Mother-child in Jammu-Kashmir jails to get special treatment

May 24th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Jammu, May 24 (IANS) Women detainees with children will be provided special facilities in Jammu and Kashmir prisons following recent amendments to the state’s jail manual.
“A child with its mother is not a prisoner and is entitled to food, shelter, medical care, clothing, education and recreational facilities as a matter of right,” said an official release issued by the Home Department.

“Before sending a woman, who is pregnant to jail, it shall be ensured that the jail has maximum basic facilities for child delivery as well as for providing prenatal and postnatal care to both mother and child,” it said.

“The facilities of district government hospital must be availed,” it added.

There are about 100 women prisoners lodged in different jails of the state. Most of them are undergoing jail term for murders and other crimes.

“As far as possible, remedies shall be made available to pregnant female prisoners to have delivery outside the prison and where birth takes place in prison, only the name of the locality shall be recorded with the birth registration office,” the notification Saturday said.

Following the amendment, a female prisoner shall be allowed to keep her child till it attains the age of six years. Thereafter, the child shall be handed over to suitable surrogate as per the wishes of the mother or shall be sent to a suitable institution run by the Social Welfare Department. The children admitted outside the jail shall be allowed to meet their mother in the jail once a week.

The child shall be given proper education and recreational opportunities and shall be kept in a creche or nursery, preferably run outside the main prison premises.

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