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Ministry looking at how mentally ill persons are cared for in prison

Published:Thursday | May 17, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/ Senior Staff Reporter

The Ministry of National Security has said that it is working on a policy on how to treat, care, and house mentally ill persons who are incarcerated but who are unfit to plead.

State Minister for National Security Rudyard Spencer told his parliamentary colleagues on Wednesday that the ministry was now carrying out consultations and was aiming to complete a strategy in this financial year.

At present, there are 282 mentally ill inmates, representing seven per cent of the population. Of this number 119 are unfit to plead.

Spencer also highlighted that there were 168 registered sex offenders in the nation's correctional facilities. "We are still working assiduously to provide sufficient intervention programmes for sex offenders and inmates in need of psychiatric care," he said.

He disclosed that the ministry had arranged individual and group therapy sessions for sex offenders, adding that the web-based Sex Offender Registry was also being updated to effectively track sex offenders after they were released.