Home minister visits District Jail

Salim Ahmed

Caretaker Home Minister Punjab Shaukat Javed has said that Punjab Prisons Department serves as executing arm of criminal justice system. The indispensable medical equipment worth Rs. 144 m will be procured for the prisoners including X-Ray machine, ECG, Ultrasound and OPT. Technical Training Centres at 10 jails will be established with the collaboration of TEVTA. New District Jails will be constructed in Chiniot, Nankana Sahib, Khushab, Chakwal, Lahore, and Rawalpindi. Judicial Lockup at Gojra, Pindi Ghaib, Musa Virk and Kot Addu will be converted into sub jails soon.
He said this while his visit to the District Jail Lahore, here today. IG Prisons, Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig briefed in detail the Minister about the working of the department. IG told the Minister that at present, Punjab Prisons Department has 41 prisons that include 9 Central Jails, 26 District Jails, 2 Sub Jails and 4 Special Jails. He said that the staff was getting training from NAPA, Pakistan Army and Punjab Police.
He said that effective accountability of staff through initiation of 265 disciplinary proceedings out of which 208 stands decided. He said that Punjab Prisons Department has responded promptly to the threats associated with terrorism in the past few years by training and equipping its personnel with modern arms and ammunition.
He said that to eliminate the use of mobile in the premises of jails, cellular jammers have been installed in 30 High Risk Prisons, whereas 8 more jammers will also be installed in the current fiscal year. Similarly, installation of integrated Security Surveillance Solution at 17 High Risk Prisons has been completed and will be installed at remaining 24 prisons in the current fiscal year.
He said that prisoners are classified according to their gender, age, type of offence and stage of trial. IG Prisons said that prisoners are getting religious, formal and vocational education. Vocational Training Centres have been established at 15 Jails where vocational training is imparted to the inmates to heal them with post release reintegration into the society as bonafide citizens.
Mirza Shahid Baig said that Rs. 90m were allocated for the provision of free of cost health facilities to the sick prisoners last year. Complaint & Enquiry branch is established at Inspectorate of Prisons to deal with disciplinary cases of Punjab Prisons staff on account of their negligence & inefficiency. A help line 1124 has also been established to redress the grievances & complaints of general public.
Later, the Minister Home inspected the different sections of the District Jail and inquired the prisoners about the facilities being given to them by jail administrations. He showed his satisfaction on the provision of these facilities. At the end, Shaukat Javed wrote his views on visitors book.

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