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data | There is a disproportionate share of scheduled caste prisoners in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat jails

Share of SC prisoners in Indian prisons increased from 18% in 2019 to 23% in 2021

Share of SC prisoners in Indian prisons increased from 18% in 2019 to 23% in 2021

In 2021, more than 23% of detainees in Indian prisons were from detainees Scheduled Caste (SC) whose share in the population was 16.6% (as of 2011). The share of SC prisoners increased from 18% in 2019 to 23% in 2021. There are four types of prisoners in Indian prisons – criminals (found guilty of a crime and sentenced by a court), undertrial prisoners (currently on trial in a court of law), detainees (persons legally detained) , and who do not belong to any of these three categories and which comprise a small part of the total number of prisoners. Notably, in Tamil Nadu, over 30% of convicts and 30% of undertrials belonged to the Scheduled Castes, while the share of Scheduled Castes in the state’s population was 20%. Among the states with relatively high numbers of prisoners, the share of scheduled caste prisoners was notably higher than the proportion of scheduled caste population in Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

part of scheduled caste

The chart shows the share of Scheduled Castes in the total population in India in 2011, the share of SC convicts, the share of Scheduled Caste undertrials, and the share of SC prisoners in Indian prisons by 2021.

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part of others

The chart shows the share of non-SC, non-ST and non-OBC (others) in the total population in India in 2011, the share of this category of convicts, the share of undertrials of this category and the share of prisoners. From this category in Indian jails by 2021

State wise share of Scheduled Castes

The chart shows the share of SCs in the total population in 2011, the share of SC convicts, the share of SC undertrials, and the share of SC prisoners in state prisons by 2021. Whereas in some states the share of SC prisoners was higher. , the total number of prisoners (number given in brackets) was more in only two of them. Therefore, with the total number of detainees, the stock would have to read

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The total number of prisoners was relatively higher in the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, UP, Gujarat, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Nagaland. Of these, the share of scheduled castes was not in proportion to the share of population in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu. In Tamil Nadu, 37% of the detainees belonged to the Scheduled Castes, while the Scheduled Castes accounted for 20% of the state’s population. Only 7% of the population of Gujarat were SC. Nevertheless, 16% of the total prisoners were from the Scheduled Castes.

Maharashtra does not provide caste-wise details of prisoners/undertrials. Andhra Pradesh and Telangana not considered due to unavailability of population division

Source: NCRB Prison Statistics

Read also: More than 30% of Indian jails are Muslims, double their share of the population

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