Tihar Jail, the country’s largest and the most populated prison complex, has witnessed just one case of suicide between May 2018 and April 2019. Jail officials have attributed the reduction in suicide rates to the programme on mental health that was launched in April last year. In 2016 and 17, the jail had reported seven and eight suicides, respectively.
Tihar Jail had started the intensive counselling services with the help of a team of doctors from AIIMS and 60 others from the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), an NGO.
Prison officials said the focus on mental health — identifying depressed prisoners and then counselling them — has also resulted in less number of clashes among jail inmates. The officials will present a report to the Delhi High Court and the state government on April 16, highlighting the positive impact of the one-year programme.
The prisons officials said that since they started the project, the number of violence cases has reduced by 15-20%. The officers said Tihar is the second prison after the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections in the US to follow this approach.
Read more of this in a report published in Hindustan Times....