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UP's new jail manual makes special provisions for females

Expectant mothers will get extra care, nutritious diet

PTI07_21_2022_000310B Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath seeks to remove ‘impractical provisions’ carried over from the British rule

Uttar Pradesh has introduced a new jail manual that will focus on reform of first-time offenders, education and occupational skills to inmates and a better lifestyle in jail.

Introduced on Tuesday evening, the jail manual seeks to do away with what Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has dubbed ‘impractical provisions’ carried over from the British rule. The new manual makes special provisions for female prisoners, allowing married ones to wear their mangalsutra (sacred thread tied in marriages). They will also be able to sport bangles, nose pins and anklets. In addition they will be able to celebrate festivals for married women- karvachauth and teej when women fast for their husbands. Those whose crimes have been proved will be provided with salwar suits. Sanitary napkins, coconut oil and shampoo are also on the list of items that shall be provided to them.

Children born to imprisoned women will be registered at birth, receive all mandated vaccinations, and also have the opportunity to celebrate their naming ceremony. In addition, creches and nurseries will also be set up and provisions will be made for the education and entertainment of children.

Expectant mothers will receive all care and also an extra nutritious diet.

Normal diet tweaks will include chutneys on all days, against the present two days. Bakeries will also be set up in jails while sewayin (vermicelli) will be served on Eid and Bakrid; while Holi, Diwali and all national festivals will be celebrated with kheer (rice pudding) on the menu. Those who fast on special occasions will be provided a diet appropriate to such days.

The neem twigs that are currently provided for brushing teeth shall be replaced by tooth powder. Any prisoner who wishes to use a toothbrush and paste shall be free to buy the same from the canteen.

Audio, visual media of entertainment shall be made available; all visitors will be photographed and videographed, and upon the death of a loved one, inmates will have the opportunity to go to the jail gate and offer their condolences. Meetings with blood relatives and spouses shall be permitted once a week; and if the said relatives are jailed elsewhere, telephone calls will be allowed.

Another important change is that undertrial prisoners shall no longer be hand cuffed or chained; or kept in solitary confinement.

The state has 75 jails with a capacity for 62,000 prisoners. However, there are currently 1.18 lakh prisoners in them.

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