Overcrowded Prison Cells in Pakistan Worries Judges

Prison cells across Pakistan have inmates in a greater number than the sanctioned capacity and this is alarming considering the outbreak of a pandemic.

Prison cells in Pakistan are known for their lack of basic necessities. Prisoners are not looked after and this is coming from someone who has family members who either are working or have worked as policemen. Months ago, an article published in Dawn clarified that these prison cells are also very overcrowded by prisoners beyond capacity.


This makes it clear that the authorities are paying less to no heed to these cells. After reading the article, it felt as if the prisoners were cramped up into jails without any concern about capacity.

“According to the findings, there are a total of 77,275 prisoners held in 114 prisons across the country. Appallingly, these prisons only have a combined capacity to house 57,742 people.”

This isn’t the case of one province as all of them are overcrowded. However, before the pandemic, it wasn’t a serious concern for many authorities. Ever since a coronavirus case was reported from prison cells, the judges are raising concerns as it virus can spread easily in these swamped places.

Two judges of Peshawar High Court for prisons have visited prison cells of Mardan central prison and Swabi and Nowshera district jails. After seeing the overcrowded jails, especially in times of a pandemic outbreak, they showed their serious concerns.

Another article mentions the capacity of prison cells in Mardan, Swabi & Nowshera versus the prisoners that have been kept there:

“The data shows that Mardan central prison has 2,636 inmates against the sanctioned capacity of 1,898, while 512 and 436 prisoners have been kept in Swabi and Nowshera jails respectively against the capacity of 130 persons each.”

This is an alarming situation for the authorities and an action should be taken before coronavirus spreads in these jails as well. No one is safe from this virus and considering the lack of necessities in prison cells, it’ll be much harder to control it.
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