Govt fails to set up separate enclosures for girl prisoners
PESHAWAR: The provincial government has failed to set up separate enclosures for female juvenile offenders after the passage of the NWFP Juvenile Justice System Rules (JJSR) in 2002, it is learnt. Legal experts dealing with cases of juvenile offenders said that most of the rules notified in the JJSR had not been followed by the government. They said that not a single separate enclosure had been set up for female juvenile offenders in the province. The NWFP government had notified the JJSR in accordance with the Juvenile Justice System Ordinance, 2000. A high court lawyer described the rules as very ambitious and said that for enforcing them the government had to keep the issue on the priority list.
The rule 10 says that female juvenile offenders should be detained in separate enclosure of a borstal exclusively established for the purpose. In case there is no such enclosure, they should be immediately transferred to any care home as ordered by the court. According to the rules, female juveniles in no case be kept in a police lock-up and prison. “There is a great possibility that a juvenile offender will be abused if imprisoned along with adult prisoners and for that reason the rules are framed for keeping them segregated,” said Jehanzeb Khan, regional coordinator of the Society for the Protection of the Rights of the Child.
He said that all arrangements relating to juvenile education and training for their mental, moral and psychological development should be provided within a borstal.
He said that the government claimed to set up borstal institutions in Peshawar, Bannu and Haripur, but work on the projects had been in progress at a snail’s pace.
Two months ago the AIG (prisons), Rashid Lateef, told a meeting that the provincial prison department had approved construction of a borstal in Haripur at a cost of Rs12.192 million. At present, an adolescent training centre has been functioning in the prison. According to the JJSR a medical file of every inmate should be maintained in each institution, along with medical history.
There should be regular medical check-up of the inmates after every three months and they be advised to maintain proper health and hygiene by the district health officer.
It is responsibility of the government to take care of physical training, sports and recreation of juvenile offenders. Under the rules spacious playground should be provided in every borstal institution. Physical drill, gymnastics, indoor and outdoor games and training in scouting should be provided for all inmates.