Inmate deaths spark lock-up review
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) has revised its policy for the management of lock-ups in light of recent deaths of inmates.
The revision of the lock-up procedures comes less than a week after two prisoners were stabbed to death in a Westmoreland jail and four months since the deadly beating of Mario Deane while in jail in St James.
The Police High Command published the revised policy in last week's Force Orders, issued weekly to JCF members.
The revised policy addresses the need to ensure proper record keeping and the need to respect the human rights of prisoners.
According to the High Command, the JCF has responsibility for the safe custody of prisoners in police lock-ups and to ensure that they are treated in a dignified manner with respect to their human rights. It says several incidents in recent times have reinforced the need for this responsibility to be reviewed and for members to be more vigilant in the discharge of their related duties.
The High Command says it is imperative that the policy is adhered to by all members who perform lock-up duties or who have responsibility for the administration of lock-ups. It adds that any failure to do so may result in strong disciplinary or other actions.
The High Command says commanding officers are to ensure that the policy forms the subject of lectures for the next six weeks.
Since Deane's death in August, at last five other inmates have died in police custody across Jamaica.