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Tihar Prison, Central prison run by the Department of Delhi Prisons, Government of Delhi at

Tihar Village. It is one of the most famous prisons in India, established in 1957, significantly

known for its rehabilitation administration for the prison inmates. Tihar prison complex comprises nine central prisons and other prison complexes in two different locations Rohini and Mandoli. Due to overpopulation in the Tihar region, the complex has emerged as one of the largest prison complexes in the world. With only a small prison until 1958 under the administrative control of the Punjab State government, later expanded and transferred its administration to the Government of National Capital Territory, Delhi, and operated according to the Delhi Jail Manual (2018). The full-fledged administration system of Tihar prison has implemented various methods with the notion of fulfilling the objective as a correctional institution by rehabilitating and reforming the inmates, by streamlining them into normal society. The prison administration in 1961 and 2009 introduced the Tihar Jail Factory brand where the inmates were subjected to activities like carpentry, tailoring, handloom, bakery, commercial arts, etc. They have also constructed radio stations, music therapy, and victim welfare funds.

Laws And Rules Governing Tihar Prison

The prison administration of India is governed by The Prison Act 1894 along with its associated prison rules. Concerning Tihar prison, The Delhi prison Act and Delhi Prison Rules have been formulated for regulation and administration. The guidelines and regulations are multifaceted, regulating various functions and services of Tihar prison. Budget information, lodging of prisoners, parole, rules regarding the release, reward or death sentences, family visits, committees for sexual harassment, reformatory practices, recreational activities, and other associated services inside Tihar prison are maintained and regulated by the rules prescribed. Services like communication facilities, legal services, educational and recreational facilities, welfare activities, and so on, regulated by the Tihar prison administration itself. The Delhi jail manual covering the Delhi Prisons Act of 2000 and Delhi Prison rules are being incorporated for regulating Tihar prison administration. This manual contains provisions regarding the hierarchy and duties of officers, admission removal and discharge of prisoners, the discipline of prisoners, rules regarding food, clothing, employment opportunities, and health and sanitation facilities are well established. It also has provisions for the classification of prisoners, rules for visiting, provisions for prison offences, safety and security of prisoners, redressal and legal aid for prisoners, etc.

Activities Inside Tihar Prison-

The Visible Angle;

1.Meditation hall
2.Vocational training centre
6.Chemical unit
8.Paper unit
9.Music therapy
10.Creative art therapy
11.Legal aid cell
12.Rehabilitation cell
13.Counseling centre
14.Panchayat administration
16.Recreational centre
17.Tihar shopping window
18.Closed-circuit television system

The Invisible Angle;

● Violent activities –

○ Inhuman treatment of inmates by prison officials

○ Cruel punishments by officials

○ Brutality suffered because of fellow prisoners

● Discrimination of inmates among themselves

● Corrupted prison officials

○ Helping the high-profile prisoners

○ Facilitating illegal activities inside the prison

○ Not considering the conditions of the prisoners or the prison

● Underworld drug peddling among the inmates, and increased drug addiction

● Smuggling and trafficking of illegal and lethal weapons

● Physical and sexual assaults

○ Sodomizing the fellow inmates

○ Identifying self as Homosexual 

○ Rape

○ Bullying and physical assault

○ Coercive sex upon weak inmates

○ Prostitution

● Living conditions

○ Poor cleanliness in cell

○ Unhealthy food preparation practices

○ Unclean toilets

● Medical facilities, neither proper nor accessible

Analysing The Invisible Angle Of Tihar Prison

Reports show that Tihar prison is nothing less than a chamber of horrors, it has to be noted that many aspects of Tihar prison remain invisible to public knowledge and this condition is an unacceptable bitter reality. Behind the high walls there exists a hell where the reformative

jurisprudence of prison administration has been neglected or sacrificed. Though there exist various rules and regulations constructed by the legislative mechanism to regulate the prisons, yet the administration inside is nonetheless but a chamber of horrors. Ranging from physical abuse and sexual assault to other violent activities by the prison officials and the co-inmates, the walls of Tihar prison has seen the worst of its kind. Reports have witnessed that there are more HIV positive cases inside the prison than in the outside world, where the medical facilities and the living conditions of the inmates are completely sacrificed.  Drug peddling, lethal weapon smuggling, drug addiction, discrimination, violent punishments, and all such activities have proved that Tihar prison has failed in implementing the reformative punishment of Criminal Jurisprudence followed in our country. Murder and killing of inmates, psychological trauma, medical issues suffered by inmates, poor living conditions, limelights the actual scenario of Tihar prisons.

Various reports and cases are signaling the need for proper prison administration, yet the incorporation remains a myth. Tihar prison has not only attained its fame for being the largest prison complex but also for its invisible angels augmenting more dangerous offenders in society.

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