Automation of prison records delivers robust, transparent and efficient prison management in Punjab

25 February 2020, Lahore. The rise in crimes puts an additional burden and responsibility on the prison departments in Pakistan to ensure efficient and secure management of prison records. This means replacing conventional and manual prison management processes with modern technology to ensure accountable decision-making and rapid response time.

To this end, the UNODC's Criminal Justice and Legal Reforms, Sub-Programme-II and the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) joined hands to work with the Government of the Punjab towards automating prison records in 43 prison locations across Punjab through piloting and implementing a state-of-the-art Prison Management Information System (PMIS).

The PMIS has been intuitively designed to replace the redundant manual file system with a Central Data Centre to drive functionality across the entire chain of prisons in Punjab. It envisages automation of the prison records through an information management system developed in collaboration with the Prisons Department in Punjab. The purpose is to deliver efficiency, transparency and accountability in the management of prison affairs.

The formal control and implementation of PMIS was handed-over to the Punjab Prisons Department, Government of the Punjab by UNODC and INL through a special ceremony in Lahore on February 25, 2020. The event was presided over by Mr. Zawar Hussain Warraich, Minister for Prisons, Punjab, whohailed the automation of prison records as a breakthrough innovation in prison administration across Punjab. The ceremony had brought together a cross-section of stakeholders including, Ms. Lauren A. Meehling, the INL representative; Ms. Jouhaida Hanano, Criminal Justice Advisor, UNODC; Mr. Awais Mushtaq, Deputy Secretary Prisons, Home Department, Punjab; Mr. Mirza Shahid Saleem Baig, IG, Prisons Punjab; Mr. Nusrat Hussain Mangan, IG Prisons Sindh; Mr. Masood ur Rehman, IG Prisons KP; Mr. Malik Mohammad Yousaf, IG Prisons Balochistan and Mr. Masood ur Rehman, IG Prison/Additional Secretary Home, AJK along with other distinguished guests from the law enforcement and criminal justice system.

The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) has been working as a technology partner to replicate PMIS across the prisons in Punjab, integrating customised features and modules. This would help in bringing relevance and sustainability to the project through a user-friendly dashboard of prisons database. A comprehensive resource of PMIS allows the prison administration to customise work flows and have access to demographic and biometric profiles of prison inmates, crime history, court production, parole, prison tranfers, health and medical records. This will inevitably support administrative managers in prisons to maximise productivity with instant access to the relevant information, including records of prison imates, administrative staff and visitors alike. 

The system offers automated tracking and generation of reports. This will replace the onus of paper-work and offer in-depth functionality for maintaining a high standard of prison operations, contributing to an accountable criminal justice system.

The outstanding support from UNODC and INL has gone beyond the provision of funds and equipment for the PMIS to offering hands-on soft training to a cadre of more than 200 master trainers from a cross-section of prisons in Punjab. This would ensure adaptability to technological change for efficient decision-making. In addition, the automation would help to free-up quality time to focus on higher order work, improving performance in prison management.

UNODC has also supplemented the PMIS with more than 200 computers and UPS, biometric systems, networking and fingerprint devices for the automation of prisons, Inspectorate General Prisons and Prisons Training Academy in Sahiwal.














This Project is supported by the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, Government of United States of America .