At Least 400 Mentally Ill Prisoners In Bengal Need Psychiatrists

21/10/2015 2:29 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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UNSPECIFIED - 1930: Waiting room of prison. RV-220872. (Photo by Gaston Paris/Roger Viollet/Getty Images)

KOLKATA -- Lack of psychiatrists in Bengal prisons is taking a toll on the mental health of 400 odd mentally ill prisoners lodged in various prisons across the state, according to jail officials.

According to the recent data, there are 404 convicts, who are suffering from mental problems and are in regular need of psychiatric treatment.

"There are 404 convicts who are having psychiatric problems. Out of these 164 are convicts and the rest are undertrials," a senior official of state correctional department told PTI.

"We presently don't have any psychiatrist on our payroll and neither do we have anyone under contract. We do face problems at times. After much deliberations and persuasion it has been decided that we will recruit someone on contract at least for central jails," the official told PTI.

Presently the Dum Dum Central Jail has recruited one psychiatrist on a contractual basis.

There are around 57 correctional homes in the state.

This included six central correctional homes, 33 subsidary correctional homes and 12 district correctional homes.

"Apart from Dum Dum Central Jail, there are five other correctional homes in the state. We will recruit five other psychiatrists on a contractual basis," said the official.

According to the senior jail official, whenever a convict or an undertrial lodged in jail needs psychiatric treatment, he is taken to nearby hospitals for treatment and then again brought back to the prison.

"Whenever there is a need of psychiatric treatment we take them to a nearby hospital for treatment. Although we have three-four clinical psychologist for emergency cases," the official said.

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