Covid-19 probation for 12,000 prisoners in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: Around 12,000 prisoners could be released to decongest prisons in an attempt to contain the Covid-19 outbreak. Some 5,000 inmates could be released on Monday and the rest within a week, the sources told TOI. Additionally, those who were being considered for release on August 15 can walk early to freedom, the sources said.

A state-level committee, comprised of the President of the Madhya Pradesh Supreme Court, the chief clerk and the DG's prisons, met after the Supreme Court ordered all states and established high-level panels to consider the release of those convicted of probation who have been incarcerated for up to seven years to decongest the jails in the fight against Covid-19.

The SC order was issued on March 23. The state committee has determined what kind of prisoners can be released on parole or on provisional bail.

Under probation rules, the government will grant a maximum probation of 60 days to eligible convicts. Deputy prisons have around 45,000 people against a capacity of 29,000, said prison director general Sanjay Chaudhary.

Men over 65 and women over 50, along with women who are in jail with children or pregnant, would be considered under the emergency Covid release, he said. Eligible individuals have been classified into Emergency Covid-parole. About 12,000 people can be released, he added.