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Nepal's jails in shambles

Nepal,Crime/Disaster/Accident, Sat, 17 Nov 2012 IANS

Kathmandu, Nov 17 (IANS) Inadequate government support and improper management over the years have left most of the jails in Nepal in shambles. Such is the condition of these prisons that some of them are housing inmates six times more than their capacity.

According to a senior prison management official, a total of 74 prisons, built since 1947 in Nepal, are faced with the problem of outnumbered inmates.

"It is very difficult for us to manage the prisons as they are overcrowded," reported Xinhua quoting Shambhu Koirala, director general of the Department of Prison Management.

Though a dozen of commissions and task force have been formed by the government to deal with the upgrading of jails, nothing materialised for improving the physical structures of the prisons.

The number of inmates in the 74 prisons exceeds the total capacity by more than double on an average. Some of them are even housing up to six times more inmates than their actual capacity, said Koirala.

The prisons do not seem even a bit like "correctional institutions" as they are supposed to be, he added.

"Managing the prison has become a challenge as the physical structures are deteriorating and the number of inmates rising," said Sovendra Thakur, an official with an overcrowded Jaleshwar prison.

Koirala feels that the urgent requirement is that the government should provide enough financial resources.

"All we want is timely and sufficient budget allocation from the government to have immediate renovations and expansion of prison's state so as to accommodate the increasing number of inmates to avert any serious trouble in the near future," he said.

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