COVID-19: Over 6,000 inmates given bail to trim count in TN jails

Chennai, May 17 () There has never been overcrowding injails in Tamil Nadu and over 6,000 inmates were grantedbail recently to prevent coronavirus spread, bringing down thepresent strength to a little over half of the capacity,authorities said on Sunday.More than 6,000 inmates, a big chunk of themundertrailsand remand prisoners, were released on bail from differentprisons, they said. As a result, the present strength of prisoners in 135plus jails, including nine central and five special prisonsfor women, in the state is approximately 13,500 as against theauthorised capacity of about 23,000, prison sources told . From as early as March, jail authorities, in associationwith the judiciary and police, began preparations tofacilitate eligible remand prisoners andundertrailsavailbail and convicts to go onleave. "Considering the infrastructure and regulations in force,there has never been overcrowding in prisons in Tamil Nadu,"an officialsaid. Duration of leave of those, who were let out of prisonsbefore coronavirus cases surfaced in Tamil Nadu, wasperiodically extendedand as of now, their leave is effectivetill June 1, sources added. Those who returned after the expiry of their leaveweregiven furtherextension and as and when prisoners applied forleave, their petitions were being processed expeditiously asper rules, theysaid. To avoid the crowd of visitors, central prisons were alsoprovided with smartphones and inmates make video calls totheir family members. In Tamil Nadu, there also nine district jails, 85 plussub-jails for men, eight for women andseparate special sub-jails for both the gender besides borstal schools and open airprisons. VGNVS VS