NHRC Re-Issues Advisory to Prevent Prisoner Suicides in India

India's National Human Rights Commission re-issues advisory to prevent prisoner suicides, focusing on mental well-being and removing suicide objects. The advisory aims to reduce unnatural deaths in prisons and promote a safer, more supportive environment.

author-image
Nitish Verma
New Update
NHRC Re-Issues Advisory to Prevent Prisoner Suicides in India

NHRC Re-Issues Advisory to Prevent Prisoner Suicides in India

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) hasre-issued an advisoryon preventing unnatural deaths of prisoners due to suicides in India. The advisory, posted on social media on May 7, 2024, highlights the need to focus on prisoners' mental well-being and remove objects that could be used for suicide.

Why this matters: The issue of prisoner suicides is a pressing concern that affects not only the prisoners themselves but also their families and the broader community, highlighting the need for a more humane and rehabilitative approach to incarceration. By addressing this issue, authorities can work towards reducing the incidence of suicide and promoting a safer and more supportive environment for all individuals involved.

The key recommendations in the advisory include keeping toilets free from sharp objects, storing building maintenance tools like ropes, glass, wooden ladders, and pipes in prison staff custody, and keeping abrasive and corrosive chemicals out of prisoners' rooms. It also advises conducting mental health screenings, installing CCTV cameras, ensuring regular visits from mental health care professionals, and maintaining vigilance on bedsheets and ropes to prevent hanging.

In addition to these measures, the NHRC advisory emphasizes the importance of improving facilities for communication and rehabilitation of prisoners. It recommends ensuring proper arrangements for prisoners to communicate and meet with relatives, enhancing facilities for up-skilling, vocational guidance, and financial independence, and linking long-term skilled prisoners with government schemes for entrepreneurship.

The re-issued advisory aims to address the growing concern of prisoner suicides in India, which account for a significant portion of unnatural deaths in prisons. By focusing on both the mental well-being of prisoners and the removal of potential suicide objects from their surroundings, the NHRC hopes to reduce the incidence of such tragedies.

The NHRC's recommendations come at a crucial time, as recent incidents of prisoner suicides, including the deaths of undertrial prisoners in Lucknow Jail, Uttar Pradesh, and Mandoli Jail, Delhi, have highlighted the urgent need for action. "The advisory aims to prevent such incidents by ensuring that prisons provide a safe and supportive environment for prisoners,"stated an NHRC spokesperson.

The NHRC's re-issued advisory serves as a vital reminder of the importance of prioritizing the mental health and safety of prisoners in India. By implementing the recommended measures and improving facilities for communication and rehabilitation, authorities can work towards creating a more humane and rehabilitative prison environment, ultimately reducing the tragic loss of life due toprisoner suicides.