Former Pune City Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta Sunday took charge as the Additional Director General of Police of Prison and Correctional Services from Retesh Kumaarr.
One of the key challenges Gupta will face as the Prison Department head is the overcrowding of jails, especially the high-security central prisons. Maharashtra has nine central prisons, 28 district prisons, and 19 open prisons.
According to the latest Prison Department statistics from November 30, the prisons in Maharashtra have an inmate population of 40718 as against the capacity of 24722, with overcrowding of around 65 per cent. The nine central prisons in the state have an inmate population of 28201 as against the capacity of 15506, with overcrowding of around 82 per cent.
Of these, the Yerawada, Arthur Road, and Thane Central Prisons have an overcrowding of 180325 or 288 per cent. The Yerawada Central Prison has 6854 inmates against the capacity of 2449, Arthur Road which has an intake of 804 houses 3421, and Thane Central currently has 4291 inmates against the capacity of 1105.
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Gupta was transferred by the State Home Department as State Prison Department Chief Saturday, four days after being transferred out of Pune City Police. On December 13, Gupta was transferred to Mumbai as the Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) for Maharashtra.
IPS officer Kumaarr, who was the Chief of the State Criminal Investigation Department, was also holding the additional charge of Head of the State Prison Department. He was transferred to Pune City Police as the new commissioner and took charge from Gupta on Friday.