Arthur Road Jail

Arthur Road Jail

Prison Less

Arthur Road Jail

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Arthur Road Jail (Marathi: ऑर्थर रोड जेल ), built in 1926, is Mumbai's largest and oldest prison. It houses most of the city's prisoners. It is located near Sat Rasta (Seven Roads), between Mahalaxmi and Chinchpokli railway stations in the southern part the city. It was upgraded in 1994 to become a Central Prison and its official name is Bombay Central Prison. But, for the people of Mumbai, the heavily-guarded prison has always been known as Arthur Road jail.


Space is at a premium inside. The jail was originally built to accommodate 800 prisoners but the average number of inmates is 2000—far exceeding its capacity in terms of space, sanitation and other facilities.

But for members of the crime syndicates, who tip guards and officers generously, a luxury lifestyle is always within easy reach.

For those who belong to powerful gangs, it was easy to control underworld activities from within the jail by mobile phone. However, a newly-installed jammer (to block out mobile signals) may have put an end to that.

A few decades ago, this prison was one of the most feared in India, because of the treatment prisoners received from the inmate overseers. The cells were overcrowded and the prisoners had to sleep on blankets infested with lice. They were allowed to wash each day, but the ration of water was very little. If they stood up against the overseers they were punished in terrible ways.

Health issues

The prevalence of HIV and tuberculosis is...
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