Home > Publications > Prisoners’ Right to Fair Justice, Health Care and Conjugal Meetings: An Analysis of Theory and Practice (A case study of the selected jails of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan)

Prisoners’ Right to Fair Justice, Health Care and Conjugal Meetings: An Analysis of Theory and Practice (A case study of the selected jails of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan)

Rais Gul1

Abstract
Imprisoned people are deprived of their liberty, yet they are human beings entitled to
well-defined human rights, recognized on international level, regional levels and
enshrined in the legal statutes of nation-states. This paper is aimed at exploring the massive gap between theory and practice in terms of prisoners‟ rights to fair justice, conjugal meetings and proper health care with special focus on jails in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa, Pakistan. Seven jails of the province were purposively selected. Of all seven jails, 250 prisoners were randomly selected and interviewed. Other key respondents who were interviewed included six jail
officials and five former prisoners. The study was based on Concurrent Triangulation (Mixed Methodology) technique. It was concluded that prisoners are denied there legally guaranteed rights, i.e., conjugal meetings, swift and fair justice and proper health care. In this study, for
instance, more than 85 % inmates revealed that their jail had no proper space to ensure
conjugal meetings, 51.2% disclosed that they were denied fair and swift trial, while
46.8% and 92.8% unveiled that they had no access to doctors and psychiatrists
respectively. Moreover, it was found that prisoners once deprived of these rights, are
less likely to play a law abiding and contributory role in the after-release life. It is,
therefore, recommended that Pakistan, being a signatory to all the International
covenants on prisoners‟ rights and having its own Constitution and Prison Rules
which safeguard prisoners, must put all the rights of the caged people into practice, so
as to enable its prisons to work as correction centers.

Key words: Prison, Prisoners, Rights, Conjugal, Fair justice, Health, Reintegration,
Rehabilitation