Yerawada Central Prison
Yerawada Central Prison is known as one of the historical prisons in India which
was constructed in 1871 during the British era which is one of the highest
security prisons in Maharashtra. This is one of the largest jails in Maharashtra
and also the largest prisons in South Asia of housing more than 5,000 prisoners
both national and international ones. It has various barracks and security
zones, with the open jail which is outside the premises.
Yerawada Prison is known as historical prison because it had various leaders
like- Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bhose, Chaphekar
Brothers, and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. This prison is spread over 512 acres.
The main security jail is protected by four high walls and it is divided into
barracks and security zones. It also has egg-shaped cells where Ajmal Kasab was
kept which is one of the highest securities in the jail. This jail is one of the
overcrowded jail has the capacity is of 5000 prisoners more than it resides over
Egg Cells Or Anda Shaped Cell:
Egg Cells or Anda shaped Cells are the
high-security blocks. Its two sections are divided into 10ft* 10ft compartments
spread over nearly 1000sq.ft. Its inmates are not allowed to go outside a
prescribed area and cannot mingle with others. The Anda cell is usually for
gangsters or terrorists, who officials suspect can create law and order problem
or face a threat. This Anda cell does not have enough light and has insufficient
ventilation. In this Anda Cell, Ajmal Kasab was kept before he got hanged.
This is a section for prisoners whose age is from 18 to 21 years
where they are provided with educational, cultural training such that after
completion of their sentence they should not involve in criminal activities and
should live the normal and happy life.
The capacity for female jail is about 300 prisoners where in this
jail 2 females are convicted for life imprisonment. Here the female prisoners
are also provided with vocational training courses like- Stitching, tailoring,
Saree making, art and craftwork, etc.
Yerawada Open Jail:
It is situated outside the Yerawada Central Jail which is
within the campus and it is for house life sentence prisoners who have properly
completed five years in the central jail. This open jail is for those prisoners
who are found to be good behaviour and are physically and mentally sound or for
those who are willing to accept and undertake such work or employment as may be
provided in the open jail and agree to abide by the rules and regulations
prescribed by the governance of the prison or are sentenced to imprisonment for
seven years or more and have undergone half of their sentences without
remissions on the date of their selection and these prisoners are kept under
basic security but here they are not kept in prison cells.
Following are the conditions which are needed to be obeyed by the prisoners:
Following is the History Sheet of the Prisoner in the Open Jail:
- Here the prisoner shall reside in the colony during the period of
suspension of his sentence and shall not go beyond the limits of the
specified area of the colony under any pretext without the permission of the
- That the Prisoner shall obey all the lawful orders and reasonable
directions of the Liaison Officer;
- That the Prisoner shall be of good behaviour and shall not commit any
offence punishable by or under any law in India;
- That the Prisoner shall not associate with bad characters or lead a
- That the Prisoner shall perform the assigned work diligently by putting
his 8 hours of work in a day, and earn his livelihood and that of his family
members, who may come to stay with him with the permission of the Inspector
General of Prisons;
- Name of the prisoner.
- The number of prisoners.
- Habitual or casual.
- Criminal history and statement of the prisoner regarding present and previous
crimes, if any.
- Social History:
- Health history.
- Educational background.
- Economic background.
- Employment history.
- Associations, companionship, etc.
- Personality (general) impressions only.
- Clues regarding the sequence of criminal behaviours.
- Is he a social or individualised criminal? Is he an ordinary criminal careerist
or professional criminal or organised criminal?
- Is his criminal act, the behaviour of the moment or eruptive behaviour?
- Is his mal-adjustment at the surface level or at the deep emotional
- His defects and weaknesses. His assets.
- Which are the favourable and unfavourable points for his rehabilitation?
- Suggestions about the reference to experts like psychologist,
- Indications about other sources from where information about the
inmate’s social background can be available. Suggestions about additional
material to be collected.
The date on which the case history was prepared ..............
Types Of Prisoners:
In Yerawada Jail we came across different types of Prisoners like
the Under-Trial Prisoners and the Convicted Prisoners.
The Under -Trial Prisoners are not allowed to work and are not given with the
Uniform but for those who want to work voluntarily they can work and if he works
he is also provided with the daily wages and his performance also gets counts.
In Yerawada Prison there are about 4000 Under Trial Prisoners.
Whereas the Convicted Prisoners have to work to earn the money and to fulfil his
daily expenses. There are different colour bands on their Normal White Color
Clothes to identify them which are as follows:
- Yellow Band represents that these prisoners are the representatives of
their group or of their barracks.
- Violet/ Blue Band represents that these prisoners are working as
- Red Band represents that these prisoners had tried to escape from jail.
Daily Routine Of Prisoners:
- Alarm at 05:00 AM
- Daily Morning Routine from 05:00AM to 06:00AM
- Breakfast at 06:30AM
- Working at Prison from 10:00AM to 05:00 PM
- There would be lunch in between their working hours followed by some
- Dinner would be at 06:00PM
- Prisoners will go into their barracks at 07:00PM
- Barracks gets closed at 08:00PM
Classification Of Prisoners According To Their Skills:
- Skilled Prisoners: These are the Prisoners who are provided with
training of various tasks such as Carpentry, Shoe-making, Paithani making, etc. where
they get Rs.61 as their daily wage.
- Semi-Skilled Prisoners: These are the prisoners who are equipped with
basic skills such as cutting vegetables, cooking, etc. where they get Rs.55
as their daily wage.
- Unskilled Prisoners: These are the prisoners who are unskilled and does
not perform any technical or training work where they perform the basic
tasks such as Gardening, Cleaning, etc. where they earn Rs.45 as their daily
Institutions In Yerawada Jail:
Gandhi Ward: In 1932, Mahatma Gandhi was lodged in Yerawada Jail during the
Civil Disobedience Movement it is a place along with Mahatma Gandhi other
freedom fighters were imprisoned. The ward is unoccupied and serves as a
memorial to the national leader where there it consists of documents signed by
Mahatma Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Subhash Chandra Bhose and also includes Charkha
which Mahatma Gandhi used.
Mulakat Kaksha:It is a type of room where prisoners can communicate with
their lawyers or family members with certain timings that is from 08:00AM to
12:00 in Morning and from 02:00PM to 06:00PM in Evening. The Registration time
for the meeting is from 01:00 to 02:00PM.
Here the Under-trial prisoners can meet once in a week and Convicted Prisoners
can meet once in 15 days.
For their ID Proof (Adhar Card) and same Surname is needed to meet the prisoner.
Prison Panchayat: It is a committee of officers and prisoners. It
decides on what facilities should be provided by understanding what problems
are faced by Prisoners such as any health issues, etc. It has a view to
training the prisoners to live like in a co-operative, democratic and
disciplined manner to inculcate a sense of responsibility and self-reliance
amongst them, panchayats
of convicted prisoners have been set-up central prisons and district prisons. It
is held once in a year. There are various advantages of this Panchayat that is
helps to reduce the gap between the officers and the prisoners as well as it
helps to improves the relationship among the prisoners.
Lok Adalats: Lok Adalats are a supplementary forum for conciliatory
settlement of disputes. All categories of cases can be settled through Lok
Adalats except criminal cases which are not compoundable. Lok Adalats have
acquired a statutory base and the awards passed by the Lok Adalats are deemed to
be the decrees of the civil court or the order of any other court and are
binding on all the parties to the dispute. There does not lie any appeal to any
court against an award passed by Lok Adalat. Permanent and Continuous Lok
Adalats are being set up in all the districts for encouraging the parties to
resolve their disputes and differences amicably.
Radio Station:In Yerawada Prison there is no frequency setup where the
channels can operate thus they have a mike and speaker setup where the Radio
Jockeys talk on Mics and it is thus spread throughout the jail through speakers
where they talk on several topics from motivation to entertainment which would
help the prisoners to forget that past thing do things better now. Thus,
previously Sanjay Dutt was the Radio Jockey in this Radio Station, these
stations also play the songs which are recommended by the prisoners for
Days Celebration:There are various occasions which are celebrated in
the Prison including Independence Day, Republic Day, Raksha Bandhan, Gandhi Jayanti,
Makar Sankranti, Eid and Diwali to have entertainment and relaxation for the
Education In Prison: Education is now compulsory in all prisons, there
is a requirement of additional posts for organizing educational and cultural
program for prisoners. They are provided with various classes for
educational purpose both to the Kishor Vibhag Prisoners and the other ones and are encouraged to
appear for English, Sanskrit and Hindi Examinations conducted by various
educational institutions. Along with education, they are also provided with
vocational training in carpentry, tailoring, and other trades. These are
conducted twice a week and they are closely related to institutional work
Computer Training: Prisoners are being provided with computer training
to get acquainted with various computer and technical skills.
Karagrah Karmchari Bhavan: It is been constructed on the grounds of Jail
Officers Training School to provide facilities like- Rest House and other
facilities like- Library and Recreation Arrangements for Indoor games, Reading
Room, Yogasana and Gymnasium.
Prison Canteen Or Swayapak Gruha:: Here the prisoners are provided with
breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast includes Pohe/ Upma/ Egg/ Milk/ Khichdi,
Lunch includes 3 Roti’s, Pulses, Dal, Rice for Under-trial Prisoners and 4
Roti’s, Pulses, Dal, Rice for Convicted Prisoners.
There are some Special Diet like- Mutton Biryani on the occasion of Eid and
Puran Poli on the occasion of Makar Sankranti where Prisoners can buy them on
their own expenses.
In this Canteen, meals are daily checked by Scientists to check its quality thus
here any of the menu does not gets repeated in a week which means each day they
have different menus.
Jail Hospital: Except Surgery, every kind of treatment is provided in
the Jail hospital thus for Surgery the Prisoners are taken to Sassoon
hospital. There are various visits which are associated by the doctors to
examine the physical and mental state of the prisoners and if there occurs
any medical issue that prisoner is operated immediately with good cause.
The prisoners who are facing mental damage are consulted, provided with various
medical treatments and if the case is out of the control they are transferred to
Yerawada Mental Hospital for their Mental treatments.
Jail Manufacturing IndustriesThe industries as shown in annexure have
been organized which are in fact production-cum-training units as prisoners
gain practical knowledge of the working of the industries in which they
work. The working knowledge of different trades so gained by prisoners helps
them to earn their livelihood on release from prison. Articles manufactured
in the prison industries are supplied to other Government departments,
semi-Government bodies and are also sold to the public.
Prisoners Welfare FundThis fund has been organized at all central and
district prisons with a view to extending necessary help to the needy
prisoners. Prisoners are allowed to contribute to this fund on a voluntary
basis. It has been decided that from 1974-75, the amount representing net
profits of the prison canteens should be contributed to the prisoners'
Welfare Fund through Government account.
Prison AgricultureGreater attention is being paid to the
reorganization and development of prison farms so as to achieve
self-sufficiency in regard to the requirements of vegetables and food
Issues Faced In Prison:
Despite the relatively low number of persons in prisons as compared to many
other countries in the world, there are some very serious problems in prisons
These are overcrowding, prolonged detention of undertrials, unsatisfactory
living conditions, staff shortage and poor training, corruption and extortion,
inadequate social reintegration programs, poor spending on healthcare and
welfare, lack of legal aid and allegations of indifferent and even inhuman
approach of prison staff among others.
Following are the issues which are mainly faced in various prisons of India:
- 80% of the Prisoners are Under-trial leading to overcrowding of the
- Even though the bail is granted, prisoners are not released due to slow
administration or of not being aware of the order.
- Lack of sufficient medical aid facilities.
- Lack of proper legal aid.
- High amount of surety ordered by court which indigent prisoners cannot
- There is a rejection of surety bonds due to lack of money or
verification of addresses as indigent prisoners do not have houses.
Prison Reforms In India:
The concept of modern prison in India originated with the Minute by TB Macaulay
in 1835. A Prison Discipline Committee was appointed which submitted its report
on 1838. The committee recommended increased rigorousness of treatment while
rejecting all humanitarian needs and reform of prisoners. Following the
recommendations of the Committee, Central Prisons were constructed from 1846.
The contemporary Prison administration in India is thus a legacy of British
rule. It is based on the notion that the best criminal code can be of little use
to a community unless there is good machinery for the infliction of punishment.
In 1864, the Second Commission of Inquiry into Jail Management and Discipline
made similar recommendations as to the 1838 Committee.
In addition, this Commission made some specific suggestions regarding
accommodation for prisoners, improvement in diet, clothing, bedding and medical
In 1888, the Fourth Jail Commission was appointed. On the basis of its
recommendations, a consolidated prison bill was formulated. Provisions regarding
jail offences and punishment were specially examined by a committee of experts
on Jail Management. In 1894, the draft bill became law with the assent of the
Viceroy. It is this Act which forms the basis for the present-day jail
management and administration in India.
This Act has hardly undergone any
substantial changes since its inception. However, the process of review of
prison problems in India continued. In the report of the Indian Jail Committee
1919-20, for the first time in the history of prisons, 'reformation and
rehabilitation' of offenders were identified as the objectives of prison.
The Government of India Act 1935 resulted in the transfer of the subject of
jails from the Central List to the control of Provincial Governments and
henceforth reduced the possibility of uniform implementation of a prison policy
at the national level. Thus, State Governments have their own rules and
regulations for the day to day administration of prisons, maintenance of
prisoners, and prescribing procedures.
The Mulla Committee:
In 1980 the Government of India set-up a Committee on Jail Reforms under the
Chairmanship of Justice A. N. Mulla. The Mulla Committee submitted its report
Some of the prominent recommendations of the Mulla committee are:
- Improving prison condition by making available proper food, clothing,
- The prison staff to be properly trained and organized into different
cadres. Setting up an All India Service called the Indian Prisons &
- After-care, rehabilitation and probation to be an integral part of
- The press and public to be allowed inside prisons and allied
correctional institutions periodically, so that the public may have
first-hand information about the conditions of prisons and be willing to
co-operate in rehabilitation work.
- Undertrials in jails to be reduced to bare minimum and they are kept away
from convicts. Undertrials constitute a sizable portion of the prison
population. Their number to be reduced by speedy trial and liberalization of
- The Government may make an effort to provide adequate financial
The Rights guaranteed in Part III of the Indian Constitution are available to
the prisoners because a prisoner is treated as a person in prison.
various Enactments and Rules for the Prisoners which are as follows:
The Prison Act, 1894:
This is the first act in India for the prisoners.
The following are some of the important provisions regarding Prisoners
- Accommodation and Sanitary Conditions of the Prisoners;
- Provisions relating to the mental and physical state of prisoners;
- Examination of prisoners by the qualified medical officer;
- Separation of prisoners for male, female, criminal, civil, convicted,
- Provisions for treatment of under-trials, civil prisoners, parole and
temporary release of prisoners.
The Prisoners Act, 1990:
- It is the duty of the government for the removal of any prisoner
detained under any order or sentence of any court, which is of unsound mind
to a lunatic asylum and another place where he will be given proper
- Any court which is a high court may in the case in which it has
recommended to government the granting of a free pardon to any prisoner,
permit him to be at liberty on his own cognizance.
The Transfer Of Prisoners Act, 1950:
The Act was enacted for the transfer of prisoners from one state to another for
rehabilitation or vocational training and from overpopulated jails to less
congested jails within the state.
Following are the Rights to the Prisoners in India:
- Prisoners have the Right to Personal liberty which is under Article 14
of the Constitution of India as the State shall not deny to any person
equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the
territory of India.
- They also have the Protection of their life and Personal Property which
is mentioned in Article 21 of Constitution of India that No person shall
be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the
procedure established by law.
- If there is any Cruelty to any prisoners it shall be dealt with the
Prisons Act, 1894.
- Right to Legal Aid- Prisoners have the right to hire an advocate for
him/ her or if he can’t hire it is the government responsibility to hire an
advocate for him.
- Right to Speedy Trial.
- Right to provide Reasonable wages in Prison.
- In the case of D.B.M Patnaik v. State of Andra Pradesh: The Supreme
Court held that the mere detention does not deprive the convicts of all the
fundamental rights enshrined in our constitution.
- In the case of R.D. Upadhaya v. State of Andra Pradesh and Orissa: The
right to fair treatment and right of judicial remedy is pre-requisite of
administration of prison justice.
Suggestions For Prisons:
- There is a need to increase the number of Prisons to avoid the
overcrowding of the prisons.
- There should be different prisons for Under-trial and Convicted they
should not be kept together as there are a maximum number of under-trial
- The rights to the highest attainable standard of health should also
apply to prison health conditions and health care.
- Improvement in the standard of education in jails.
- Employment after release, providing training in various fields so they
will not indulge in criminal activities again and would have better living
- There should have uniform jail manual throughout India it should not
differ from state-to-state.
Through various bodies have studied the problems of prisons in India and laws
are made for improving jail conditions, it is a fact that many problems plague
our prisons. In many cases, prisoners come out of jails as hardened criminals
more than as reformed wrongdoers willing to join the mainstream social
processes. The emphasis on prison buildings, but what goes on inside them that
needs to be changed.
The focus must be on the human rights of prisoners besides improving
their correctional aspect needs to be strengthened through counselling
programmes by experts. The mindset of the prison staff must change. The
management of prisons must be marked by discipline and due regard to the human
rights of prisoners. Prison reform is not just about amenities and medical
As we had the visit to Yerawada Jail, one comes to know the importance of
freedom which an individual has as well as it helps us to understand what is the
right which is given by the Constitution of India to the Indian citizens by
understanding each and every responsibility which one should fulfil for the
country’s growth in terms of all spheres that is of economic, social, legal,
technological, other aspects.
It also helps us to understand that how our law protects the people from facing
any public or private wrong such that it helps the society to maintain in peace
and harmony as well as it has smooth functioning of all the institutions which
are there in India.
It warns the people from doing any wrong and understanding the meaning of
Justice in the aspects of social, economic and political status.
One of the most important thing which helped me to understand how the citizens
of India have the liberty of thoughts, expressions and beliefs which the
prisoners don’t have. Being a citizen of India it is the duty of each and every
citizen of India to try to protect the people from any injury and try to help
each other when they are in difficulties without thinking and having any
discrimination in the minds.