Additional Accommodation for Detainees

Photo: Garwin Davis Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague. (FILE)

Story Highlights

  • Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague is reassuring the public that his Ministry continues to put additional measures in place, where needed, to protect the rights of all persons detained during the Public State of Emergency in St. James.
  • He said he is aware of the space constraints being experienced at the detention centre, which he said was due to the massive response by residents to appeals, to provide information on criminal activity via the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Tip line, which resulted in the detention of a growing number of suspects.
  • “We have identified currently 50 spaces and we are working at Tamarind Farm…We have a brand new wing that can house 309. It’s not yet occupied and we are therefore moving in the furnishings and the fittings into that space, to take additional persons who have been detained,” he added.

Minister of National Security, Hon. Robert Montague is reassuring the public that his Ministry continues to put additional measures in place, where needed, to protect the rights of all persons detained during the Public State of Emergency in St. James.

He said he is aware of the space constraints being experienced at the detention centre, which he said was due to the massive response by residents to appeals, to provide information on criminal activity via the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Tip line, which resulted in the detention of a growing number of suspects.

As a result, he said additional accommodation will be provided for the detainees at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre in Kingston and the Tamarind Farm Adult Correctional Centre in St. Catherine.

“We have designated a section separate from where other inmates and those who are on appeal at Horizon are – a totally separate space that meets the standards internationally, for holding persons,” the Minister said.

“We have identified currently 50 spaces and we are working at Tamarind Farm…We have a brand new wing that can house 309. It’s not yet occupied and we are therefore moving in the furnishings and the fittings into that space, to take additional persons who have been detained,” he added.

Mr. Montague was speaking to JIS News at the Carl Rattray Staff College for Human Resource Development/Training in St. Ann, on January 26.

The Minister said he is hoping persons who were deemed “wanted” by the security forces, will turn themselves in.

He said their safety is guaranteed as the soldiers and police were given special human rights and customer care service training before the operations began.

“We are determined to respect the human rights of every Jamaican who has been detained and we will treat them with the dignity that a fellow Jamaican deserves. We have had but one report of any conflict with the public and the security forces and it has been dealt with,” Mr. Montague said.

He added that the Emergency Powers Review Tribunal is in place and Legal Aid is available for those who feel that they may need redress.

“We are monitoring the situation. It is still early days, but we are very pleased with what is happening and I know also that the good citizens of St. James are very pleased,” he said.

JIS Social