Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UPSC

Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UPSC


Indian jails overcrowded, understaffed, reveals NCRB report.

      WHY IN NEWS:

Most prisoners are undertrials, over 70% of them haven’t studied till Class 10

MINISTRY? :-Ministry of Home Affairs
SYLLABUS COVERED: GS 2 : 3 : Prison Reforms : Report : NCRB


For PRELIMS do not go with numbers , compare state wise and remember top three states if you can .

For MAINS try to remember this report with a story line . This is a important report and will help you on a longer run . Let us dive in !


Scheduled Tribes or Adivasis accounted for around 13 per cent of total number of convicts and 10 per cent of the total under-trials in Indian prisons


  • Prison Statistics India is the latest in the series of annual statistical reports being brought out by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

This is the only annual statistical publication started by NCRB.

  • The data for the report is collected from Prison Headquarters of all States / UTs. Arunachal Pradesh did not have any jail prior to 2009.
  • The first edition of the report pertains to the year 1995 and the latest edition of the report pertains to the year 2019.


  • Prison administration is an important component of criminal justice system.

Prison institutions are known by different names in different countries like ‘Correctional Facilities’, ‘Detention Centre’, ‘Jails’, ‘Remand Centre’ etc.

  • Earlier system of prison with punitive attitude where in inmates were forcibly confined and deprived a variety of freedom.
  • Today it is now treated as correction or improvement facility which itself indicates that there is more emphasis on reformation of prisoners than to punish them.


  • Prisons exist at three levels such as Taluk level, District level and Zonal/Range level.
  • Jails at these levels are called as Sub Jail, District Jail and Central Jail respectively.
  • Generally, capacity in terms of infrastructure, available prison staffs & powers vested in them are progressively better from Sub jail to Central Jail.



The report contains information on

  • Prisons
  • Prisoners and
  • Prison infrastructure

Age-group-wise and sex-wise details of prison inmates are available in the report.


  • The total number of prisons at national level has increased from 1,339 in 2018 to 1,350 in 2019, having increased by 0.82%.

The 1,350 prisons in the country consist of 617 Sub Jails, 410 District Jails, 144 Central Jails, 86 Open Jails, 41 Special Jails, 31 Women Jails, 19 Borstal School and 2 Other than the above Jails.

  • The highest number of jails was reported in Rajasthan (144) followed by Tamil Nadu (141), Madhya Pradesh (131).
  • Delhi has reported the highest number of Central jails (14) in the country.
  • Uttar Pradesh has reported the highest number of District jails (62).
  • Tamil Nadu has reported highest number of Sub-jails (96).


Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UPSC | OCCUPANCY


  • This number did reduce by a small margin, compared to data from 2001, that showed 15.2 per cent and 13.2 per cent of the total convicts and under-trials respectively were Adivasis.
  • This disproportionate percentage of Adivasis reported to be in prison, however, was just the tip of the iceberg.


Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UPSC | CONVICTS


  • A total of 400 prisoners, who had been sentenced for Capital Punishment, were lodged in various jails of the country as on 31 st December, 2019.
  • Among the 1,44,125 convicted prisoners, the number of prisoners who were sentenced to Life Imprisonment were 77,158 accounting for 53.54% of total convicts.


Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UNDERTRIALS


  • Sixty seven percent of the people in Indian jails are undertrials – those detained in prisons during trial, investigation or inquiry but not convicted of any crime in a court of law.
  • The share of the prison population awaiting trial or sentencing in India is extremely high .

It is 11% in the UK, 20% in the US and 29% in France.

  • More than 25% of undertrial prisoners in 16 out of 36 states and union territories have been detained for more than one year in 2014.
  • Jammu and Kashmir tops this list with 54%, followed by Goa (50%) and Gujarat (42%).
  • UP leads in terms of sheer numbers (18,214).


  • According to the Prison Statistics India 2015 report by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India’s prisons are overcrowded with an occupancy ratio of 14% more than the capacity.
  • More than two-thirds of the inmates are undertrials.

Chhattisgarh and Delhi are among the top three in the list with an occupancy ratio of more than double the capacity.

  • The prisons are overcrowded by 77.9% in Meghalaya, by 68.8% in Uttar Pradesh and by 39.8% in Madhya Pradesh.
  • In absolute numbers, UP had the highest number of undertrials (62,669), followed by Bihar (23,424) and Maharashtra (21,667).
  • In Bihar, 82% of prisoners were undertrials, the highest among states.


Prison Statistics India Report



  • The total budget for the financial year 2019-20 for all prisons in the country was 6818.1 Crore.

The actual expenditure was 5958.3 Crore which is 87.39% of total annual budget for FY 2019-20.

  • A total of  2060.96 Crore was spent on inmates during FY 2019-20.
  • This is almost 34.59% of total annual expenditure of all prisons for FY 2019-20.


Prison Statistics India Report UPSC



  • Among the 4,78,600 prisoners, literacy profile of 1,98,872 (4 prisoners was Below Class X, 1,03,036 (21.5%) prisoners were Class X & above but below Graduation.
  • 30,201 (6.3%) prisoners were having a Degree.

8,085 (1.7%) prisoners were Post Graduates and 5,677 (1.2%) prisoners were Technical Diploma/Degree holders.

  • A total of 1,32,729 (27.7%) prisoners were Illiterate.


  • There were 1,543 women prisoners with 1,779 children as on 31st December, 2019.

1,212 women prisoners were undertrial prisoners who were accompanied by 1,409 children .

  • 325 convicted prisoners who were accompanied by 363 children.


  • While 33% of the total requirement of prison officials still lies vacant, almost 36% of vacancy for supervising officers is still unfulfilled.
  • Delhi’s Tihar jail ranks third in terms of a severe staff crunch.
  • The manpower recruited inside this prison is almost 50% short of its actual requirement.

States like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand have the most scantily guarded jails, seeing over 65% staff vacancies among jailers.

  • In the absence of adequate prison staff, overcrowding of prisons leads to rampant violence and other criminal activities inside the jails.

      IASbhai WINDUP: 


  • Most of these protracted trials ended in acquittals, posing a serious question on the legality and legitimacy of the deprivation of personal liberty of Adivasi under-trials.

Most forest cases do not reach courts as the matters are ‘settled’ by forest department officials.

  • In the rare event of a case being sent for prosecution to the courts.
  • Most forest offences went directly to a chapter of the Criminal Procedure Code called the ‘summary trial’, where ordinary procedural protections were done away with.

The court directs a punishment — usually a fine — on the spot with no further ado, if the accused pleads ‘guilty’, with the alternative being a long incarceration during the trial.

  • Adivasis hence find it more difficult than others to obtain competent legal representation .
  • Thus they are also viewed as flight risks by the judiciary, making bail more difficult.

India had not ratified the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169 — concerning indigenous peoples and tribal peoples — that formed a large body of international law instruments that can protect Adivasis within the Indian judicial system.

     SOURCES:THE HINDU & PIB | Prison Statistics India Report 2019-2020 | UPSC


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