NEW DELHI: As many as 1,681 toddlers were found to be living in Indian jails with their prisoner mothers in 2017, according to the latest report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, which reported the highest number of children living in jails at 332 and 146, respectively, had no facilities like creche or nursery for these children.
According to prison rules, children up to the age of six are allowed to live with their mothers in jails. The Supreme Court guidelines say that “children below three years shall be allowed crèche and those between three and six years shall be looked after in the nursery. The prison authorities shall preferably run the said crèche and nursery outside the prison premises”.
According to the Prison Statistics report of NCRB for the year 2017, only three states and a Union Territory have these facilities — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Chandigarh.
The NCRB report shows there were 1,454 women lodged in Indian prisons with 1,681 children, as of December 31, 2017 — a marginal dip for the corresponding figures in 2016, i.e. 1,649 mothers lodged with 1942 children, but higher than the numbers for 2015 — 1,597 mothers with 1,866 children.
Chhattisgarh has the highest occupancy rate of women inmates at 166.4%, followed by Uttarakhand at 155.3% and Uttar Pradesh at 114.8%.