NHRC issues Advisory to Centre, States & UTs on suicide attempts in jails

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National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued an Advisory to the Centre, States, and Union Territories (UT) Administrations on suicide attempts of inmates in judicial custody.

The Commission has asked the authorities to mitigate deliberate self-harm and suicide attempts by prisoners in judicial custody.

It emphasized that the barracks as well as the toilets, where most suicides take place, should be kept free of objects, which can be used for hanging, iron rods, grills, fans, hooks or similar objects, NHRC said in a statement.

“Encouraging visits by the family members of the prisoners and their telephonic communications with them is another important recommendation,” the statement said.

The Commission, in a letter, to all the Chief Secretaries of States and UT Administrators with a copy to the Ministry of Home Affairs, Bureau of Police Research and Development, and all Director General Prisons, has asked for the implementation of its recommendations in the Advisory and sought action taken report within three months.

The Advisory has focused on eleven key areas for action by the Centre, States, and UT Administrations. These include, filing up the vacancies and augmenting the staff strength, training prison staff and prisoners, screening their mental health at the admission stage, supervision and monitoring at-risk prisoners, creating a collaborative framework for mitigation, issue of addiction among prisoners, compliance with the relevant statutory provision, prison housekeeping, strengthening visitor system and improving prison architecture and its environment, it said.

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