Lockdown rules: Prisoners in Maharashtra jails can make one phone call per month

Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 15:33 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Family visits have been disallowed due to the lockdown and offenders locked up for less serious crimes have been released on bail by jails to maintain social distancing

This image has been used for representational purposes only
This image has been used for representational purposes only

The Maharashtra Jail Administration has allowed prisoners to talk to their families over landlines. as family visits to jails have been disallowed due to the lockdown. 

There are a around 36,000 prisoners across jails in Maharashtra, out of which 8,500 prisoners have been convicted. The total capacity of these jails is 24,000 so most jails in the state are overpopulated. In an attempt to create social distancing within the prisons, 4,611 accused who were serving jail sentences for non-serious crimes, were released on bail. However, the state administration continues to keep those involved in serious crimes behind bars.

According to a jail official, allowing inmates to communicate over phone was allowed so that they could be in touch with their families. The officer said, "We have details of all the accused and on the basis of those, we call their houses and allow them to speak to their families." Otherwise the accused could meet their families once a month.

The phone call facility between the accused and their family members are being allowed in every jail in the state. Around 25 accused are able to talk to their families every day. Every accused gets to make a phone call once a month.

IG Prisons, Deepak Pandey told mid-day, "The jailer first confirms that the person on the other side of the phone is a member of the family of the accused, only then the call is allowed. A duration of 5 minutes is given for each conversation between the inmate and their family."

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