Odisha is only second in number of inmates with mental illness: NCRB | Bhubaneswar News


BHUBANEWAR: The number of prisoners with mental health problems has steadily increased in Odisha.
This was revealed on Monday in the Prison Statistics India 2020 released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
With 696 mentally disturbed inmates in 2020, Odisha was second only to Uttar Pradesh, which had 1,507 mentally disturbed inmates during the period.
In 2019, a total of 626 mentally ill inmates were housed in different prisons here, according to the NCRB report.
The development gained momentum when the state government last month appointed 15 psychiatrists and 13 clinical psychologists to screen for and treat mental illnesses in state inmates.
Prison officials said the Covid-19 pandemic had taken a heavy toll on the mental state of many inmates, whose trials and bail hearings were negatively affected during the unprecedented health crisis .
The Home Office recently issued a notice to states focusing on action to address mental illness in detainees during Covid.
The Department of Psychiatry at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS) in Bangalore was engaged by the Center to prepare the opinion.
The state government has also formed a three-member expert committee to review the status of inmates with psychiatric disorders and the status of suicides in prisons.
The home ministry formed the committee following a directive from the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC).
“We recruited yoga practitioners, motivational speakers and NGO counselors to reduce the stress levels of the inmates. Recreational activities such as games and group activities are carried out inside the prisons. Awareness programs on mental well-being, mental illness, suicide prevention and substance use disorders are put in place regularly, ”said the Director General of Police (Prisons and Corrections ) Santosh Kumar Upadhyay.
According to available statistics, only 61 of the state’s 92 prisons have videoconferencing facilities. At least 2,666 CCTV cameras have been installed in prisons. Compared to the capacity of 20,819 inmates, the prisons had 18,881 inmates at the end of December last year.


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