Bhubaneswar, Nov 13 (LocalWire): The National Crime Control Bureau (NCRB) report released recently said 787 prisoners in Odisha have been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. Of them, 412 inmates have been convicted while 375 of them are under-trials.
Odisha has 91 jails of which five are circle jails.
There are two juvenile reformatory homes and a special jail to house women inmates.
There is an open air jail, nine districts jails and 73 sub-jails housing 15,223 inmates, the report said.
With five percent inmates suffering from mental illness, there is not a single psychologist or psychiatrist to look after their health issues.
Senior prison directorate officials refused to comment on the mental issues of these inmates.
An official of a district jail requesting anonymity, said, ‘three inmates of our jail are diagnosed with mental problems.
A medicine specialist has been shouldering the responsibility of health issues of prisoners. We, however, feel the absence of psychiatric counseling.’
The jail inmates are protected by jail manual that mandates the authorities to take proper care of their health.
Besides the Mental Health Act has also made it mandatory to extend psychiatric treatment to prisoners suffering from depression or mental sickness, said Rights activist, Biswapriya Kanungo.
‘The jails in Odisha are overcrowded. Lack of space, poor ventilation, sanitation and hygiene are adversely impacting both the physical and mental health of inmates.
We have drawn the attention of Orissa Human Rights Commission on the sorry plight of 787 prison inmates, who are not being extended mental health care,’ he added.