Open Air Prisons


Legally, Open Air Prisons are called Open Air Camps, Open Air Colonies, or Open Correctional Institutions as per the state’s terminology. In an open air prison, prisoners (all convicts) are given a small house to live in and they can have their families living with them, have visitors like one would in their own house with permission from the prison department. Some other open prisons have agriculture farms, gaushalas, etc as a fixed choice of vocation. Some prisons provide only lodging facilities to prisoners, some provide both lodging and employment. The open prisons are self-governed with their own elected Panchayat and Committees for maintenance works and discipline.

Source: Prison Aid + Action Research

As per the latest report released by NCRB, there are a total of 88 Open Jails in India. 44% (39) of these are in Rajasthan and 21% (19) in Maharashtra. There is only one open jail in the state of Assam with 20 Male convicts.

The budget for Open Air Jails is allocated as part of Grant No. 15 in the state budget of Assam.

Share of budget for Open Air Jails in Assam

The share of budget for Open Air jails has remained stagnant over the last 5 years. As we see in the table below, the budget allocated for open air jails is just 1% of the total budget allocated for Grant No. 15 (Jails).

Budget for Open Air Jails in Assam

Budget Composition

The entire budget of Open Air Jails in Assam is divided across several heads. As seen in the chart below, the highest percentage was allocated to salaries in the budget for 2022.

To know more about the grant wise distribution of budget for 2022, check the Assam Budget Explorer.

Wage Budget

The wage budget includes the wages for prisoners. As seen from the chart below, the average expenditure on wages is 5 Lakhs INR per year between 2018 and 2020.

To view distribution of the other components within the Open Air Jails budget, check the Budgets for Justice platform.

Know More

  1. Understanding Open Prisons in India
  2. Prison Aid + Action Research
  3. India’s ‘Open Prisons’ Are a Marvel of Trust-Based Incarceration
  4. Open Prison System is a game changer. | Smita Chakraburtty | TEDxMansaroverPark
  5. Welcome Change: Making open prisons the norm in India
  6. The Concept and Practice of Open Prison System in India

Datasets and Tools

Assam Budget Explorer

Explore and analyse the 2022-23 budget for Assam Link to Assam Budget Explorer

Budgets for Justice

Explore patterns in budget allocation for law and justice related schemes in Assam.

Link to Budgets for Justice platform

Justice Hub

Download law and justice related datasets.

Link to Justice Hub

Open Budgets India

Download state budget datasets.

Link to Open Budgets India