Prisoners attend a function held in connection with Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Week in Attock jail on Wednesday. — Dawn
Prisoners attend a function held in connection with Rehmatul-lil-Alameen Week in Attock jail on Wednesday. — Dawn

TAXILA: Punjab Minister for Revenue retired Col Malik Mohammad Anwar said the Punjab government would implement a prison package worth Rs5.5 billion for the betterment of prisoners and improving the service structure of jail staff.

Besides,the 127-year-old jail manual dating back to 1894 would be revamped to get rid of colonial jail laws.

He was addressing a function held in connection with Rehmatul-lil-Alameen week, observed in Attock jail on Wednesday.

The minister stressed on the need to protect prisoners’ human rights and turn them into useful citizens of the society.

Says additional jail staff being recruited

He said Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar had recently approved introduction of feasible amendments to the Punjab Probation and Parole Act, adding that the budgetary requirement be ensured for provision of healthy meals to captives.

The minister said Prisons Management Information System (PMIS), which was introduced to ensure efficient control and management of jail affairs, would be introduced in 22 other prisons across the province.

He said phase-wise filling of vacant posts in jails had been planned and recruitment of 1,037 jail staff had begun, adding that hiring of 4,930 wardens and 44 psychologists and paramedics under the prisons package would be carried out without delay.

“Besides upgrading the posts of jail warden, head warden and chief warden, prisons security allowance equivalent to one additional basic pay to the jail staff would be made under the package costing Rs2.7 billion.

All prisons would be gradually shifted on solar energy to overcome the problem of load-shedding and power outages whereas 21 operational vehicles to the prisons department would be provided,” he added.

Under the package, prisoners would also be allowed to have mattresses, blankets and pillows while geysers would be installed in all jails in winters and installation of dish antennas and cable television facility had begun in prisoners’ barracks on the directives of the chief minister.

Poor and juvenile inmates will be provided facilities of public call office for making contact with their families and female prisoners will be provided all necessary facilities and their children up to the age of six years will be provided education, recreational facilities and a day-care centre, Mr Anwar said.

“Sports and other recreational facilities will also be arranged with the collaboration of the Punjab Sports Board and Punjab Prisons Foundation,” he said, adding that on the occasion of Eid Miladun Nabi, a 90-day remission was announced for prisoners across the province.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2021

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