Bangladesh: Home Minister Launches UNODC's Prisoner Database Management System


Dhaka, Bangladesh/17 September 2019: The Prisoner Database Management System (PDMS), developed by UNODC in partnership with the Bangladesh Prison Department, was launched by the Home Minister of Bangladesh, Mr. Asaduzzaman Khan, in Dhaka today.

PDMS is an innovative biometric-based system that enables digitalisation of prisoner records and enhances prison management.

In attendance were the UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, Ms Mia Seppo, Inspector General of Prisons (Bangladesh) Brig Gen AKM Mustafa Kamal Pasha, US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Mr Earl Miller, Deputy Representative of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia, Dr Suruchi Pant, and senior officials and representatives of Bangladesh Prisons, Government of Bangladesh, and civil society.

With support of the US Department of State, UNODC extended its assistance to Bangladesh prisons for the development and establishment of a modern electronic database to improve the overall management of the prison system. The system was being operated as a pilot project at Kashimpur Central Jail 2 and Gazipur District Jail since June 2019.

As the database will capture biometric information of the prisoners, it will address many challenges that the prison department is currently facing.

The Home Minister acknowledged the necessity of a modern database for Bangladesh prison to augment the efficiency of the prison staff as well as to reduce the possibility of errors. "We have to design a continuation of this project to expand the system in other prisons," said Mr. Khan, emphasising the envisaged countrywide implementation of the system.

Using a desktop application, the prison staff shall conduct all regular activities pertaining to the prisoners, such as prisoner admission, sending prisoners to court hearings, transferring prisoners to another prison or hospital, release on bail or acquittal etc. Upon arrival of a new prisoner, the system checks whether the prisoner is previously registered in the system through fingerprint matching. The prisoners' personal details including information of the case lodged against them are also recorded.

Criminal justice experts appreciated the initiative of introducing an electronic prisoner database in order to standardize records and in the long run improve the prison conditions by facilitating reporting, resource planning and development of targeted rehabilitation interventions, in line with the Nelson Mandela Rules.