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Causes and Consequences of Overcrowding of Women Inmates in Prisons: A Case Study of Prisons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province

Tabinda Rani1 & Noor Ullah Khan2

Abstract
This study explores the causes and consequences of overcrowding of women prisoners in jails. For this purpose, an attempt is made to investigate the issue of overcrowding in prisons. An in-depth interview for exploring these areas was developed and validated. Data were collected from 30 women prisoners and personnel of jail. Analysis of data has revealed that jails have an excessive number of prisoners beyond authorized capacity. Deficiency of area and persistent
movement of a high number of women prisoners in and out is a major problem. Due to little space, they keep the food items under their cots and sleep above. Moreover, they sleep with one another in the same cot. The availability of few washrooms with broken doors has made the situation worse because persons using the washroom can be seen by outsiders. Mixed accommodation of under-trial women prisoners and convicted besides juveniles and adolescents with adults is unethical and is a serious violation of the rules. The study recommends that prisoners may be categorized according to their level of risk. To reduce their
idleness, opportunities for exercise and sports may be increased. An alternative
community-based punishment rather than prison for non-dangerous offenders may
be followed. Training for using the available facilities efficiently may be arranged
for all concerned.

Keywords: Women inmates, adverse overcrowding, judicial model