OCAs Team:Office of the Childrens AdvocateReport on Visit to Free Port Lock-upFebruary 3, 2010Mrs. Mary Clarke, Childrens AdvocateMr. Courtney Ben-y, Investigation OfficerMr. Dwayne Cargill, Research OfficerMiss Laura Evans, CUSONSO Co-operantThe Child Care and Protection Act, 2004 (CCPA) makes provisions for the treatmentof children held at police stations. According to section 12.-(1) A constable, a childrens officer or a probation and after-care officer may taketo a place of safety any child in respect of whom any of the offences mentioned inthe Second Schedule has been committed, or there is reason to believe has beencommitted, or who is, in accordance with the provisions of section 13, about to bebrought before a Childrens Court.(2) Any child taken to a place of safety under this section, or any child who seeksrefuge in a place of safety, shall not be detained there for longer than forty-eighthours without having been brought before a Childrens Court or, ifthere is noChildrens Court sitting in that parish, a Resident Magistrate in chambers.Pursuant to section 13 (1) Any constable or authorized person may bring before aChildrens Court any child in need of care or profoctiOn: .Sections 66 and 67 of the CCPA, 2004 state that an-angements shall be made forpreventing a child who is -(a) at a police station in connection with the commission of any offence, whethercommitted by the child or by any other person;(b) being conveyed to or from any criminal court, remand centre or place of safety; or(c) waiting before or after attendance of court,OCA/Feb/2010 1
from associating with any adults, not being relative, who is charged with any offenceother than the offence with which the child is jointly charged.67. - (1) Where a person who is apparently a child is apprehended, with or withoutwanant, and cannot be brought forthwith before a court, the officer or sub-officer ofpolice in charge of the police station to which the person is brought shall act inaccordance with subsection (2).(2) The officer or sub-officer shall -(a) so inform the government agency responsible for the care and protection ofchildren; and(b) enquire into the case and may, in accordance with the Bail Act, release theperson on a recognizance being entered into by the person or his parent orguardian (with or without sureties) for such amount as will, in the opinion of theofficer or sub-officer, secure the persons attendance upon the hearing of thecharge, and shall release that person unless -(i) the charge is one of murder or other grave crime;(ii) it is necessary in the persons interest to remove the person from theassociation with any reputed criminal or prostitute; or(iii) the officer of sub-officer has reason to believe that the persons release woulddefeat the ends ofjustice.(3) Where a person apparently a child is apprehended and is not released undersubsection (2), the agency responsible for the care and protection of children shall causethe person to be detained in a juvenile remand centre until the person can be broughtbefore the court.Pursuant to Section 68.-(1) Any court on remanding or committing for trial a child who isnot released on bail shall commit that child to custody in a juvenile remand centre namedin the commitment, to be detained there for the period for which the child is remanded oruntil the child is there delivered in due course of law:Provided that in the case of a child who has attained the age offourteen years -OCA/Feb/2010 2
-,(a) the court shall not be obliged so to commit that child if the court certifies thatthe child is of-(i) so unruly a character that the child cannot safely be so committed; or(ii) so depraved a character that the child is not a fit person to be sodetained; and(b) where the court so certifies, the child may be committed to such place,including an adult correctional centre, as may be specified in the commitmentwarrant.(2) Subject to subsection (3), the court which makes an order under subsection (I),committing a child to custody may, on application-(a) vary the order; or(b) revoke the order in respect of a child referred to in the proviso to subsection(1).(3) Ifan application under subsection (2) cannot conveniently be made to the comiwhich made the order for commitment, action under that subsection may be taken by anycourt having jurisdiction in the place where the sitting of the court which made the orderwas held.(4) Ifthe order is revoked, the child may be committed to such place, including an adultcorrectional centre, as may be specified in the commitment warrant.- ---- Pursiianfto Sedion-69""wner-e..a"i::hild.is cliargea-with an offence or is for-any other reason -brought before a court, the parent/guardian shall be required to attend the court beforewhich the case is heard or determined, during all the stages of the proceedings, unless thecourt is satisfied that it would be unreasonable to require his/her attendance.Minimum Standards- - - - - - - - - - - - t - -The United Nations Rules for the Protection of Children Deprived of their Liberty (1990)is the international authority on the treatment of children in lock-ups. The Rules areintended to counteract the detrimental effects of deprivation of liberty by ensuring respect...... - ~..~.:-...-.._..._____.._.._, .._,__..____OCA/Feb/2010 3
for the human iights of juveniles. They serve as an internationally accepted frameworkwithin which states can regulate the deprivation of liberty of all those under 18 years ofage. Although the Rules per se are in the form of a non-binding recommendation, somehave become binding by vi1tue of their incorporation into our laws. They are alsoelaborations of the basic principles found in the United Nations Convention on the Rightsof the Child of which Jamaica is a signatory.Deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement ofa person in a public or p1ivate custodial setting, from which this person is not permittedto leave at will by order of any judicial, administrative or other public authority.SECTION II (12) states that the deprivation of liberty should be effected in conditionsand circumstances which ensure respect for the human rights of juveniles. Juvenilesdetained in facilities should be guaranteed the benefit of meaningful activities andprogranunes which would serve to promote and sustain their health and self-respect, tofoster their sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills that will assistthem in developing their potential as members of the society.SECTION III. JUVENILES UNDER ARREST OR AWAITING TRIAL17. Juveniles who are detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried") are presumedinnocent and shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoided to the extentpossible and limited to exceptional circumstances. Therefore, all efforts shall be made toapply alternative measures. When preventive detention is nevertheless used, juvenile~----,-------~c.o:urts...:arrd::.::in.Ye.s:tigative bodies --shat1=g~:he- high_es_Lf2:6eri·1Q: to-=:tht;}-mgst expeditio_u=s--·-===-::::::-::.::·-==-:::;;.=~processing of such cases to ensure the shortest possible duration of detention. Untrieddetainees should be separated from convicted juveniles.18. The conditions under which an untried juvenile is detained should be consistent withthe rules set out below, with additional specific provisions as are necessary andappropriate, given the requirements of the presumption of innocence, the duration of thedetention ano-thelegal status and-circumstances of the juvenile. These-provisions-wouldinclude, but not necessarily be restricted to, the following:OCA/Feb/2010 4
.-a) Juveniles should have the right of legal counsel and be enabled to apply for free legalaid, where such aid is available; and to communicate regularly with their legal advisers.Privacy and confidentiality shall be ensured for such communications;b) Juveniles should be provided, where possible, with opportunities to pursue work, withremuneration, and continue education or training, but should not be required to do so.Work, education or training should not cause the continuation of the detention;c) Juveniles should receive and retain materials for their leisure and recreation as arecompatible with the interests ofthe administration ofjustice.Section V. Personnel81. Personnel should be qualified and include a sufficient number of specialists such aseducators, vocational instructors, counsellors, social workers, psychiatrists andpsychologists. These and other specialist staff should normally be employed on apermanent basis. This should not preclude part-time or volunteer workers when the levelof support and training they can provide is appropriate and beneficial. Detention facilitiesshould make use of all remedial, educational, moral, spiritual, and other resources andforms of assistance that are appropriate and available in the community, according to theindividual needs and problems of detained juveniles.~- ,. ·--...-...--·.·--~ -- .............. ....... -- ..~. .~-· ..,. - ......... ··-- - - - - - - - ---~----..----·~·· ,.,. , ~...,....-...........""·- ··--·-·~ ,.OCAIFeb/2010 5.·
OCA ObservationsThe Office of the Childrens Advocate visited the children at the Free Port lock-up inMontego Bay, St. James on February 3, 2010 at approximately lO:OOam. The visitorsobserved that the children were in four cells.The visitors were told that there are only two bathrooms for all the inmates; both malesand females. When the females are bathing, the males are locked in. When children areto bath, the other inmates are locked in. The visitors were told that there is no specialstaff employed specifically to deal with the children.The cells are semi dark with limited light and ventilation and are approximately 6x10inches in size. There are two sets of concrete bunk beds and one toilet in each cell. Thevisitors observed numerous cockroaches on the cell gates. The visitors were told that thechildren are locked in for 24 hours as there is no staff to monitor them outside.Additionally, no educational activities are provided for the juveniles.The visitors were informed that there were 21 children in the lock-up of which one wasfemale and that all the children were remanded by the court. It was also pointed out thatoccasionally the lock-up holds children allegedly involved in murders, shootings andhouse breaking. There is limited space and as such, children with major and minorcrimes and those deemed uncontrollable are placed together regardless of the reason forbeing detained. Parents and guardians are allowed to take food and change of clothesThe visitors were told that because the court system is sometimes overburdened, childrencan be remanded in custody for up to a year. The administration uses a Card System forall inmates which record all relevant information on the inmates. The visitors did notview any ofthe cards.OCA/Feb/2010 6........_........,..,.,._ _,._,,._,·~-.--.-. ....---.---~·..,,··-------=---a _,_._.,L...- - - -..........,_-~~- ··-·. __...,----·-a·~--
- ..• - -- -- -·- -.........,...., . ······· ~-· . .The visitors spoke to all 21 children in the four cells in the presence of the officer incharge. Ofthe children the visitors spoke with, eight were school drop-outs.Cell 1There were six boys in this cell with only two sets (4) of concrete bunk beds. Theirages and reasons for being in lock-up are shown in the table below. They are allowed touse the bathroom once per day.Age Reasons for being in Lock-up # of times to Court12 Parent ask for him to stay in Nonelock-up14 Set parent house on fire (Sept) 515 Held with a knife (August) 616 Police take him in to punish Not yethim13 House break in Not yet17 Father carry him in 1Cell 2Age Reasons for being in Lock-up # of times to Court17 Police raid House (yesterday) Not yet......" ·-..:- ~ 0 . .. ,. " , .,.,, " ·~·· · - - - - · W o , , ·~ ~ . ... "" .. ..... ·~· 4~ .,,. . - ·" - -~ . .... ..,__17 Police raid House (yesterday) Not yet15 To be processed Not yet14 Wounding (December) 31417 417 Robbery with Aggravation 8- - - -- - - - -- --- - --·- coct)17 Unlawful Wounding 1OCNFeb/2010 7--
Three of the boys in this cell were living without adult supervision at the time of theirdetention. One of the boys stated that his mother was abroad.Cell 3Age Reasons for being in lock-up # of times to Court17 Breach Probation17 To be processed17 Suspicion of shooting and 4robbery14 Illicit drugs Not yet17 Shooting SentencedThe 14 year old stated that his mother does not know that he is in jail.Cell 4The visitors observed that there were four inmates in this cell, one of whom was a childage 16. The other three inmates were adults in lock-up for major crimes. The teenagerinfonned the visitors that she was brought in after the Police came to the house she wasstaying in search of another individual, however she was alone there. Contact was madewith the Child Development Agency regarding the female in need of care and protection.The OCA must highlight the fact that the minimum standards set out by the UnitedNations are not being observed and the CCPA, 2004 are not being complied with.·----··____, - -;.::.·__::::.::::::::::::::::::::::.~===.:::::::• Children are placed together irrespective of the reasons for being detained.• Children are being held with adults in the case of cell four.• There is no provision for the children to continue their education when they areheld in custody.• The sleeping arrangement for the children are cruel and inhumane• There is no provision for the children to have recreational activities.• ·· -lffire-is iio-speda1ized staffing 1n place for the-children-----=------OCA/Feb/2010 8
,·• Some children are not taken to court within the 48 hours specified by the ChildCare and Protection Act, 2004.• Some of the children claimed that their parents were not informed that they werein lock-up or when they were attending court.• The Child Development Agency officers are sometimes not present in Court andnot aware when children are held in lock-ups.Previous visits to other lock-ups were also made by an investigation officer from theOCA. Reports were submitted to the OCAs Senior Legal Advisor who is contemplatinglegal proceedings. A summary of findings is attached.-- ----·........._.. - ~ ·- · · _,,_____.._.._, ____....---·-~-- ------·OCA/Feb/2010 9
Actions taken by the OCA to date1. The following letters were sent:To SubjectHon. Delroy Chuck, MP Inadequate places forSpeaker to the House of juveniles in Places of SafetyRepresentative. and Juvenile Remand Centres-Complaints by the JamaicaConstabulary force and the St.Hon. Dr. Oswald Harding, Mary resident MagistratesPhD,QC, President of the CourtSenateMs. Alison Anderson, ChiefExecutive Director, ChildDevelopment AgencyDifficulties being experiencedby the Jamaica ConstabularyForce with respect to childrenfor Places of Safety and theCourtsCopied ToDr. Jean Dixon, PermanentSecretary, Ministry ofHealthHon. Delroy Chuck, MPSpeaker to the House ofRepresentative.Mrs. Heather CookeClerk to the Houses ofParliamentHon. Rudyard SpencerMinister of HeathNeed for additional space in Hon. Senator DorothyHon. Dwight NelsonMinister of NationalSecurityPlaces of Safety and Juvenile Lightbourne, AttorneyRemand Centres General/Minister of JusticeMs. Alison Anderson ChiefExecutive Officer, ChildDevelopment AgencyClerk of the Courts, St.Mary Resident MagistratesCourtSuperintendent of Police, St.Mary Division·~·..·---·.......... _..,...-. ~----- ..,,,.,.,,.. -i----------------1--------·-------------·-l- ::-Siii}itiilfeni.lent oJ"~Po1i-::cel",-r-----,.~,-- ---~-~--OCNFeb/2010Kingston Central DivisionHon. Delroy Chuck, MPSpeaker to the House ofRepresentative.Mrs. Heather CookeClerk to the Houses ofParliament10..
•2. Contact made to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of National Security forsanitization of cells at Bridgeport Police Station3. Eleven signed statements collected to seek legal redress on behalfofthe children.RecommendationChildren in lock-up have now become an issue of national concern and the OCA iscalling on the relevant authorities to immediately identify a facility for children onremand. The full cooperation of the criminal justice system is needed to reduce thenumber of children being detained in lock-ups across the island. Related ministries andagencies also need to take immediate action.OCAIFeb/20I0 11
Report on Juveniles in the Custody of the PoliceDate: .January 19, 2010During the week of January 11 to 13 2010, three Police Stations in St. Andrew andSt. Catherine were visited and juveniles who were in the custody of the Police wereinterviewed and signed statements taken from them. Four were at Admiral Town,three at HalfTree and one at the Bridgeport Police Station.Juveniles at Admiral Town Police Station were held in unsatisfactory conditions.The cells were dark and cold and there were no preparations made for them inkeeping with the minimum standards. They are let out of their cells for five minuteseach day to have a bath and use the toilet. They have to pass their urine in bottleswhile they are locked down, which is twenty four hours a day. They reported thatthey have contracted fungus from the conditions in the cells and from sleeping on thecold concrete. They complained of roaches crawling over them most of the timeseven in the days while they are in the cells. An·angements will be made to have thesejuveniles medically examined and medical reports submitted on their behalf.At the Half Way Tree Police Station, there were four juveniles who wereinterviewed. Each stated a different case as to how long they were allowed to be outoftheir cells each day. They said they were being held with adults. This was verifiedwhen the cell in which they were held was inspected. It was discovered that of theseven persons in the cell, three were adults. This infraction was pointed out to the- - -- -- -- -- --- -- ·· ~ ·-officer on duty, who said he would be moving to correct the matter very urgently.Two of these juveniles were held in Trelawny on December 27, 2009 and chargedfor possession of ganja. They were transferred to the Half Way Tree Police Stationfor an Identification Parade because it was said that the Police in Kingston hadOCA/Jan/2010-+ -
interest m them. They were interviewed by the Major Investigations Unit onSaturday 15 January 2010, who stated they did not have any interest in them at thistime. They were due for court at Clarks Town on Tuesday January 19th 2010 butwere not picked up by the Police.Courtney BerryInvestigation OfficerOCNJan/2010 2..
Report on .Juveniles in the Custody of the PoliceDate: November 4, 2009The complaint was made that there are juveniles in the custody of the Police. TheDetention and Courts Division of the Jamaica Constabulary Force was visited onTuesday, November 4 2009 and the officer in charge interviewed and a signedstatement taken. This Division keeps a daily record of all persons who are in thecustody of the Police across the island. A register is maintained at the Division anddaily reports are made to the Assistant Commissioner of Police Administration andSenior Superintendent of Police Services. Two officers at the Division, an Inspectorand a Corporal are in charge ofkeeping a daily record of all juveniles who are in thecustody of the Police and to seek alternate accommodations in the CorrectionalCentres and Places of Safety. As of Tuesday, November 3, 2009, there were seventythree (73) juveniles in the custody of the Police across the island, twelve (12) ofwhich are females.The DSP said there was a meeting with the CDA on March 25 2009 in regards to thespace problem. CDA said they had no space, however the suggestion that the Policeshould reduce the number of children charged for Care and Protection, then morespaces will be available in the places of safety to accommodate them was putforward.The officer reported that continuous representations are made to the Correctional- - ---- - -- --- _,_____Services for juveniles to be placed in their care, but they too have also maintairiedthat there is no space. Copies of correspondence reviewed, revealed that the Policehave been making every attempt to remove juveniles from their custody. The officerOCA/Nov/2009 1
- ,....~ -- ·--- ---stated that in every Police division, there are designated Police Stations that keepsjuveniles.The Divisions and Stations are as follows:• St. Andrew North Lawrence Tavern• St. Andrew South Hunts Bay/Duhaney Park• Kingston West Admiral Town• ·Kingston East Mountain View• St. Ann Ocho Rios• St. Catherine Bridgeport• Clarendon Four Paths• Manchester Porns• St. Elizabeth Black River• Westmoreland Negri!• Hanover Lucea/Sandy Bay• St. James Freeport• Trelawny Stewart TownAs at 4:OOpm Wednesday, November 4 2009, there were sixty one (61) juvenilesin the custody of the Police, fifty eight (58) males and three (3) females. Theywere in the custody ofthe Police at the stations listed below.Males Females• Freeport 19 4• Frome 8• Ocho Rios 5• Claremont 2• Porns 2• Four Paths 7• Central 4--- - • - Admiral Town - 1- - -----~-• Hunts Bay 2• Bridgeport 5• Falmouth 1• Linstead 1• Morant Bay 1 1 2