AG proposes mental health court

Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite is proposing the establishment of a mental health court to help prevent the substantial number of convicts with mental health problems falling through the cracks.  
Speaking on health as part of the Estimates debate in Parliament Friday afternoon, Brathwaite sought to ground his case for such a court on the fact that half of those in prison suffer from mental health challenges because they were not treated before being incarcerated.
“From my experience, many of the young people who are coming in contact with the criminal justice system, if they had been caught before . . . if their challenges had been addressed outside of the criminality, they probably would not have come to us. So we should have a serious dialogue. We should have a mechanism where we can recognize these challenges from early,” Brathwaite said.
He recalled that he had championed the Drug Treatment Court which he said is working well.
“We had our first set of graduates last year. We now have the second set of cohorts . . . from what I’m told, there are 25 individuals . . . we are examining the challenges that they had, whether it was an abuse of marijuana, cocaine or whiskey or even rum that led them to the criminal justice system and try to wean them off whatever brought them to the criminal justice system. So hopefully they will be able to live life outside of being in contact with the criminal justice system,” the AG said.  
He noted that in some jurisdictions there are courts whose only remit is to assess the mental capacity of individuals to be tried or to have committed the crime with which they are charged. These courts, he said, are supervised by judges, accompanied by mental health professional who can make that assessment.
“At some point in time as a country and maybe in the very near future, under my guidance, we may consider having such a court. From what I am being told, at least a third of the individuals who are now incarcerated at Dodds really have mental health challenges; and the reason for their criminality is because their mental health issues were not addressed,” the Government’s chief legal advisor said, adding that such individuals go before the courts and are tried like normal people who do not have any challenges.
“They are tried like normal individuals like you and myself . . . ‘you don’t have any challenges.’ And they are tried and sentenced . . . but their mental health challenges are not addressed,” Brathwaite said, adding that the prison is not structured to deal with such matters.
“So they go into prison and have limited attention for their mental health issues and come back out with the issues,” the AG added.
He drew reference to a man who was charged with rape and released on bail. But, according to the AG, the accused raped again within half hour of being granted bail. Brathwaite attributed this to the failure by authorities to treat his mental illness. (EJ)

26 Responses to AG proposes mental health court

  1. Jason
    Jason' UncleBen 'Parris March 18, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Send politicians to it first to be the first cases.

  2. Nadia Pandor Figurado
    Nadia Pandor Figurado March 18, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Wonder why? Hahahaha

  3. Lynda Bonnett
    Lynda Bonnett March 18, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Starting with him and his colleagues

  4. Donild Trimp March 18, 2017 at 10:01 am

    This is a good policy by the AG.

    Credit must be given where credit is due.

    The DLP seems to be moving forward with common sense ideas.

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 18, 2017 at 10:38 am

      You are being sarcastic right? With all the problems the island face his only contribution to combating crime and social decay is to introduce a mental healt court, amidst all the other stupid things he have said. Stuuuuuuupse

      • Donild Trimp March 18, 2017 at 11:31 am

        @Sunshine Sunny Shine: No, I am not being sarcastic.

        I give credit where credit is due.

        You are one of the posters on this forum who seems please when everything is negative, from the moment positive ideas are brought to the forefront, you get all uncomfortable in your nickers.

        What is wrong with Barbadians?

        Forget about party affiliation and your subjective views and look at the whole picture from an objective point of view.

        I want the same improvements for Barbados as you do, so it is imperative upon all of us who care to acknowledge and support good ideas no matter who the ideas are coming from.

        • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 18, 2017 at 3:10 pm

          Donild Trump

          Do not talk nonsense little man. The concept of a mental health court is not in my book, a positive. They are numerous experts who are trained in mental health diseases and behavioural dynamics that the court can easily access should a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s psychy is needed. What Barbados needs is to bring their courts into modernity and fashion them accordingly, since they are all deemed to serve convenient justice. Telling me shyte about I feel please when everything is negative. On the contrary little man, I am pushing hard for positive change and people with integrity to serve in capacities that requires the highest moral standing. Persons like Adriel Brathwaithe have not contributed to any major change or anything significant for me to derive a positive when many of his mouthings have been deemed negative. CAPISH?

          • Donild Trimp March 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

            @Sunshine Sunny Shine: Your focus seems to be on the word “court” which leads me to believe you are not getting the bigger picture.

            You should analyze the following statement by the Minister: “many of the young people who are coming in contact with the criminal justice system, if they had been caught before . . . if their challenges had been addressed outside of the criminality, they probably would not have come to us”

            Your logic is warped. Asserting that “many of his mouthings have been deemed negative” does not make the above positive statement negative.

            What kind of illogical logic is that?

    • Randolph March 18, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      Just like Donald Trump.A bunch of jokers.

    • BaJan boy March 19, 2017 at 6:00 am

      Donald Trimp should be the second case after the AG . Things they doing setting people crazy and the few that enjoying the fatted calf talking crap..

  5. Sydonette Dennie
    Sydonette Dennie March 18, 2017 at 10:26 am


  6. Leomi Hinkson
    Leomi Hinkson March 18, 2017 at 10:33 am

    he n the dlp playboys needs direct admission to black rock n stat cocktail doses of haloperinol n valium plus maintenance doses twice daily cause all at dem mad except fumble straw he taking barbiturates n profofol a deadly cocktail so he in a deep sleep no reversal can help him all ah dem maddddd as a hatter barbados being runned by madmen tsk tsk

  7. Peter March 18, 2017 at 11:17 am

    With all this DEM pressure, Everybody going “mad.” Sunny Sunshine wrote it more articulately. I would recommend Carson C Cadogan as the first person. He supports DEM in EVERYTHING they do or say. He CANNOT come to the fore and say nor recommend something, anything positive for this nation’s recovery. He only protecting his family at BTA.

  8. Othneal March 18, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Mr. Trimp, there is a saying ” If you argue with a fool, you become a fool yourself. The wisdom of this proverb implies that despite your best efforts you are unlikely to persuade a fool that they are intellectually deficient.
    I am having some difficulty in appreciating why some of our countrymen feel the need to politicize everything, as though they have a one-tract mind, incapable of lateral thinking.
    Incarcerating mentally challenged individuals is not only cruel, it is inhumane to punish someone for behavior over which they have no control. Such unfortunate individuals deserves our sympathy and assistance. It is not a political gesture to be kind and empathetic. It is a mark of being a civilized human.
    The only issue I have with the AG’s proposal, is the reference to “Mental Health Court”. It would be far more fitting to use the title “Mental Health Tribunal”. The irony in using the word court in this
    context should be obvious, I would have thought.
    Best Wishes all

    • Sunshine Sunny Shine March 18, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Every fool is entitle to one sensible saying. You just wrote yours.

  9. L King March 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    A good proposal

  10. L King March 18, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    @Othneal: You’re right

  11. Peter March 18, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    Bajans who support this are STUPID. I expect Matthews who pose off as Arthur , Zeus, Carson C Cadogan, Donald Trimp. Miss undecided and the Grenadian born woman who poses as Trinidadian and who does a fine suck up to Holder who herself is scrambling for a senator or diplomat job, that moderates to all DEM supporters on CBC radio. Brainless folks they all are.

  12. Donild Trimp March 18, 2017 at 5:04 pm

    @Othneal: Sometimes it is difficult for people who support a particular party to be objective in their views when sensible ideas are put forward by the party they do not support.

    I always ask Peter if he is Peter Wickham.

    See how he attacks posters who choose to be objective.

    He is the only one with brains, everyone else is “brainless”.

    Good going Peter.

  13. Crime Prevention is the Key March 18, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    The laws of Barbados has alternative incarceration methods such as use of electronic Monitoring of Offenders. I am glad the AG mentioned the case of the rape accused granted bail, like so many other cases that offenders shortly re – offended. Why it seems so impossible to use technology that will locate each offender who is on bail for specific crimes or who meets the selection criteria for monitoring which can reduce re-offending and reduce crime overall.
    If the mentioned rapist had been monitored who such a device he could not of re committed the offence.

  14. Tony Webster March 19, 2017 at 3:12 am

    A new court…hmmm….it does have a nice ring to it, and to some who worship at the altar where hope shines eternally, we also could have a “new” hospital….a new cruise terminal…a new Airport in St.Lucy…a new sugar industry…and even…a New Manifesto ( with a nod to Those From The East bearing gifts, may I suggest it be entitled ” A New Dawn Rises”).

    However, here’s a slightly more realsistic approach: I support something more simple, direct, practical, and meaningful: we just need a new government.

    Like yesterday.

    • Donild Trimp March 19, 2017 at 11:15 am

      @Tony Webster: “Realistically” speaking, pray tell what a new Gov’t will do differently if elected?

      The only policy I can come up with is your friend JEFFREY BOSTIC of the BLP who informed his colleagues that if elected the BLP “will have a tough time fixing the economy”.

      From your post above, it seems as if you are falling into the misguided philosophy of change for change sake and nothing else.

  15. BaJan boy March 19, 2017 at 5:58 am

    He should be the first case. He has proposed every court sine coming to office and we have seen none. From drug court to small claims court,to domestic abuse court all he does like the rest of DEM is talk. An empty vessel that says things seemingly just for the sake of it. Total clown…

  16. Tony Websterc March 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    @Donald…you are entitled to your view, philosophy, expectation etc, just as I am. I suggest however, that if you genuinely wish to analyse the prospects in the near, medium, and longer term, for the country Barbados, and the citizens’ options, you need not ask me, but ask yourself this question:
    Given certain obvious, uncomfortable, and indeed, potentially perilous national circumstances, and the government’s (only recent, and gently-nuanced) public admission that we need very significant changes to our entire socio-economic body…..WHICH SHALL WE TRUST THE MORE:-
    A: Those who have given us interminable promises, but are yet stuck in their ZR in Rocky Gully these past 9 years, but only now ‘fessing up a li’l bit, and offering yet more promises. OR
    B: Those who have actually rescued us from 26% unemployment and other life-threatening ills….once before?

    Go ahead, Sir: analyse all you will….but CHOOSE!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *