PESHAWAR - Chief Minister Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa Mahmood Khan on Wednesday directed the au­thorities of home and prison de­partments to finalize work on new legal framework for bet­ter and efficient management of prisons and to introduce jail re­forms across the province.

Presiding over a meeting of prison department, he also di­rected the concerned quarters to expedite work on construc­tion of divisional level central jails in Malakand and Kohat di­visions. Home work should also be carried out for the approval of schemes regarding construc­tion of district jails in all those dis­tricts, including the newly merged districts, having no district jails.

While agreeing in principle to the proposal of creating new po­sitions of Deputy Inspector Gen­eral of Prisons at all division­al level and reservation of 10% quota for the sons of prison em­ployees of the total strength of vacancies in prison department, the Chief Minister directed the quarter concerned to initiate process in this regard.

The meeting was briefed in detail about the overall perfor­mance of prison department, progress made so far on prison reforms, implementation status of developmental projects, is­sues being faced by the depart­ment and other related mat­ters. Special Assistant to CM for Prisons Taj Muhammad, Secre­tary Home Ikramullah, Secre­tary Finance Atif Rehman, Prin­cipal Secretary to CM Shahab Ali Shah, Special Secretary to CM Muhammad Khaliq, Inspector General Prisons Masood Khan and other concerned authori­ties attended the meeting.

The meeting was informed that all records of 14 jails in the province, including complete details of prisoners, have been computerized whereas comput­erization of the rest of jails was in progress. Similarly, the 1st phase of expansion in Central Jail Peshawar project had been completed as a result a total ca­pacity of 2365 prisoners had been increased in the jail.

Briefing about medical treat­ment facilities for prisoners, it was informed that healthcare fa­cilities had been provided to 27220 prisoners during the cur­rent year whereas screening of 19788 prisoners had been carried out for various viral diseases. Be­sides during the last six months, 178 prisoners had been provided free of cost legal assistance.

Regarding arrangements in prisons to impart education to the prisoners, it was informed that during the current year, 1723 prisoners had received formal education out of which 37 had done Masters, 125 had done Graduation, 254 had done Intermediate and 367 had done Matriculation. Vocational train­ings of various types had also been imparted to 664 prisoners during the current year where­as 6465 Nos of books had been provided to the libraries es­tablished in prisons across the province.

The meeting was also in­formed that open air fitness gym had also been setup in the Central Jail Peshawar where­as construction of badminton court at Mardan jail was in pro­gress. The meeting was also in­formed that work was in pro­gress on having a welfare fund for the prisoners to be used for the well being of the prisoners.

Expressing his satisfaction over the overall performance of the prison department, the chief minister directed the concerned authorities to ensure physical progress on all projects of the department as per stipulated timelines. He also directed the relevant quarters to provide the required fund for the installa­tion of CCTV cameras in prisons throughout the province.