Low Population At Prisons in Tamil Nadu Index of Crime Rate? - The New Indian Express

Low Population At Prisons in Tamil Nadu Index of Crime Rate?

Published: 19th May 2014 08:08 AM

Last Updated: 19th May 2014 10:17 AM

COIMBATORE: Bucking the trend of prison population exceeding their capacities across the world, penitentiaries in Tamil Nadu are operating at only 64 per cent of their total capacities.

According to statistics released by the Tamil Nadu Prisons Department, of a total capacity of 21,900 prisoners, only 14,182 persons are currently under incarceration in the seven prison facilities across the State.

The Coimbatore Central Prison itself is only operating at around 60 per cent capacity. Commenting on the reasons for the prisons being unoccupied, the DIG of prisons, (Coimbatore range) P Govindarajan said that though there was no specific reason for the falling incarceration rates, a drop in the crime rates across the State over the last five years, might be one of the reasons for the decline. “You can use that (the crime rate) as a barometer to gauge the phenomenon. However, there are also other contributing factors, such as speedy disposal of cases, which contribute to the falling prison population,” he said.

However, backlog existing from the preceding years has contributed greatly to the existing population. According to statistics, more than 6,000 persons, or around 40 per cent incarcerated in prisons are awaiting trial.

A retired judge from the Madras High Court, said that though the statistic reflected badly on the expeditiousness of the courts, they were the result of a backlog dating back over a decade, and the number of cases dispensed with over the last five years had greatly improved.

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