Female Inmates in Prison

Female Inmates in Prison

How Comfortable is a Prison for Female Inmates in Bangladesh?


Female Inmates in Prison is very concerning issue in recent times because female inmates are often harassed, and jail officials extort payments from inmates. Punishment refers to using coercive power to impose the country’s law, which is one of the components of modern society. The government has a responsibility to provide an utterly peaceful civilization and way of life. Because of the lack of justice, the legislation loses its force, resulting in a culture being unable to maintain sequence and officials being unable to protect its citizens.

Nonetheless, people often question reparative methods to regulate crime, including reforming prisoners, fundamental human rights. According to psychotherapists, criminologists, and physiologists, can assist prisoners to be reconfigured and reintegrated into the culture as residents. [1]. This scenario exists in Bangladesh as well, and it has gone unrecognized not just by the nation’s published research but also by its politicians. It is encouraging that several academics have attempted to concentrate on a sociological perspective, but relatively few have attempted to emphasize a constitutional viewpoint. According to several studies, women in jail face a variety of discriminatory practices across the country.[2].

This issue may be seen in Bangladesh as well. Nonetheless, the problem goes overlooked in many methods, both intrinsically and extrinsically. Nevertheless, there has been occasional inequality and violations of fundamental human rights. It’s worth noting that particular academics have attempted to solve the issue through discourse research. The emphasis on legal problems and civil dignity is not as it should be. This article will highlight some legal concerns about destroying women’s fundamental human rights in Bangladeshi prisons.


The main research goal is to determine whether or not the current rules and regulations about protecting women’s rights in jail are enough. To highlight the concerns, the plans will be as follows:

  • To address the rights of women who are imprisoned in Bangladesh;
  • To address Bangladesh’s violations of equal liberation in jail;
  • To review the current Bangladeshi guidelines and restrictions about the protection of women’s inmate liberties.
  • Lastly, this research will attempt to provide some constructive ideas for improving efficiency and effectiveness.

Female Inmates in Prison in Bangladesh at the moment

Bangladesh has several 68 prisons, as per the 2017 Prison Population Estimates. There are 13 Regional Jails and 55 Regional Jails among 68 jails. There are 73,113 inmates in aggregate, 54,992 of whom are facing sentencing, 18,185 have been condemned, 70,405 of whom are male, and 2, 772 of whom are female. Lengthy inmates number 6,109, with 4,904 receiving life sentences and 1,204 receiving death sentences[3]. There were 325 children as young as six with their mothers, with 155 males and 170 females. The total land size of the jails is 1,421 acres, which is also essential to note. In the central prison, 51.45% of the prison’s space is occupied, while in the district jail, 48.55 percent is occupied. The prisons have a maximum of 36,614 inmates, while the absolute number of the cells is 86,433. That’s more than twice as much. Women in jail face severe prejudice all around the world. [4]The number of women in prison is increasing at an alarming rate. As a result, they are unable to reject their civil rights duties to individuals. Prisons are congested, inmates are fed low-quality food, and jail administration misconduct is frequent in all Bangladeshi jails. As a result, human rights are occasionally violated in prison.

  • One of the most challenging things a woman experiences in prison is the lack of desire to leave.
  • Female inmates are often harassed, and jail officials extort payments from inmates, typical of Bangladeshi prisons.[5].
  • The regulation requiring female staff to supervise female detainees has been broken. As a consequence, they are susceptible to mistreatment and violence.

In summary, congestion, a shortage of sanitation and safety services, miserable living circumstances, and other issues plague jails. Furthermore, women in prison certainly face prejudice and a low level of living.

An examination of Bangladesh legal requirements relating to the security of Female inmates’ rights

As we begin, let’s have a look at Bangladeshi legislation that protects reproductive suffrage in jail. It is necessary to talk about the worldwide obligations that international bodies give. Bangladesh has pledged, among other things, to regard “all individuals suffering from lack of freedom with civilization and honor for the underlying sanctity of human life,” to separate under preventive detention from inmates and youths from adults and to bring inmates to trial as rapidly as feasible underneath the International Covenant Protections.[6]. The United Nations Common Reasonable Level Regulations for the Prison conditions require nations to adhere to the essential elements of life, wellness, and moral courage, showed gains in the torture of offenders, and created conditions that make inmates modify and incorporate into regular civic society. The Bangkok Guidelines, also referred to as the UN Regulations for the Abuse of Women Prisoners and Non-Custodial Remedies for Female Prisoners, include particular provisions for incarcerated women.[7].

  • In the case of freshly arriving detainees: Women prisoners who have just arrived in jail should be given resources to connect with their families and access government resources and supports about prison legislation and rules in their language of choice.
  • Women with Children: Women responsible for children should be permitted to arrange before or during admittance[8]. Furthermore, a woman’s children’s quantity and specific details must be recorded when her admittance to jail. The documents must include at minimum the names of the children, their genders, and, if they are not with the mother, their whereabouts and possession or authority situation, without affecting the mother’s entitlements.[9].
    • To the degree practicable, female prisoners will be assigned to institutions closest to their homes or places of societal treatment.
  • Personal Neatness: Women’s jail spaces must have the comforts and resources necessary to satisfy their unique quality standards, particularly disposable sanitary napkins. Furthermore, the laws stipulated that freshwater be given access for the care products of children and women, particularly those who cook pregnant.
  • Health-Care Services: The Declaration speaks a lot about the healthcare needs of women in prison.
    • Healthcare Examination: For every woman inmate, complete medical testing is required at admission. The screening is necessary because screening is necessary for a variety of reasons.
    • Gender-specific health care: If a convict needs a female medical professional to treat her gender-specific illnesses, the authorities must accommodate her request. It further specifies that just health workers and nobody else must be available throughout the evaluation.[10].
    • Mental Health Care: Mental health is especially crucial for women prisoners who have experienced gender-specific violence.
    • HIV protection, medication, and assistance: If necessary, HIV-related services and benefits must be tailored to the needs of women in prison.
    • Drug and alcohol treatment initiatives.
    • Avoidance of suicide and self-harm
    • Health-prevention services
  • Survival and protection: Efficient efforts must be made to ensure that women prisoners’ identity and regard are protected during individual assessments, which will only be conducted by female staff who have received adequate training in suitable exploring processes and follow standard rules.
  • Interaction with the Outside Globe: The authorities shall adopt and promote procedures that allow female inmates to communicate with their families, especially their children, their children’s caretakers, and authorized counsel, using all reasonable methods.
  • People and education within the organization
  • Pregnant women, moms who are nursing, and moms who have children in jail

Female Inmates in Prison

The People’s Government of Bangladesh Constitution

Bangladesh’s charter protects “equal protection under the law” and “protection under the law.  All people are truly equal and are guaranteed equal rights under the law. As a result, women’s rights in jail are just as essential as women’s rights and equality. [11]. Women in prison are also members of the human race, and as such, they enjoy certain fundamental human and charter freedoms. Bangladesh has enacted a penal code. The Layer is composed of the Corrections Law 1894, the Prisoners Act 1900, the Identity of Inmates Act 1920, and the Regulations specified under Section 59 of the Prison Act 1894 and Section 60 of the same Act of 1894 for the coordination and control of inmates and subordinate jails, accordingly. [12]. These Acts give a range of rights to inmates, with certain privileges focusing primarily on female inmates.

The 1894 Prisons Act

This Legislation provides a precise definition of the word. Whatever imprison or location are using eternally and for the moment and be under the director-general commands of the Authorities for the incarceration of inmates, including all territories and infrastructure abutting related documents, but not any location for the imprisonment of inmates who are solely in the custody of the police; whatever position exceptionally politically appointed under section 541 [13].

Prisoner segregation:  Partition of prisoners is also provided for under the Act. Females should be imprisoned in different buildings or different portions of a similar structure, in a very way as to prevent them from interacting with, or having any sexual relations with, the male inmates, according to the Act. [14].

Flooding and garments:  The Act court hears and criminal offenders’ food, clothes, and sleeping. This regulation applies to both male and female inmates.

Prisoners’ health care:  In terms of healthcare, the Act states that in the event of an inmate’s condition, the Jailer shall immediately summon the Physician Deputy to every inmate desiring to see him, who is unwell, or whose mental state or physique looks to respond to treatment. In particular, the statute stipulates that the convicts be housed in a hospital or other suitable location.

The Prisoners Act of 1900

It was enacted to protect inmates. The term “jail” is defined under this Act as well. It specifies that the prison is designated as a subsidiary prison by a specific or general decision by the administration. In two places in the Act, it mentions reparative schools. Suppose the government thinks an individual is insane. [15]. In that case, they could be committed to a mental asylum or other secure location within Bangladesh, where they will be held and handled as per official guidelines for the remaining portion of the period for that they have indeed been purchased or convicted to be incarcerated or incarcerated as according to legislation.

Females status, Parenting, Feminine Responsiveness: Different Requirements

The problem has a gender perspective, which has been explored in terms of femininity, parenting, and various gender demands. Following disturbances at six men’s inmates in the United Kingdom in 1990, Lord Justice Woolf released a study with substantial overhaul suggestions for the imprisonment system in England and Wales for the following twenty-five years. The crucial thing was a riot in the Risley Remand Centre for Women, but the authorities ignored it. [16]. Women, according to Player, need not protest violently or openly enough to pique governmental interest. Female inmates might face severe repercussions if recommendations based on male prisoners are adopted, implying that the administration has completely failed to grasp the female requirements of the convicts. An additional explanation for ignoring women’s needs might be that they make up a small percentage of criminals compared to male criminals. [17]. In the United Kingdom, all investigations and the government-sponsored Corston study determined that since most female victims possess extensive, multifaceted issues that are not just systematically neglected, and women are imprisoned in a male-dominated culture with systems designed by men for men. Several nations, such as Uganda and Afghanistan, have women detained for infidelity or fleeing their homes. Exceptional instances exist for in-depth investigation in Bangladesh on safe custody when women are held simply for loitering or to protect themselves from external threats but end up being imprisoned in practice. [18]. According to my observations, no conceptual or practical information exists to outline female detainees’ human rights in detention or jails.

Nevertheless, there is a widespread belief in the community that female inmates’ freedoms are routinely violated and ignored in the nation at various levels of the executive and functional domains of the social-economic and law courts. In the current situation, immediate awareness and reformation efforts are required since injustice postponed is justice given. [19]. Apart from the prevalent social and economic problems, drug abuse, and numerous forms of social isolation experienced by both men and women, relevant quality discrepancies in women’s experiences have been recognized, particularly with sentimental areas about procreative, physiological, and long-term miseries from sexual and other forms of physical abuse. The material and sexual assault might not have been the sole cause of a woman becoming an offender. Still, when combined with other psychological and social variables, a higher chance of committing could be anticipated. Becoming the primary caregiver for young or older children while also coping with personal issues can be a significant element for women who commit crimes out of despair, despair, or mental disorder. [20]. According to a recent comprehensive literature analysis of 62 surveys conducted worldwide, multiple million inmates are likely to have significant mental conditions. Still, it is unclear how successfully prison facilities are treating such issues. It is unclear if Bangladesh was included in the list of nations, much alone the cultural situation of the nation’s women convicts. While in jail, motherhood is a fundamental issue that most authorities struggle to address appropriately.

Nevertheless, in the United Kingdom, the standard view of judges and courts is that if a woman has separated from her husband and her kid is always in protection, that might seem like a sensible suggestion to sentence her to prison for three months. [21]. Despite popular belief, most women enter jail disoriented and frightened, and most are in terrible health due to drug dependence. Unlike most male inmates, who show up to modify the political implications of confinement by trying to shut one ‘s minds off around the globe as much as potential. What many female prisoners need not leave their external worries behind and feel worried about their children or other family members and their houses and businesses. Approximately 55% of all women in jail in the UK have such a kid under the age of 16, and more than a quarter have kids under the age of five. Just 35% of women held in jail got a prison term in 1995, while 61% of those sentenced obtained a penalty of fewer than six months. [22]. The argument is that while a six-month sentence would not have severe consequences for an individual, it may be a life-changing event for a child’s developmental psychology. In Bangladesh, there are approximately 2674 women in jail, including 367 kids under six. Aside from the 13.70 percent of children in detention with the mother, no figures have been uncovered on where the kids over the age of 6 have moved or what is occurring with them during society following their mother’s incarceration. [23]. It is easy to see how incarcerating these already defenseless and culturally ostracized women not just to perpetuates their prior dysfunctional lives but also causes societal issues in their children’s conduct at education and on the roads, as well as in their future lives around their own families. No distinction inside the instance of Bangladesh, all significant and essential research studies urge more awareness for gendered requirements and public or substitute punishments for women offenders to perform more excellent deals with all aspects.


Personal Cleaning: The United Nations Guidelines for the medication of Female inmates and Non-Custodial Remedies for Female Prisoners explicitly indicate that some women require exceptional hygiene. Nonetheless, the Prisons Act of 1894 does not entirely adhere to these principles. The Act mainly covers specific essential hospital attention. [24]. Whenever a prisoner becomes unwell, the authorities will cure her. Furthermore, Bangladesh’s Laws for the Supervision and Administration of Jails barely included a few basic hygienic standards. The pieces of legislation make no mention of female sanitation.

In terms of medical treatments: Global Tools also offers female facilities. In comparison to males, female inmates typically have higher basic healthcare needs. Leading to a shortage of adequate health care, poor cleanliness, poor food, and congestion, their position in prisons might deteriorate. Furthermore, all females have female healthcare needs and complete access to women’s healthcare practitioners. [25]. For instance, routine mental care, HIV protection, concern, assistance, and specific therapies for pregnant women, to name a few. The Prisons Act of 1894 and the Regulations for the Supervision and Administration of Detention centers in Bangladesh, on the other hand, provide essential hospital attention. Whenever a captive becomes unwell, they will cure them.

Dealing with the protection: As per the Guidelines on Women and Incarceration, women are sexually assaulted and disquieted by law enforcement officers in numerous nations. Violence can vary beyond basic mistreatment to assault [26]. Verbal abuse, improper handling while pat-down inspections, excessive and needless questioning and eavesdropping on detainees are all examples.


As a result, Bangladeshi laws are not entirely favorable to female inmates. On the other hand, the Bangladesh government established a specific direction in 2006 called the Unique Accommodations for Women Prisoners Act. Inmates can be released with conditions, prisoners would be trained in specific practical crafts, the prison authorities will offer specialized training to the inmates, and they’ll be provided rehabilitation, among other things, according to the Act. However, certain inmates will be ineligible for these unique perks. [27]. For instance, consider the death row inmate who has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being accused of conspiring against by the government and of violating incendiary and drug regulations. It’s worth noting that this most recent law is utterly unconcerned about women’s rights based on their gender. The Bangladesh Legal Aid and Service Trust (BLAST) is among the country’s significant legal charity groups. As a professional consulting firm, BLAST has several unique characteristics. For starters, it benefits equally men and women. Secondly, it handles a broad range of legal government contracting and has a significant focus on labor law and familial and property law knowledge. This group has done great work in the treatment of prisoners. [28]. Following the previous debate, it is evident that Bangladesh has various laws relating to prisoners’ privileges that do not meet the highest. Women in jail have several freedoms that are special to their gender. However, they are denied such fundamental rights. People must explore including such liberties in the laws and ensuring that they are protected.




[3] M Anwarul and others, “THE PRESENT RIGHTS of PRISONERS in BANGLADESH: DISPARITY between LAW and PRACTICE” (2014) accessed May 11, 2020.

[4] Sarmin Akther, “Female Criminality: A Way Out” (New Age | The Most Popular Outspoken English Daily in BangladeshMarch 16, 2019) accessed September 16, 2021.

[5] Md Hasan, “Female Inmates in Prison: Prisoner’s Rights in Bangladesh Submitted By” (2018) accessed September 16, 2021.

[6] Sunjida Islam, “Female Inmates in Prison: The Prison System: An Exploration for the Rights of Prisoners (Prison System in Bangladesh)” (September 2019).

[7] Tomris Atabay and United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime, Handbook on Women and Imprisonment. (United Nations 2014).

[8] Suraya Momtaz, “Human Rights Violations in Bangladesh: A Study of the Violations by the Law Enforcing Agencies” [2013] Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences.

[9] Awal Hossain Mollah, “Female Inmates in Prison: Judicial Activism and Human Rights in Bangladesh: A Critique” (2014) 56 International Journal of Law and Management 475.

[10] Md Ershadul Karim, “Citizen’s Right to Privacy: Reflection in the International Instruments and National Laws” [2005] SSRN Electronic Journal.

[11] Shyamali Ghosh, “Constitutional Changes in Bangladesh: Process of Political Development” (1986) 42 India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs 391.

[13] “The Prisons Act, 1894” (bdlaws.minlaw.gov.bd) accessed September 16, 2021.

[14] Pathan Dabeer Fardeen, “Female Inmates in Prison: Legislations Frameworks of Prison Administration and Prison Legislations” (International Journal of Law Management & Humanities) accessed September 16, 2021.

[15] Ray Mars Simpson, “Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology Prison Stagnation since 1900 Ray Mars Simpson” (1936) accessed September 16, 2021.

[16] Lynne Haney, “Motherhood as Punishment: The Case of Parenting in Prison” (2013) 39 Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 105.

[17] Una Stone, Marg Liddell, and Marietta Martinovic, “Incarcerated Mothers: Issues and Barriers for Regaining Custody of Children.”

[18] Brittnie Aiello, “Making Mothers: Parenting Classes in a Women’s Jail.”

[19] Ulya Saida and Elizabeth Kristi Poerwandani, “The Narrative of Women in Prison: The Parenting Practices and the Concepts of Mother in Incarcerated Women” (2020) 15 Sawwa: Jurnal Studi Gender 75.

[20] Susan C Craig, “A Historical Review of Mother and Child Programs for Incarcerated Women” (2009) 89 The Prison Journal.

[21] JUDITH CLARK, “Female Inmates in Prison: The Impact of the Prison Environment on Mothers” (1995) 75 The Prison Journal 306.

[22] Belinda Lovell and others, “Female Inmates in Prison: Learning from the Outcomes of Existing Prison Parenting Education Programs for Women Experiencing Incarceration: A Scoping Review” (2020) 6 Journal of Prison Education and Reentry accessed September 16, 2021.

[23] Susan Hatters Friedman, Aimee Kaempf and Sarah Kauffman, “The Realities of Pregnancy and Mothering While Incarcerated” [2020] Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online accessed December 10, 2020.

[24] Elaine Player, “Female Inmates in Prison: Women in the Criminal Justice System: The Triumph of Inertia” (2013) 14 Criminology & Criminal Justice 276.

[25] Mr. Avnish Bhatt and Dr. Rajesh Bahuguna, “Female Inmates in Prison: Women Prisoners and Human Rights: The Juxtaposition of Rights and Reality.”

[26] Jodie Michelle Lawston, “Introduction: Women, the Criminal Justice System, and Incarceration: Processes of Power, Silence, and Resistance” (2008) 20 NWSA Journal 1 accessed September 16, 2021.

[27] Andriani Fili, “Female Inmates in Prison: Victims or Resisters? Representations of Agency in Women’s Prisons in Greece” (2013) 39 Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society 1.

[28] William & Mary Journal Of Race and Social Justice William, “Women in Prison: International Problems and Human Rights Women in Prison: International Problems and Human Rights-Based Approaches to Reform Based Approaches to Reform” (2007) 14 Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice accessed April 15, 2021.

Written by

Md. Shadequr Rahaman

Email: [email protected]

Female Inmates in Prison

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