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UP jail authorities to profile inmates to check suicide

With a view to checking increasing number of suicides by inmates inside jails in Uttar Pradesh, jail administration will profile the tendencies of prisoners who had committed the act in past few years and study their family background to prevent such incidents.

“We are profiling prisoners who have committed suicide inside jails in past 4-5 years and preparing a data to find out as to why they had taken the extreme step. After we profile them, we will be in a better position to deal with those who might be having suicidal tendencies,” Additional Director General (Jails) RR Bhatnagar said.

While profiling the prisoners, their family background, nature of crime they had committed and cases lodged against them will be taken into account, he said.

“The idea is to put in place preventive measures that could be initiated to check prisoners from taking the extreme step,” he said.

“There are different parameters on which we are studying inmates like cases against them and nature of crime they have committed. Many times, suicide stems from remorse after committing social crime. Sometimes, it occurs due to feeling of loneliness if family members do not come to meet them in jail,” said Bhatnagar, who initiated the study.

“The profiling will include the number of times the family visited the prisoner and the financial condition at home,” he said.

A total of 17 inmates had committed suicide in various UP jails in 2014, as against 14 persons in 2013 and 10 such cases 2012. In nearly all the instances, the deaths were caused by hanging.

The state has 76 jails, including five central jails, housing a total of over 90,000 prisoners, of whom over 64,000 are undertrials and rest convicts. Bhatnagar said the study will help in identifying and treating those inmates who may be at high risk of committing suicide and those developing suicidal tendencies.

“We will sensitise jail staff also to deal with such inmates and they will be kept under observation and provided treatment, if needed. Counselling of such inmates will also be done by experts. Presently, we have no way to identify such inmates,” he said.

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