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  • Executive Director of the Council, Hugh Faulkner, says persons taken into police custody have certain rights that must be upheld.
  • Among these, Mr. Faulkner pointed out, are: the provision of cells that are clean and in a sanitary condition; visits from a doctor and lawyer; having any medical issue addressed, and not being placed in an overcrowded holding area.
  • “Minors should not be held in a lock-up or facility where there are adults [and those] who are taken into police custody, detained or charged… their names should not be published in the media,” the Executive Director outlined.

Three hundred Justices of the Peace (JPs) and police officers from Kingston, St. Andrew, and St. Catherine will benefit from the Legal Aid Council’s (LAC) Sensitization Session, slated for Tuesday, March 10.

The session, to be held at the AC Marriott Hotel in Kingston, will focus on the responsibilities of JPs and police officers towards individuals who have been detained or remanded in custody.

Executive Director of the Council, Hugh Faulkner, says persons taken into police custody have certain rights that must be upheld.

“Where one citizen enjoys a right, in many instances, somebody else has an obligation to ensure that that right is carried out. So the persons in custody – notwithstanding having lost [their] civil liberty – there are certain rights that they are entitled to,” he said.

Among these, Mr. Faulkner pointed out, are: the provision of cells that are clean and in a sanitary condition; visits from a doctor and lawyer; having any medical issue addressed, and not being placed in an overcrowded holding area.

Additionally, he said minors in police custody must be held in accordance with specific guidelines.

“Minors should not be held in a lock-up or facility where there are adults [and those] who are taken into police custody, detained or charged… their names should not be published in the media,” the Executive Director outlined.

Additionally, he said there are fingerprint limitations for minors while pointing out that their parent(s) or guardian(s) are also entitled to attend a question and answer session, as also the first part of an identification parade.

“This should be held at a juvenile remand facility or juvenile recreational facility,” Mr. Faulkner explained.

The JPs and police officers must also ensure that the rights of persons in custody are upheld all times, and the sensitization session is expected to emphasize what is expected of both groups, in this regard.

“When [JPs] they do their lock-up visits they are to ensure, to not just to look at the condition [of the cells], not look at just the ventilation and the overcrowding, but to look at the [condition of the] inmates. JPs must also ensure that if anyone looks under the age of 18, [that] they make an enquiry as to age and whether the person is a minor or an adult,” Mr. Faulkner said.

Justices of the Peace can also grant bail, as they see fit, within the ambit of the Bail Act and the Justices of the Peace Jurisdiction Act.

Among the topics to be discussed at the sensitization session are: question and answer procedures; child detention and arrest procedures; granting of bail; and the role of JPs under the States of Emergency.

The Legal Aid Council sensitization sessions are being facilitated through the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).

Sessions have, to date, been held in eight parishes, with others slated for St. Thomas, St. Elizabeth, Hanover, and Portland.

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