First Regional Conference on Women in Detention and Access to Justice

Prelims level : Details of the Conference Mains level : Prison Reforms in India
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Why in News?

  • The Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPR&D), Ministry of Home Affairs is organising the First ever Regional Conference at Shimla on ‘Women in Detention and Access to Justice’ in collaboration with the Prison Department, Himachal Pradesh.

Women in Detention and Access to Justice:

  • This conference is organised with a view to provide a platform for the prison personnel of all ranks at the national level to share their candid views on various operational as well as administrative issues not only with their counterparts, but also with other experts of national repute in this field.
  • The conference also seeks to identify best practices and standards in the working of Correctional Administration to meet new challenges in the present day’s context to bring out prison reforms in objective terms.
  • The Parliamentary Committee on Empowerment of Women on this subject has made several recommendations.
  • There is a need to deliberate upon some of the recommendations to devise strategies and programs for bettering conditions of Women Prisoners and upholding their FRs.
  • The following themes have been identified for discussions and deliberations:
    • Reproductive Health Rights of Women Prisoners: National and International Legal Norms
    • Health Needs of Women Prisoners
    • Health, Skill, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Women Inmates and Their Children
    • Prison Reforms, Structural Managerial and Legal Issues with Focus on Women Inmates & Comparison to Global Norms
    • Neuro-Criminology Program for the Offender
    • Transforming Prisons

Why we need reforms:

  • Women also tend to lose ties with their children over the years, due to inadequate child custody procedures. Also, a robust grievance redressal mechanism was required to tackle cases of sexual harassment, violence and abuse against women in jails.
  • Women in prisons face greater hardships than their male counterparts due to many factors such as social stigma, financial dependence on their families or husbands etc. These difficulties are further exacerbated when the woman has children. Women have to face numerous problems in prisons owing to inadequacy of female staff which often translates to the reality that male staff becomes responsible for female inmates, which is undesirable.
  • Women are not provided with meals that are nutritious and according to their bodily requirements.Women are at a most disadvantageous position when it comes to their reintegration in society after release. Many are abandoned or harassed post-release, mainly due to the stigma attached with incarceration, which is even more pronounced in cases of women.
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