22% rise in number of mentally ill jail inmates: NCRB | India News

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NEW DELHI: As many as 9,180 inmates were reported to be suffering from mental illness, accounting for 1.7% of the total 5.54 lakh inmates lodged in various jails in the country as on December 31 last year, according to the latest ‘Prison Statistics India’ report of the National Crime Records Bureau. These numbers bring to focus the fact that behind the jail walls, mental health remains a concern.
Last year, 7,524 inmates were reported to be suffering from mental illness. Percentage wise, those suffering from mental illness accounted for 1.5% of the 4.88 lakh inmates lodged in various prisons as on December 2020.
The report for 2021 shows that out of 9,180 inmates suffering from mental illness, 41.3% (3,787) were convicts, 58.4% (5,365) were undertrials and 0.3% (23) were detenues.
The report says the number of deaths in prisons has increased from 1,887 in 2020 to 2,116 in 2021, having increased by 12.1%. Moreover, the number of deaths due to natural causes has increased from 1,642 in 2020 to 1,879 in 2021, having increased by 14.4%.
Out of 1,879 natural deaths, 1,796 inmates died due to illness and 83 due to ageing. Of those who died due to illness, 27.4% (493) inmates have died due to heart-diseases and 16.4% (294) inmates have died due to lung diseases.
As far as the number of unnatural deaths in prisons is concerned, they have decreased by 2.1% from 189 in 2020 to 185 in 2021. The report states that among the 185 unnatural deaths of inmates, suicide was the predominant cause (150), followed by murder by inmates (11) and accidental deaths (6), among other reasons. Of the 189 inmates who died of unnatural causes in 2020, suicides was the cause in as many as 156 cases.
In 2021, of 150 suicides, the predominant mode was hanging (139), followed by poisoning (3), self-inflicted injury (2), drug overdose (1) and others. Accidental deaths mostly occurred due to a fall (2), electrocution, road/train accident, drugs or alcohol intake.
State-wise data shows that UP has reported the highest number of deaths due to natural causes (439) followed by Bihar (173) and Madhya Pradesh (151) during 2021. In the case of unnatural deaths, UP reported the highest number of unnatural deaths (42), followed by Haryana and West Bengal (16 each) and Delhi (12).



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