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History :

The word "Prison" the synonym of the word 'Jail' or 'gaol' or 'Penitentiary' has been defined as a place properly arranged and equipped for reception of persons who by legal process are committed to it for safe custody while awaiting trial or for punishment.

During the period of the Sultanate, there were no regular Prisons.Only old forts and castles were used as prisons.

During the time of Emperor Akbar, there were two kinds of prisons. One for criminals who had committed serious offence and other for ordinary criminals. Important nobles and princes guilty of treason and rebellions were imprisoned in fortresses situated in different parts of the country.

The provision for proper jail building in the whole of India is the contribution of the British Government. The native Governments did not maintain proper jail buildings.

Lord Macaulay a member of the Indian Law Commission initiated the Prison reform in 1835 for the first time in India. Indian Prisons Act of 1894 regulated the prison system in the country. At that time there were 43 civil, 75 criminal and 68 mixed jails in India. These jails were run by District Magistrates.

The Presidency Jail for women in Vellore, was the first prison constructed in Tamil Nadu during the year 1830 followed by Madras "Penitentiary" during the year 1837 and thereafter all other prisons were constructed one by one up to the year 1872. After Independence Central Prison, Puzhal was the only prison constructed during the year 1981 and some additional accommodation was made in other Prisons. All the Prison buildings are more then 150 years old.

The Prisons plays a vital role in the Administration of Criminal Justice system and assisting the courts in the due execution of the sentences awarded by them.

Model Prison complex- Puzhal

Keeping in view of severe over crowding in Central Prison, Chennai and the need for increasing the capacity, new prison complex at Puzhal was constructed at a total cost of Rs.77 crores. It consists of three prisons viz. Central Prison I Puzhal with a capacity of 1250, for accommodating convict prisoners, Central Prison II Puzhal with a capacity of 1250, for accommodating remand prisoners and Special Prison for Women Puzhal with a capacity of 500 for accommodating women prisoners. The prison complex is situated in a sprawling area of about 212 acres. The construction works were carried out by the Tamil Nadu Police Housing Corporation Ltd. The prison starts functioning from 26.11.2006 onwards. Additional facilities such as Meditation Hall, Rehabilitation Centre, Open Air Theatre, Gymnasium, Computer training Centre has been provided. Apart from the above all cells, blocks and hospitals of this prisons are provided with ceiling fans.

Central Prison, Coimbatore

Central Prison, Coimbatore

This Prison was constructed during the year 1872 . The area now occupied by this prison is 167.76 acres. The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 2208. The veteran freedom fighters Thiru. V.O. Chidambaram Pillai was confined in this Prison during the freedom struggle from 09.07.1908 to 01.12.1910.

Central Prison, Cuddalore.

Central Prison, Cuddalore

This Prison was constructed during the year 1865.  This Prison was initially  used for accommodating mentally retarded prisoners  and thereafter converted as Habitual Prison.  During the year 1986 this Prison was re-classified as Prison for Habitual Prison offenders.  This Prison was converted as a casual Prison during the year 1996. The National poet Mahakavi Subramaniya Bharathiyar was confined in this prison during the freedom struggle from 20.11.1918 to 14.12.1918. The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 723.

Central Prison, Madurai

Central Prison, Madurai

This Prison was constructed during the year 1865.   This Prison is located on an extent of  31 acres. This Prison is a Casual Prison to accommodate Remand and Under trials and Convicts. The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 1252.

Central Prison, Palayamkottai

Entrance

This Prison  was constructed during the year 1880 It was functioning as a District Jail till 1929. During the year 1929 it was converted as a Borstal School. Due to lesser admission, the Borstal School was shifted to  the premises of the the  erstwhile District Jail,  Pudukottai.  The present premises has been  functioning as a Central Prison with effect from 1.4.68. The area of the Prison is 117.75 acres.  The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 1332.

Central Prison, Salem

Entrance

This Prison was constructed during the year 1862.  The Jail annex was constructed during the year 1934 to accommodate adolescent Prisoners. The area of this Prison is 113.19 acres. The authorised accommodation is 1431.  This Prison is classified as a Special Prison for the confinement of Habitual Prisoners and Habitual Prison Offenders. The architectural design of this Prison is circular in shape like lotus petals and all the cells are facing inwardly to a central point.


Central Prison, Tiruchirapalli :

Central Prison, Thiruchirapalli

This Prison was constructed during the year 1865.  The area occupied by this Prison is 289.10 acres. The authorised accommodation is 2517. The architectural arrangement of this Prison is radial blocks with central tower.

Central Prison, Vellore

Central Prison, Vellore

This Prison was constructed during the year 1867.  The total area of this Prison is 153 acres.  The authorised accommodation is 2130. The architectural design of this Prison is radial blocks with tower. The former President of India Shri.R.Venkatraman was confined in this Prison from 30.11.1940 to 25.09.1941 during the freedom struggle. The former Chief Minister  of Tamil Nadu Peraringnar Dr.C.N.Annadurai was also confined in this Prison from 16.08.1962 to 24.10.1962.

Borstal School, Pudukottai

Borstal School, Pudukottai

This was originally functioning as a District Prison and converted as a Borstal School with effect from 01.04.1968. The young offenders between the age of 18-21 years (Boys) convicted by Courts under Section 8(1) of Tamil Nadu Borstal Act 1925 are confined in this Prison.   The area occupied by this Institution is 23.45 acres.  The authorised accommodation of this Borstal School is 40.  In additional 10 Sub Jails (Nanguneri, Saidapet, Gudiyatham, Panruti, Gingee, Paramathi, Pollachi, Melur, Ariyalur, Thanjavur) have also been converted into Borstal School for pre-convicted adolescent prisoners.

Special Prison for Women, Tiruchirapalli

Special Prison for Women, Thiruchirapalli

This Prison was functioning from 04.05.1997.  The women Prisoners hailing from all the Southern districts are accommodated in this Prison.  This Institution is fully manned by Women Officers and Staff.  The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 106.

Special Prison for Women, Vellore

This Prison was originally named as presidency Jail for Women and functioning from 15.04.1930. The total area of this Prison is 13.62 acres.  The area of the jail premises is 3.23 acres. The women Prisoners sentenced to imprisonment for more than 3 months from all the Southern States namely Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu were originally admitted here.  After the formation of these States as Independent ones, the name of the Prison was changed as State Prison for Women.  Prisoners belonging to the State of Tamil Nadu alone are confined here.  Women political leaders like Dr.Radhabai Subbarayah, Dr.(Mrs) Rukmani Lakshmipathi, Mrs.Anmana Raj were confined in this prison.  The authorised accommodation of this Prison is 412.

District Jails

The following four District Jails are functioning in this State, as detailed below:

Sl. No.

Name of the District Jail

Authorised Accommodation

Date on which started

1.

District Jail, Pudukottai

405

18.10.2006

2.

District Jail, Nagercoil

200

08.10.2005

3.

District Jail, Dindigul

200

12.10.2005

4.

District Jail, Srivaikundam

72

22.01.2007

5.

District Jail, Attur

200

12.04.2009

6.

District Jail Virudunagar

200

03.04.2009

7. District Jail Ramanathapuram 200 17.04.2011
8. District Jail, Nagapattinam 200 19.01.2011
9. District Jail, Gopichettipalayam 200 17.04.2011

Additional Director General of Police (Prisons)
Tamil Nadu Prison Department
Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority Tower II
No-1, Gandhi Irwin Road, Egmore, Chennai-600 008.

Phone: 91-44-28521512 ,
              91-44-28521306
Fax: 91-44-28585942
E-Mail: tnprison@gmail.com
         

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This Page last updated on: April 8, 2014
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