CHRI initially worked towards re-invigorating the institution of prison visitors as an external and independent oversight mechanism, assessing their performance, identifying problems and conducting capacity building programmes. The programme has since expanded to focus on unnecessary detention of under-trials, accountability mechanisms and wider government policy.

We work here


We focus on improving prison oversight and reducing prolonged, illegal or unnecessary detention. Towards this, we:

1. prioritize the proper functioning of prison oversight mechanisms (link to Monitoring Prisons);
2. advocate for early access to counsel and improve legal aid practices (Ensuring Effective Representation );
3. partner with law schools to develop legal aid clinics that provide free legal support to prisoners ( Link to Legal Clinics);
4. assess the pre-trial practices of court (Monitoring Court Practices);
5. work with governments for early repatriation of foreign national prisoners (Link to Urgent Action);
6. ensure timely release and rehabilitation of vulnerable groups in prison (Link to Urgent Action)
7. build capacity of criminal justice functionaries related to prisons (Link to Capacity Building);
8. litigate in public interest and on behalf of individuals (Link to Strategic Litigation)
9. undertake research on various aspects of criminal justice system particularly using right to information. (Link to Right to Information);
10. develop resources and training material on wide range of issues (Link to Resources);

Our method includes research and advocacy to improve policy and practice; engaging with judges, lawyers, prison administrations, government departments, probation officers, human rights commissions and lay visitors for changing perceptions holistically; strategic litigation and capacity building.