KARACHI: Foundation for Research and Human Development (FRHD) conducted visits to Sindh jails to observe situation in juvenile and women prisons in Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, and Sukkur.
A FRHD statement here on Tuesday said that the Youthful Offenders Industrial Schools (YOIS) in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana were established under the Sindh Children Act 1955.
It was found that in Karachi 198 juveniles of 18 years or below were imprisoned- 196 under trial, and 2 convicted.
In Hyderabad, 63 were juveniles, 58 under trial (50% in murder case), and 5 convicted. In Sukkur, 18 were in prison- 16 under trial (10 in murder case), 2 convicted. In Larkana, 12 were prisoned- 11 under trial (8 in murder case), none convicted, 1 condemned.
Similar is the case with women in prisons. It was found that in Hyderabad jail, there were 33 women prisoners, 23 under trial, 9 convicted, while 1 was condemned to life sentence. In Larkana, there were 38 women, 33 under trial, and 5 convicted. In Karachi, there were 95 women, 72 under trial, and 23 convicted.
The statement said that FRHD from the platform of civil society visited the prisons to ensure the juveniles are taught, trained,lodged, clothed and fed during the period of detention under the Sindh Children Act 1955. It was found that YOIS and women jails needed a psychologist appointed by the government for counseling and help of mentally disturbed patients.
In YOIS, no certified courses are offered, so efforts should be made in this direction. Further, government should provide legal assistance at its own expense to those who’re unable to hire an advocate on their own, it was recommended.