Civil Prison in India

What is a Civil Prison?

A Civil Prison is defined by various laws in India.

As per Section 3 in The Army Act, 1950:
2  (iii) ” civil prison” means any jail or place used for the detention of any criminal prisoner under the Prisons Act, 1894 , (9 of 1894 .) or under any other law for the time being in force;

As per Section 3 in The Prisons Act, 1894
(4) “civil prisoner” means any prisoner who is not a criminal prisoner;
(2) “criminal prisoner” means any prisoner duly committed to custody under the writ, warrant or order of any Court or authority exercising criminal jurisdiction, or by order of a Court-martial;

What are the benefits or perquisites of a person in a Civil Prison?

Civil Prisoners are allowed their own private clothing, food, bedding and other personal necessities. They are also segregated from Criminal Offenders. They may pursue any trade or profession with the permission of the Superintendent of Jails. They may also be allowed visitors, during specific visiting hours.

As per The Prisons Act, 1894:

27 (4) civil prisoners shall be kept apart from criminal prisoners.

31. Maintenance of certain prisoners from private sources.—A civil prisoner or an
unconvicted criminal prisoner shall be permitted to maintain himself, and to purchase, or receive from
private sources at proper hours, food, clothing, bedding or other necessaries, but subject to examination
and to such rules as may be approved by the Inspector General.

33. Supply of clothing and bedding to civil and unconvicted criminal prisoners.—(1)
Every civil prisoner and unconvicted prisoner unable to provide himself with sufficient clothing
and bedding shall be supplied by the Superintendent with such clothing and bedding as may be
(2) When any civil prisoner has been committed to prison in execution of a decree in favour
of a private person, such person, or his representative, shall, within forty-eight hours after the
receipt by him of a demand in writing, pay to the Superintendent the cost of the clothing and
bedding so supplied to the prisoner ; and in default of such payment the prisoner may be

34. Employment of civil prisoners.—(1) Civil prisoners may, with the Superintendent’s permission,
work and follow any trade or profession.
(2) Civil prisoners finding their own implements, and not maintained at the expense of the prison,
shall be allowed to receive the whole of their earnings; but the earnings of such as are furnished with
implements or are maintained at the expense of the prison shall be subject to a deduction, to be
determined by the Superintendent, for the use of implements and the cost of maintenance.

As per the Civil Jails Act, 1874

13. Strangers may be admitted to Civil Jail. – The Civil Jail shall be opened daily for the admission of those wishing to visit prisoners from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m., and no stranger shall be allowed to remain in the Civil Jail beyond the abovementioned hours except by permission of the Judge, the Assistant Judge of the district; or on the recommendation of the medical officer by the permission of the nazir in charge of the jail.

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