In a recent report from Lakki Marwat, inmates of the district jail complained about the inferior quality of life within the prison, including the substandard condition of food as well as lack of hygiene, that endangers the lives of the inmates. Deputy Zafar Ali Shah was informed on his visit that lack of fumigation and ventilation in the prison seriously threatened the lives of the inmates who feared malaria and dengue among other diseases. In addition to the inefficient system of hygiene, inmates also mentioned how due to the lack of authentic medical practitioners, many faced increased health problems. The Deputy Commissioner directed the management of government city hospital to conduct weekly check-ups of the inmates.

The state of affairs in Lakki Marwat’s jail is not a problem limited to that district alone; in Pakistan, prisons suffer negligence at several levels – from the prison management itself to lack of concern shown by the provincial government. In this situation, the conditions of confinement are often placed unfairly outside of the constitutional rights of inmates. Prison inmates are entitled to adequate medical care in addition to living conditions that are sanitized and well taken care of. The civil society addresses these issues while also criticizing how mass incarceration of citizens does not lead to the correction of crime in society.

Leaving prisoners entirely to the discretion of prison management is a counterproductive step that leads to the violation of basic human rights in the country, while also boiling resentment among inmates against the management and the government. Medical care, hygiene and regulated mobility within the jail are some of the rudimentary rights that belong to prisoners afforded by the state. Inmates deserve to be heard on these grounds. Hopefully after this visit by the Deputy Commissioner, life in jail will improve. One can only naively hope.