Bhubaneswar: In pursuance with the order of Orissa High Court, the State Government has constituted Odisha Prisons Development Board to improve and modernize the infrastructure facility in the prisons in the State.
The Chief Secretary has been appointed as Chairman of the Board while the Director General of Prisons and Director of Correctional Services is the Member Convener.
The other Members of the Board are—Secretaries of Home, Finance, Law, Revenue, Higher Education, Skill Development, Women & Child Development, Health and Electronic & IT.
As per a notification of the Home Department, the meeting of the Board will be held at least once in every six months while an urgent meeting can be conveyed at any time.
The Chairman may co-opt any other official member as and when required. The Chairman can also invite any non official in cases to seek his/her inputs on matters of Prison Administration.
The Prisons Development Board will function to examine the living conditions of the prisoners in all the prisons, with specific reference to their basic needs and provisions of facilities compatible with the dignity of human life.
It will also suggest measures to reform and re-assimilate the prisoners in the social milieu by giving them appropriate correctional treatment.
The panel will suggest construction of new Prisons where the existing prisons are not in a satisfactory condition, or are beyond repairs.
The Board will review and suggest measures for the development of programs for the treatment of prisoners including education, vocational training and productive work with a view to developing prisons as correctional center and it will manage Prisons efficiently by inducting modern technology, methods and apparatus.
The Board will prepare a 3-5 years Action Plan for the overall development of the Prisons. For the purpose, it may seek the help of a third party for various inputs .
The Board may also seek help from various consultants with technical knowhow and professional expertise for smooth administration of Prisons and Correctional Services in the State.
On the basis of the above Action Plan, annual targets/ goals would be clearly worked out and a proper timeline and strategy for achieving the same would be prepared.
The Board will review the implementation of annual goals/targets and suggest any further measures to be undertaken for its achievements. It would also study best practices adopted by other State Governments and in case found suitable to adopt and implement it in our State Prisons.
Further, the Board can also facilitate exchange of expertise in the field of technical know-how and Prisons administration either from its own initiative or with assistance of the Government of India.
In December last year, the Orissa High Court had directed the State Government to form this Board for better facilities in the prisons. The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice AK Mohapatra had directed the State government to ensure the committee holds its first meeting on January 10 and at least four meetings before March 8, 2022, the date fixed for next hearing on the matter. The court expected the panel to function as a nodal mechanism for implementation of its directions.