Kerala spends nearly Rs 5 lakhs daily for the various needs of the prisoners
Reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed that the Kerala state government spends an average of Rs 18 crore annually on account of the food and related expenses of prisoners and undertrials. This amount includes all the expenses made to meet the various needs of the prisoners including the remuneration given them for working in all the jails across the state. The data was collected from 48 jails spread across the state as the same was available centrally at the DGP office. Information was collected from the Borstal Jail at Kakkanad, open prisons at Nettukalthery and Cheemeni, women jails in Kannur and Attakkulangara, three Central jails of Kannur, Poojappura and Viyyur, 9 district jails, 15 sub-jails and 16 special sub-jails. In case of some of the jails, the figures vealed as under:
In the Borstal School (at Kakkanad) for juvenile delinquents:
· Rs 1.26 lakh a month were spent for feeding the inmates, and
· Rs 4,750 for the wages of prisoners.
There are two open jails in the state (at Nettukalthery and Cheemeni).
At Nettukalthery, the monthly expenses made were:
· Rs 4.58 lakh for feeding the inmates, and
· Rs 6.27 lakh for the wages given to the inmates.
At Cheemeni, the expenses made were:
· Rs 4.57 lakh were spent for feeding the prisoners every month, and
· Rs 6.50 lakh were spent on the wages.
The two prisons for women (at Kannur and Attakulangara) together spent as under:
· Rs 3 lakh for prisoners’ food and other daily expenses, and
· Rs 25,000 for remuneration to prisoners.
In a previous RTI application, it was revealed that the Kerala prisons were overcrowded and some of the prisons like the Central prisons in Thiruvananthapuram and Viyyur had double the number of prisoners. The applicant MK Haridas has argued that as the expenses for running the jails is high, the government should come up with effective measures to run them. The high number of undertrials in the jails is a matter of concern for all.