Dillibazar Prison structures have been in a state of disrepair for long, posing the risk of physical safety mainly to inmates and detainees. The structures dating back to 1960 BS suffered damages by the 2015 April earthquake.
Two buildings have been used to keep inmates and detainees. It has, however, no female inmates as they are kept in the central jail at Jagannath Dewal.
Under Secretary Arun Pokharel who is in charge of the prison said buildings that were damaged by the quake witnessed retrofit works. The prison has limited land space. Presently, 612 people serving their terms and some of them are awaiting for trial for various cases. Of them, 593 are Nepalis and 19 are foreigners. As Jailer Pokharel said, lack of sufficient space is reason behind for frequent health issues among them. A room serves for many people, he said, adding that there is not a separate chamber for sick inmates.
Skin disease, diabetes, jaundice, respiratory issue, lung problem, swollen hands and feet and infection are health problems they share in common.
The central prison hospital refers prison patients to other hospitals including Bir Hospital, Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center and Mental Hospital for further treatment. The prison is accommodating approximately double of the inmates against capacity of 350. Carpet and furniture industries are operating inside the prison to provide job opportunities to the prisoners.
Things have been made easier for prisoners’ families and relatives to meet them in the prison, said the prison chief Purushottam Thapaliya. “Families and relatives can meet prisoners in other days than Saturday,” he said. Despite the total 125 quotas of security personnel for the prison, it is making do with only 80 police personnel.
The country has a total of 74 prisons each for 72 districts except Kathmandu and Dang having two each. Other districts, Dhanusha, Bara, Bhaktapur, Nawalparasi West and Rukum West are yet to receive a prison. All the prisons have approximately 21,000 inmates at present, according to the Department.