India is one of the largest developing countries and over the last few years, the nation has brought out numerous acts to make people’s life comfortable and easy. One such act is the recent Model Prison Act.

Model Prison Act

1. Announcement

To convert the prisons in India into correction centers rather than punitive measures, a new Model Prison Act has been designed by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

Mr. Amit Shah, the Home Minister of India announced the act in a series of three tweets. Mr. Shah tweets,  “

“Under the visionary leadership of PM @narendramodi Ji the MHA has prepared a new ‘Model Prisons Act 2023’ to change 130-year-old, colonial-era prison laws.

The model act has been forwarded to the States and UTs for guidance.”

India Passes New Model Prison Act
Source: Twitter

Adding on to the features of the act, he further tweeted, “

“Model Prisons Act suggests states remodel prisons into reformative and correctional institutions from places of retributive deterrence.

Its goal is to reform prison management and ensure the transformation of inmates into law-abiding citizens and their rehabilitation in society.”

India Passes New Model Prison Act
Source: Twitter

The acts also try to make the life of women and transgender prisoners better than present conditions. The Home Minister also tweeted,

The new act would require the states to lay more emphasis on the safety of women and transgender prisoners, the physical and mental well-being of all inmates, bring about transparency in prison management, and provide for correction and rehabilitation. “

India Passes New Model Prison Act
Source: Twitter

2. Aim of Model Prison Act

The Government of India has forwarded the ‘Model Prisons Act, 2023’ to  State Governments and Union Territories. The said law will be replacing the 130 years old  ‘Prisons Act, of 1894’.  The erstwhile act only aimed to keep the lawbreakers in custody.

However, experts believe that the new Act will convert prisons into corrective institutions. The focus of jails shall be rehabilitation of the criminals and bringing them back to society as good citizens.

3. Features

The Act has numerous good features which will give a second chance to many in prison including provisions for assessment of security and division of prisoners based on their behavior. The act also has features for the redressal of grievances.

Moreover, the act aims to develop psychological well-being also with attention to the physical health of the prisoners.

The act also aims at the introduction of technology in prison. The act provides provisions to undertake court hearings through video conferencing and the use of scientific advice to encounter problems in prison.

Further, the act provides provisions for parole and early release from jail based on good conduct inside the jail. Unlike the existing regulations,  the act provides features for providing training on numerous skill sets to aid the prisoner to lead a new life upon release from jail.

Well, everything is not only about welfare in this act. There are provisions to extend punishments to prisoners and also take punitive action against the jail staff for violation of rules especially the use of mobile phones by prisoners.

The Model Prison Act has been misconstrued as a provision for a criminal to obtain quick release from jail in the name of good conduct.  It has the feature to increase punishment for violent and repetitive defaulters.

The new act is expected to make our society a better place to live in.  What are your thoughts?? Tell us in the comment section.

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