The prison act, 1894 was enacted to provide the law for the administration of Prisons. Among other provisions, it also makes the provision for the officers who will have responsibility for the proper and safe administration of Prison.

Prison act, give responsibility to the following officers for the secure and proper administration of Prison-

  1. Inspector General
  2. Superintendent
  3. Medical Officer and his subordinate medical officers
  4. Jailer
  5. Gate Keeper (subordinate to Jailer)  

Inspector General (Section 5)

For the general control and superintendence of all prisons in state, an Inspector general shall be appointed in each state. and s/he shall exercise his/her power, subject to the orders of the state government.  

Superintendent (Section 11)

The chief officer of the prison is superintendent, the Superintendent is responsible to manage the prison in all matters relating to discipline, labour, expenditure, punishment and control. All officers of a prison shall obey the directions of the Superintendent.

Duty of Superintendent

The Superintendent shall keep, the following records: —

(1) a register of prisoners admitted;

(2) a book showing when each prisoner is to be released;

(3) a punishment-book for the entry of the punishments inflicted on prisoners for prison-offences;

(4) a visitor’s book for the entry of any observation made by the visitors touching any matters connected with the administration of the prison;

(5) a record of the money and other articles taken from prisoners.

The Jailer shall be responsible for the safe custody of the records.

Medical Officer

The Medical Officer shall have charge of the sanitary administration of the prison. He will perform duties under the control of superintendent.

Duty of the Medical Officer

If medical officer thinks that due to discipline or treatment, a prisoner’s mind is injuriously affected or is likely to be affected, the medical officer shall report the case in writing to the Superintendent, together with his observations.

Report on the death of Prisoner

On the death of any prisoner, the medical officer shall record in a register the following particulars, (so far as they can be ascertained)-

(1) the day on which the deceased first complained of illness or was observed to be ill,

(2) the labour, if any, on which he was engaged on that day,

(3) the scale of his diet on that day,

(4) the day on which he was admitted to hospital,

(5) the day on which the Medical Officer was first informed of the illness,

(6) the nature of the disease,

(7) when the deceased was last seen before his death by the Medical Officer or Medical Subordinate,

(8) when the prisoner died, and

(9) (in cases where a post-mortem examination is made) an account of the appearances after death, together with any special remarks that appear to the Medical Officer to be required.


The Jailer shall reside in the prison and not be employed in any other work. The Jailer shall not be absent from the prison for a night without permission in writing from the Superintendent but, if absent without leave for a night from unavoidable necessity, he shall immediately report the fact to the Superintendent.

Duty of Jailer

  • Upon the death of prisoner, the jailer shall give immediate notice to medical officer and superintendent.
  • The Jailer shall be responsible for the commitment warrants and all other documents confided to his care, and for the money and other articles taken from prisoners.

Deputy and Assistant Jailers

Where a Deputy Jailer or Assistant Jailer is appointed to a prison, he shall be competent to perform any of the duties, and responsibilities, of a Jailer.

Gate Keeper and duties of Gate Keeper

A gate-keeper, or any other officer of the prison, may examine anything carried in or out of the prison, and may stop and search or cause to be searched any person suspected of bringing any prohibited article into or out of the prison, or of carrying out any property belonging to the prison, and, if any such article or property be found, shall give immediate notice thereof to the Jailer.


Prison act, 1894