The Delhi government is planning to convert a newly built police housing society near Mandoli jail into a temporary prison with a capacity to hold 1800 prisoners as said by officials.
“To prevent the spread of Covid-19 in prison, the prisoners will be put up at the facility for two weeks before they are moved to the jail complex,”.an official told The Hindu. The prisoners have already been registered in jails across the city those who are getting the symptoms of infections or has been suspected of carrying the virus will be moved to the new facility.
Once the Minister concerned approves the plan, the housing society will be notified as a temporary jail. Out of 850 beds capacity, currently, 600 infected people are being treated at the facility. The district officials have been directed to vacate the complex. The government is also looking of shifting some prisoners from another jail to the new facility, there are around 16 jails across the city. There are still more than their combined actual capacity of 10,026, said officials.
The decision of converting police housing society into prisoner’s COVID care center was taken by a committee looking into decongesting prisons in the city, following a supreme court order.
Following the court orders, the Delhi Govt amended the Delhi prisons rule,2018, and inserted a clause for ‘emergency parole’ and started granting parole for eight weeks each. The Supreme Court asked the state government to consider giving parole to prisoners facing up to seven years jail term in a bid to decongest prisons of account of COVID-19 outbreak.
Emergency paroles of all convicts whose current parole is going to expire by July 31 are extended by eight weeks, the order issued on July 7. A total of 1,108 convicts have been released on emergency parole till now and this parole period will be counted as part of their sentence. The government has extended first parole by eight weeks on May 22.