Thursday 2 July, 2020

Munroe seeks timeline for outlawing arbitrary detention of children

Professor Trevor Munroe

Professor Trevor Munroe

Executive Director of National Integrity Action (NIA), Professor Trevor Munroe, has asked Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck, to indicate a timeline within which the Government will amend legislation that controversially allows for the detention of children deemed ‘uncontrollable’, but against whom there is no charge by the state.

Munroe made the call on Wednesday while addressing a training session for justices of the peace (JP) at the Police College of Jamaica at Twickenham Park in Spanish Town, St Catherine.

Munroe pointed to a recent newspaper report which highlighted that despite a promise made by the previous People’s National Party (PNP) Administration six years ago, to remove from the law books a section of the Child Care and Protection Act which allows judges in the Family Court to classify children as being uncontrollable, and commit them to the custody of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), the law remains in force.

With the justice minister in attendance at the event, Munroe said: “You, our custos, Minister Chuck – all of us must have been as distressed as I was on reading this story. You will agree with me that this situation is absolutely unacceptable. The honourable minister will no doubt appreciate the fact that I have to call on him today (Wednesday), not just to make another promise, but to indicate a timetable for the amendment of this section of the Act.”

The NIA director added that “Children who have not been charged or found guilty of any offence have no place in our jails, especially when so many of the corrupt remain free of charges, much less conviction, to continue their theft of public money.”

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