LAHORE - In a high level meeting chaired by Punjab Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, it has been decided that in order to increase the capacity new double-storey barracks would be constructed in different jails of the province in addition to introduce massive reforms in Punjab Jails’ system. Similarly, to ensure convenience and savings of the inmates, utility stores will be set up instead of canteen contracting system where prisoners will be able to get cheap items at control rates.

Apart from Senior Punjab Minister Abdul Aleem Khan, Law Minister Raja Basharat, Additional Chief Secretary Home Momin Ali Agha, IG Prisons, Secretaries of various departments and representatives of the legal community participated in this high level meeting held here at Chief Minister House.

Aleem said that unfortunately the Punjab jails are still working under the 1894 Act, while there is a lot of work to be done on the legal aspects and internal reforms of the jails for which practical work has now been started.

Aleem said that the perception of jail from outside is very different while the environment inside is totally changed.  We have to use all the resources for the practical improvement of the prisoners, so there is a need for joint recommendations from civil society and legal experts.

Aleem Khan directed to improve the cloths washing area and wash rooms and provide the same facilities to the rest by making one jail a model.  He directed to use the welfare funds allocated in the jails for the betterment of the employees.  Senior Minister also announced to bring the salaries of jail employees at par with Police Department.

Aleem said that inmates should get basic facilities like shampoo, razor and soap in the jail.

Senior Minister directed the Home, Law and Jail Departments to work out jointly for recommendations of reforms and work in a coordinated manner including keeping in view the international standards.

During the meeting, Law Minister Basharat Raja said that the draft of Jail Act 2020 is in the final stage of preparation in which the welfare of women prisoners has also been given special priority.

 Additional Chief Secretary Home and IG Prisons also briefed the meeting, Secretary C&W said that the welfare work done by Abdul Aleem Khan Foundation in Kot Lakhpat Jail has been declared as a model and providing of similar facilities in other jails would also be started soon. The meeting was also briefed on the Justice System Support Programme in which many recommendations have been prepared collectively.

This meeting will soon take place again in which approval will be given to start practical work for the reforms in all jails of Punjab province.