Skip to main content

India—Indian Gaols—Question

Volume 229: debated on Thursday 1 June 1876

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Under Secretary of State for India, If it is true, as stated in a letter published a few days ago, that prisoners in many of the Indian gaols are locked up at night in scores together, in single rooms; that the prison officers are in most cases convicts themselves, and that the prisons in India are manufacturing criminals through a general neglect of moral instruction, and of the simplest provision for separation, at any rate, by night; and, if the statements referred to be true, whether any steps have been taken to remedy the evils complained of?

There is no doubt that overcrowding is an evil which has been complained of in Indian gaols, but in the new gaols steps have been taken to remedy this evil. The prisoners are, however, classified with great care. In certain prisons convicts are employed as gaol servants, but never in greater proportion than 12 per cent of the average strength of the prisoners. The various Governments in India have done much during the past few years towards improving gaols, both as to accommodation as well as to moral instruction and superintendence, and the hon. Gentleman may rest assured that this important subject will still continue to occupy their attention.