Nearly 3,700 inmates lodged across 31 women prisons in 2019

The central government informed the Rajya Sabha that in all, Indian jails have 13,550 female undertrials


The government has informed the Parliament that as on December 31, 2019, India had 31 women jails with 3,652 inmates, at an occupancy rate of 56.09 percent. Out of 36 states and Union Territories (UT), 21 don’t have exclusive women jails.

The National Capital, which only has 2 women’s prisons, houses 629 inmates with a capacity of 648. Tamil Nadu has the second highest tally with 551 women inmates across 5 jails in the state. This is followed by Maharashtra with 363 inmates against the capacity of only 262. West Bengal women’s prisons also face overcrowding issues with 321 prisoners against the capacity of 226.

The offence of murder is the leading cause for women to be imprisoned across all jails in the country, with 3,356 convicts and 4,006 undertrials, awaiting completion of trial. The second leading reason is dowry death with 1,633 women undertrials and 806 women convicted, who are serving their sentence.

11 women have been convicted, and 36 women are awaiting completion of trial for Rioting. Further, 1,171 undertrials have been booked under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, and 397 have been convicted. Under the (now repealed) anti-terror law, Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA), one convicted woman is serving her sentence. 69 women undertrials are facing charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, wherein 10 have been convicted and imprisoned.   

The centre has not provided data for the year 2020 and 2021. As of December 2019, there are 6,179 female convicts and 13,550 undertrials across all jails. Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of prisoners (4,174), followed by Madhya Pradesh (1,758), Maharashtra (1,569) and West Bengal (1,479).

Across all jails in the country, 4,008 jailed females are above the age of 50. In the range of 30 to 50 years, Indian prisons house 9,822 inmates and 6,077 females fall in the range of 18 to 30 years of age. There are 6 female inmates between the age group of 16 to 18 years, with 4 in West Bengal, and 1 each in Assam and Bihar.

In a separate question posed by Rajya Sabha member Harshvardhan Singh Dungarpur, Ajay Kumar Mishra (Minister of State in Home Affairs) revealed that the centre does not maintain data on the number of pregnant women inside jails and also failed to provide details of the number of child births that have happened over the last three years inside prisons.

The answers may be read here:



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Almost 2 lakh undertrials languishing behind bars since the outbreak of Covid-19!
Nearly 20,000 women prisoners in India: Centre tells RS
Over 1.3 lakh illiterate, 1 lakh Dalit prisoners in India: Centre to RS
No data on number of prisoners testing Covid positive: MHA



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