Maharashtra to Build New Jails in Five Locations to Address Increase in Prison Population

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Pune, 27th March 2023: Due to an increase in the number of prisoners exceeding the capacity of prisons in the state, a proposal for constructing new prisons at five locations, namely Ahmednagar, Thane, Yerwada, Palghar, and Gondia, has been sent on behalf of the State Prisons Department to the Maharashtra Housing Welfare Corporation. The growing number of prisoners has put a strain on the prison system, and the number of unsentenced prisoners in prisons is also increasing.

There are 60 jails in the state with a total capacity to hold 24,722 prisoners. However, there are currently 41,191 prisoners in various prisons across the state, out of which 70 percent are raw prisoners. To address this issue, the prison administration has no option left but to expand the jail capacity and increase the number of jails.

The proposal for constructing new jails has been sent to the Home Department. The high-ranking officials of the Prison Department have informed that the construction work will start immediately after the proposal’s approval.

Yerwada Jail in Pune, known as the state’s largest prison, has a capacity of 2,449 male and female prisoners, but currently, 6,821 prisoners are being held in the facility. With many cases pending in court, the number of raw prisoners has increased.

According to the statistical report of the Prisons Department, the detention capacity of prisons in the state was 23,592 in 2015, which increased to 24,722 in 2022. Over the last seven years, the prison capacity has increased by only 1,300 prisoners. As a result, the prison administration is facing a shortage of space for the newly admitted prisoners, leading to increased stress on the prison infrastructure.

To address this issue, a new jail with a capacity of 500 prisoners is proposed on 11 acres in Narayandoh city, with a provision of Rs 95 lakh. Another new jail with a capacity of 1,500 prisoners is proposed in Palghar on 25 acres, with a provision of Rs one crore. Jails with a capacity of 3,000 prisoners each are proposed in Thane and Yerwada. Additionally, a new jail with a capacity of 349 prisoners is planned in Gondia.