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INDECOM provides starting point for prisoners’ mental health task force


ON Monday Chief Justice Brian Sykes announced that a task force has been set up to look at the present law, practice, policies, and procedures relating to individuals in custody with mental illness. The report of the task force is expected within the next 120 days.

One of the starting points for the task force could be the quarterly report of the Independent Commission on Investigations (INDECOM), which was released last week and tabled in Parliament.

The report, titled “Detained at Pleasure: Institutionalised Human Rights Breaches”, lists nine detainees by their initials who have been incarcerated for many years and have not been tried before the court as they were detained at the Governor General or Court’s Pleasure.

 

INDECOM’S LIST

1. LF has been incarcerated for 19 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for the offences of house breaking and larceny as well as assault at common law. The inmate’s psychiatric condition is fit to plead. The last listed court date was 2001.

 

2. MB has been incarcerated for 31 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for an offence of burglary with intent. The inmate’s psychiatric condition is fit to plead. The last listed court date was 1989.

 

3. AM has been incarcerated for 45 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition is fit to plead. The last listed court date was 1975.

 

4. SD has been incarcerated for 38 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition is fit to plead. The last listed court date was 1982.

 

5. GW has been incarcerated for 49 years, at the Court’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition (fit or unfit for trial) is unknown. The last listed court date was 1970.

 

6. EE has been incarcerated for 49 years, at the Court’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition (fit or unfit for trial) is unknown. The last listed court date was 2000.

 

7. MM has been incarcerated for 44 years, at the Court’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition (fit or unfit for trial) is unknown. The last listed court date was 1976.

 

8. IP has been incarcerated for 43 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for an offence of murder. The inmate’s psychiatric condition stat is unfit to plead. The last listed court date was 1977.

 

9. KT has been incarcerated for 44 years, at the Governor General’s Pleasure for an offence of shooting with intent. The inmate’s psychiatric condition is unfit to plead. The last listed court date was 1975.

 

According to INDECOM, the Department of Correctional Services has reported that there are 146 mentally ill inmates who have been detained at the Governor General’s/Court’s Pleasure/unfit to plead- awaiting trial at the Tower Street, St Catherine, and Fort Augusta Adult correctional centres.

Of that number nine have been deemed fit to plead, 130 are still considered unfit to plead while the status of seven is unknown.

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