Psychiatric ward needed at juvenile detention facility
Monique Grange, Assistant News Editor - Radio
Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ) is renewing calls for a facility to be designated to allow for the individual monitoring of juveniles with psychological problems.
The latest call follows yesterday’s ruling by the Independent Commission of Investigations in relation to the death of ward of the state Vanessa Wint.
The 16-year-old allegedly committed suicide last November while in lock-up at the Horizon Adult Remand Centre.
As part of its findings, INDECOM revealed that because Vanessa was being housed at an adult facility, she was denied the option of being placed in the Medical Centre, which would have been more appropriate given her psychological state.
It is for that reason that JFJ Spokesperson Susan Goffe is seeking an update on plans to construct an adolescent psychiatric ward at the university hospital.
She laments that Standard Operating Procedures should have been in place years ago to address suicides or suicidal attempts in correctional facilities.
INDECOM has recommended that the Department of Corrections, issue Standard Operational Procedures and develop training for an effective regime to detect and manage the risk of suicide by inmates and wards by December 2.
It has suggested that those procedures provide for improved staff training on the detection of the risk factors associated with suicide and the signs of psychiatric and mental issues.
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