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Expenditure per Prison inmate increased by over 50% in 5 years


As per the Prison Statistics of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the expenditure per inmate has increased by over 50% in the five years between 2010-11 and 2014-15. More than 50% of the expenses were on Food in each of these five years.

 As reported by Factly earlier, the Indian prisons are overcrowded and have an occupancy ratio of close to 120%. With more inmates being added to jails every year, the expenditure on inmates is also rising. As per the data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the average annual expenditure on a prison inmate has increased from Rs 19447 in 2010-11 to Rs 29538 in 2014-15. It has to be noted that Prisons is a state subject and are managed by the state governments.

The NCRB releases an annual report, ‘Prison Statistics India’. The report contains various statistics related to prisons in India. The data for the report is collected from Prison Headquarters of all States and UTs.  The report contains information on the following.

  • Prisons
  • Prisoners and
  • Prison infrastructure

Age-group-wise and sex-wise details of prison inmates are also available in the report.

Number of inmates in prisons is increasing

In the last 5 years, the number of inmates in prisons has increased by over 13%. From 3.69 lakh inmates by the end of 2010, the total number of inmates in prisons across India went up to 4.18 lakh by the end of 2014. In the same time, the capacity of prisons in India has increased from 3.2 lakh in 2010 to 3.56 lakh in 2014. The occupancy ratio was over 100% in each of these years. In 2014, the occupancy ratio was 117.4% while it was 115.1% in 2010.

 Expenditure per Prison inmate_capacity vs actual population

Average expenditure per prison inmate increased by over 50%

 As per the NCRB annual reports, the annual expenditure per inmate on various heads like Food, Clothing, Medical, Vocational/Educational & other welfare activities has been on the rise. The average expenditure per inmate has gone up from Rs 19447 in 2010-11 to Rs 29538 in 2014-15. This is an increase of over 50% in five years. While the number of inmates in prisons has only increased by about 13%, the average expenditure has gone up by more than 50%.

Expenditure per Prison inmate_average expenditure per prison inmate

More than half the expenditure is on Food

Of the average expenditure per inmate, more than half is spent on food. However, the percentage share of food expenses per inmate decreased from 62.2% in 2010-11 to 56.8% in 2014-15. The per capita food expenditure increased from Rs 12100 in 2010-11 to Rs 16769 in 2014-15. After food, it is medical expenses in the list of defined expenses. Expenses on clothing are third followed by expenses on vocational/educational activities. The least amount is spent on welfare activities. Other expenses (not defined) also account for a substantial share. In 2014-15, the expenditure on food was Rs 16769 followed by Rs 1329 on medical expenses. Clothing expenses were Rs 462 and Vocational/Educational expenses were Rs 280 followed by Rs 245 spent on welfare activities. Other activities accounted for Rs 10453 in 2014-15.

Expenditure per Prison inmate_average and percentage expenditure for food

 Average Expenditure per inmate highest in Delhi

 Of all the States and UTs with more than 1000 inmates, the highest expenditure per inmate was in Delhi in four the last five years. In 2014-15, the expenditure per inmate in Delhi was Rs 85193, close to three times the national average. Delhi was closely followed by Telangana with an expenditure of Rs 81550. The only exception was in 2013-14 when the expenditure per inmate was highest in Jammu & Kashmir. Of the States & UTs with more than 1000 inmates, food expenses per inmate were highest in Jammu & Kashmir followed by West Bengal & Jharkhand in 2014-15.  Even in 2013-14, the food expenses per inmate were highest in Jammu & Kashmir.

YearHighest expenditure per inmate (of States/ UTs with more than 1000 inmates)
2010-11DelhiOdishaAndhra Pradesh
2012-13DelhiAndhra PradeshAndaman & Nicobar Islands
2013-14Jammu & KashmirDelhiUttarakhand


Featured Image includes an image By Biswarup Ganguly (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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