Entrance of Central Prison, Viyyur
|Location||Viyyur, Thrissur, India|
|Security class||Central Prison|
|Managed by||Department of Prisons, Kerala|
Central Prison, Viyyur, is situated in Thrissur in Kerala state of India. It is authorised to accommodate 520 prisoners. It is one of the three central prisons other than Thiruvananthapuram and Kannur, situated in Kerala. It is one of the important correctional and detention center in the state of Kerala. As per Kerala Prison Rules, the prison is meant to detain convicted habitual prisoners on long term basis. Apart from that, it has separate buildings as special jail and sub jail meant for short term convicts and under-trials respectively.
Thrissur was the capital of Kochi Kingdom for a long time. Hence the State Prison was located here. The original Thrissur Prison existed in front of Sri Vadakkumnathan Temple around 300 years ago. During the reign of H.H Sakthan Thampuran, the Maharaja of Kochi, when Thrissur pooram was organised, on the request of prisoners "Kudamattom" was conducted on the particular place for their enjoyment.
On 1914, the temple authority requested to shift the Prison and consequently it was demolished and shifted to Viyyur. Almost 1000 Acres of land were handed over to establish the new Prison at Viyyur, out of the properties owned by H.H Parukutty Nethyaramma, Consort Queen of Kochi and Wife of Maharaja Rama Varma. However, later, much of its original land went into use for other state purposes like All-India Radio, Television, establishment of Police training facility, Fire Force center etc. After Independence, the Government of Kerala, took over the facility and converted it as one of its Central Prison, meant to detain long term prisoners.
Though originally, the prison had almost 1000 acres of land, several state establishments were established in its premises, reducing the land available for Prison to 147 acres for its exclusive use. Out of which, the Central Jail occupies a space of 17 acres. Remaining is used for other prison facilities and buildings.
The Central Jail is located in center of the entire prison property, separated from rest of area, via a circular perimeter wall of almost 6 M high, with a central watch tower its center There are 6 blocks for confining prisoners situated as a petals of a flower pointing towards office block. Among the blocks A, B, C, D are made for cellular confinement having 44 cells each. F and E blocks are dormitory type having 4 compartments and the latter is used for female prisoners as a separate enclosure. Besides the prisoners blocks, there are separate buildings such as kitchen, store, manufactory section, library, hospital ward, prayer hall (consists of temple, church and mosque) and outside the prison there are barrack hall, staff mess, staff canteen and cattle sheds etc. situated.
The prison has a separate library building and a well stocked library which has around 10,000 books from English, Hindi and Tamil languages. The library is open from 9 am to 5 pm every day. It houses an open auditorium also.
Kerala prison rules prescribe that every prisoner in a ward shall be allowed not less than 3.72 m2 of ground space and 17 m3 of breathing space. Accordingly, every cell of A, B, C, D blocks can accommodate 2 prisoners (measurement of a single cell 4.1 m x 2.3 m x 3.10 m (height) i.e. 9.43 m2 floor area and 12.53 m3 breathing space) and in F & E Blocks (dormitory) 100 prisoners each. This means that in total 420 male prisoners and 100 female prisoners can be housed at Central Prison, Viyyur. But the average lock-up comes around 630 male prisoners and 30 female prisoners. It reveals that male blocks are always overcrowded, around 50% over authorized capacity.
- "Prisoners contribute for 5-year-old's heart treatment". DNA. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- "Schools in Central Prisons soon". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2007-09-12. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- "Central Prison, Viyyur" (PDF). Kerala Government. Retrieved 2010-10-11.
- "Library of a different kind". Times of India. 2011-09-15. Retrieved 2011-09-15.
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