Jail burden

Close to 400 accused on remand at Dodds, says AG

As of October this year, there are 382 persons on remand at Her Majesty’s Prison at Dodds.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite made this disclosure today in the House of Assembly while moving the Second Reading of the Prisons (Amendment) Bill 2014.

Voicing concern over the large number of persons who are on remand at the prison, Brathwaite acknowledged that some of the matters dated back as far as 2008.

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite
Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite

“I feel we have to see how we can have cases heard more speedily. I am deeply concerned because of the large number of persons on remand. However, based on my reading, there is no jail in the world that there are not large numbers of persons on remand. It is an area that troubles all prison authorities,” he said.

However, he noted that where persons were remanded for extended periods, it could be seen as an infringement of their rights and could also create health challenges in instances where a large number of persons were held in a confined space.

The St Philip South MP further pointed out that there were certain vulnerable persons in society for whom imprisonment should be used as a sanction of last resort.

Meanwhile, Brathwaite told the Lower Chamber that Barbados would be moving ahead with implementation a drug treatment court.

In this regard, he said a team from Trinidad and Tobago, where such a court has been in existence over the past year, would soon be visiting Barbados to give the local officials some insight into the operation of such a court.

The Attorney General also made reference to research in the United States which showed that 75 per cent of individuals who passed through these courts do not return to the legal system.

He said the research had also shown that the treatment offered at a drug treatment court was less expensive than incarceration.

“In other words, you are treating the illness. You are hoping that in treating the illness the individual no longer returns to the drug habit.”

However, he acknowledged that “not everyone will be suitable candidates for such a court, which was many for “non-violent offenders”.

One Response to Jail burden

  1. Sheila Boyce
    Sheila Boyce December 3, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Rosanna Lewis watch what yah day boah! But its nonsense to have people on remand over 6 years. Something needs to be done. My question is why every time we have a situation in Barbados that they all resort to bringing in people from outside. So you trying to tell me that a group of persons from within bim cant sit down and plan such a court or a way to get things sorted. Its ridiculous. And how can you get persons for stealing lil cheese or two biscuits to be charged, tried and sentence within days or weeks. It isnt the new court that needs implementing only.


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