Three working groups have been established by the Cabinet Sub-committee that’s currently reviewing conditions in the country’s lock-ups and correctional facilities.

The government established the Cabinet Sub-committee in response to national outcry over the death of 31 year old construction worker, Mario Deane, who was severely beaten while locked up at the Barnett Street police station in Montego Bay.

The decision to create the working groups was made at the sub-committee’s first meeting last Thursday.

INDECOM will chair the first working group which will examine and make recommendations on the reduction of overcrowding in lock-ups and prisons through process improvements and law reform.

The second working group, to be chaired by the Office of the Children’s Advocate, will review the current Lock-up Administration Policy.

It will address issues relating to training, professionalism and accountability of officers who interface with persons in custody.

In addition, it will examine issues relating to persons in custody who have special requirements such as children and persons suffering from mental health issues.

The Police Civilian Oversight Authority will chair the third working group examining the infrastructure and logistics of detention facilities.

The head of each working group has been charged to oversee the consultative process, and to provide a draft interim report outlining the findings and recommendations by the end of September.

A statement from the Ministry of National Security says it, and the Ministry of Justice, are committed to improving the state of the country’s detention facilities.

It says it will continue to work closely with stakeholders to develop and implement a strategic response to the issue of the treatment of persons in lock-ups and correctional facilities.

On August 18, Cabinet appointed the Sub-committee led by the Ministers of National Security and Justice to review the detention system and to develop a strategic response to the issue of the treatment of persons in lock-ups and correctional facilities.

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