the Jail Officials and the NOVs, and NOVs better understanding of prison administration and their own responsibilities, and their readiness to lobby with the Jail Minister for pressing jail reforms.