Action on Prison Data

The number of Dalits, Adivasis and Muslims in jail is far higher than their proportion in the population.

For years now—with one gap in the middle—the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has been releasing data on prisons, which shows that certain sections of society are jailed in numbers that are much higher compared to their share in the population at large. These are the Scheduled Castes (SCs), Scheduled Tribes (STs) and the largest religious minority, the Muslims. Significantly, among the latter, their share in the number of undertrials is higher than their share among convicts. The NCRB’s report for 2019 shows continuity in this trend.

The report shows that Dalits account for 21.7% of all convicts in prisons across India and 21% among the undertrials. Their share in the population is 16.6%. The STs make up 13.6% of the convict category and, among undertrials, they constitute 10.5%, while their share in the population is 8.6%. Muslims account for 14.2% of the total population, while their share of all convicts is 16.6% and, notably, 18.7% of all undertrials.

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Updated On : 14th Sep, 2020

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