PESHAWAR: Justice Qalandar Ali Khan of the Peshawar High Court on Friday voiced concern about lack of health facilities in the province’s prisons and asked the relevant authorities for corrective measures.

Chairing a high-level meeting here over ways and means to improve conditions of jails, Justice Qalandar regretted shortage of diagnostic equipment and medical officers in prisons.

He said he recently visited various prisons in the province and learned about the inmates’ problems, including shortage of living space and lack of mental and physical healthcare, and rehabilitation and reintegration support.

Also asks authorities for early completion of work in jails

The relevant officials highlighted overcrowding of jails saying the issue needed the immediate attention of the government.

The IG (prison) said 93 percent of work on new barracks in the Central Jail Peshawar had been completed, while the special secretary of the finance department said funds would be released soon for the rest of work.

Justice Qalandar said juvenile and female inmates should be shifted to the new barracks.

The special secretary of the health department said medical officers would be appointed to all prisons, while prison hospitals would get necessary medicines.

The participants called for the rehabilitation of drug addict kept in prisons to make them useful citizens.

Justice Qalandar suggested that a separate ward be created in all DHQ hospitals for addicts’ care and once they’re treated, they should be handed over to the social welfare department for rehabilitation.

The secretary of the social welfare said efforts would be made for the rehabilitation of drug addict inmates at the district level.

The meeting decided that the social welfare department would provide services for the rehabilitation of inmates in jails.

Justice Qalandar expressed concern about the acute shortage of medicines and diagnostic facilities in prisons and asked the finance department to increase funds for the purpose and establishment of laboratories and purchase of necessary equipment.

The meeting decided that HIV and hepatitis screening tests would be conducted in prisons at regional level.

Justice Qalandar directed the IG (prison) to monitor the construction of new district jail in Nowshera and ensure speedy completion of formalities for the early start of work on it.

He also ordered the early completion of work on Swabi district jail.

Published in Dawn, November 3rd, 2018

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