In Special Consultative Status with the UN Economic & Social Council


Name of the project:

Improvement of the Real Situation of Overcrowding in Prisons in Bangladesh (IRSOP) Through Community Radio.

Project Supported by:



Prisons in Bangladesh are severely overcrowded by over twice of their actual capacity. This is due to an inefficient, irregular and anachronistic criminal justice system. Many prisoners spend months or years awaiting a court date. Many people are detained for minor offences which can be associated with poverty. Release on parole or on probation is uncommon. Women and children who have become victims of violent crimes, such as human trafficking or rape, are kept in prisons for their own ‘safety’ rather than because they have committed any type of crime, as they don’t have a safe place to stay.

The conditions under which prisoners are held are appalling, contravening all international human rights standards.The number of cases to be resolved in low and higher courts already exceeds 30 lacs, many of those are worthy to resolve at local level.Besides, in many cases police arrests without any specific charge and the arrested persons are not given the opportunity to deploy a lawyer.This has caused increase of priosners.

To reduce prison overcrowding and improve legal protection for poor and vulnerable prisoners, Bangladesh-German project ‘Improvement of the Real Situation of Overcrowding in Prisons in Bangladesh’ (IRSOP) has been undertaken. In a part of this project, the information and motivation campaign through community radio was implemented by the seven community radio stations of the country. The community Radios were: Radio Padma (Rajshahi), Radio Nalta(Satkhira), Radio Pollikontho (Moulvibazar), Radio Sagar Giri( Chittagang), Radio Chilmari (Kurigram), Radio Jhunek (Jhenaidha) and Radio Bikrampur (Munsigonj).

Objectives of the Project:

i. To reach the maximum number of listeners with information related to law and justice system.
ii.To make people aware about the services provided by Govt. and non-government organisations to access the justice system.

Expected Result/Output:

Reaching 0.5 million people (including women, under-trial prisoners and ex-offenders) with information on how to better access laws and services.

Achievement so far:

  • A total .620858 million (6 Lac 20 Thousand,8 hundred 58) listeners from the broadcasting area in 7 radio stations were informed and became aware on their legal rights, govt. and non-governmental legal assistance services and service centre, treatment, referral system and center in case of drug addiction, village court and its activities etc.
  • Total 15,522 (estimated) listeners gave feedback, opinion and recommendation on the programs through sms, phone call, Facebook link, station visit and interview. Among them there were grassroots people like-day labour, rickshaw-puller, farmer, fisherman including youth, teachers, students, journalists, family members of prisoners and drug addicted persons, advocate, development workers, govt. officials, local governmental officers, local public leader, related NGOs worker etc. All of them appreciated the content of the program and the information on local service centres. – A total of 21 community broadcasters have gathered knowledge and within a short time they became skilled to produce and broadcast such sensitive and community need based magazine program in first time.
  • In the light of the dialogue segment of the magazine program a strong link was created between 84 local resource persons(Jailor/ Jail Super/ members of Jail Inspection Committee; District Magistrate, Advocate, and members of Para-Legal, Public Prosecutor, representation of Social Welfare Department, Local government and administration, District Narcotics Control Officer, Civil Society members, local NGOs and development workers, etc) and community radio as well with the community people through the program. The radio broadcasters are going to utilise this good link-up with those local resource persons by making them as reliable news source and/or inviting them as talkers in others radio programs.

Project Duration:

20 October 2015 -15 January 2016t

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