By Ramesh Lamsal
The House of Representatives (HoR) passed the 'prison management bill, 2076' on Sunday. The bill was initially distributed to the HoR members on December 15, 2019.
The bill which was presented in the parliament after two months of the distribution reached the committee for clause wise discussion on April 11, 2020.
However, the discussion on the bill was adversely affected due to the dissolution of HoR for two times. The stakeholders had been advocating for passing the bill on prison for long, reasoning that it could ensure rights to prisoners.
The bill has ensured the reproductive right to the inmates, which is considered a progressive provision. The HoR members dubbed it a sweeping reform in the law relating to prison management.
With this, the lawmakers also demanded the intensification of the formulation of regulations for the enforcement of the bill.
Legitimate couple- inmate spouse-will be permitted to stay together with his/her spouse for reproduction.
Similarly, arrangement will be made to cater education to the inmates. It is the responsibility of the prison administrator to make necessary arrangement on education. The schemes of basic education, secondary education, open education and distance learning would be determined based on the need.
Similarly, the prison administrator is obliged to provide adult education and informal education to the illiterate prisoners. The administrator picks educator from among the prisoners. For the inmate who is picked for teaching fellow inmates, he/she is granted five days discount in imprisonment in a month. The educators also get remuneration and incentives.
Moreover, moral education, and yog will be introduced to change inmates' behaviour and instill positive thoughts.
Moreover, there are provisions to foster self-entrepreneurship among the inmates. Various sorts of skill-based and income-oriented trainings would be provided to them within the jail premises. The products/goods prepared by the inmates would be taken to the market with the cooperation of prison management.
Other salient features in the act are that any inmate willing to marry the person outside the prison will be allowed for registration of marriage; minors can stay with mothers; the pregnant inmates can give a birth to child going out of the prison; and the inmates above 65 years, or living with disabilities, and suffering from mental illness and other incurable diseases will be provided special care in terms of food and health.
If any inmate wants to flee to avoid jail term, he/she will face additional imprisonment and fine. (RSS)