Indian prisons grapple with overcrowding, where a staggering 3 in 4 inmates are undertrials—individuals accused of crimes but not yet convicted. According to the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, India has the 6th highest percentage of undertrial population in prisons. Reasons for this vary, from time-consuming legal processes and court delays to indiscriminate police arrests. Despite free legal aid being a Constitutional right, many, especially from economically weaker sections, struggle to access it.

Delve into comprehensive statistics on undertrial prison inmates in India over the past two decades, sourced from NCRB data. Explore insights into trends, demographics, and the evolving criminal justice landscape.
Inmate Population
IPC Offences
Confinement Duration


#DataViz: Prison Occupancy Rose In 2022, Despite Campaign To Release Undertrials
Three in four prisoners continue to be undertrials, a majority of whom belong to oppressed caste groups
A Separate Bail Law Can Help Decongest India's Jails: Experts
On average, 34% of jail inmates globally are undertrials, and 35% in Commonwealth countries. In India, that proportion is 76%, the world's sixth-highest. Where are we going wrong?
Why Migrant Undertrials Struggle To Furnish Bail & Access Timely Legal Aid
Poverty and lack of local community ties affect migrants more compared to locals who are undertrial. Around 9% of the undertrial prisoner population incarcerated in a state, on average, belongs to other states