Thu | Oct 22, 2020

Audit ordered after INDECOM report on inmates languishing in detention

Published:Thursday | June 4, 2020 | 12:00 AM
Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of National Security, Matthew Samuda - File photo

The Ministry of National Security says it is moving to address the findings of a report published by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) surrounding the death of Noel Chambers, who was mentally ill and in custody for 40 years.

Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry, Matthew Samuda, says the report has highlighted acute issues within agencies and sections of the justice and correctional systems.

READ: Courts under fire as inmate held for 40 years dies without trial

Chambers was one of 146 mentally ill people being held by the Department of Correctional Services without trial, commissioner of INDECOM, Terrence Williams, has said.

Williams made the revelation at the commission’s quarterly media briefing on Wednesday.

Chambers, whose body bore bedsores and bites from bedbugs, had been held at the pleasure of the governor general after being charged with murder on February 4, 1980.

He died in January 2020.

“The Ministry will not only look at the way forward by examining the findings of the INDECOM report, but it will also be ordering an audit of operations which concerns how the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) interacts with the court system,” Samuda said.

“ It will not be done piecemeal fashion,” he continued.

“The Ministry has moved to convene a meeting today with Commissioner of Corrections, (Retired) Lt. Col. Gary Rowe and other senior members of the Department. In March, steps were taken to address some of the issues highlighted by the recent INDECOM report before it was public,” he added.

Samuda says the Ministry will be carefully examining the report to effectively provide an update of all strategic and functional steps that will facilitate the necessary changes and ensure the corrections department lives up to its duty of care.

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