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Part Two: St Catherine Adult Correctional Centre and Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre

Clothes are then hung to dry inside the inmates’ cells, making them even more cramped and damp – one often has to crouch under makeshift washing lines even to get into a prisoner’s cell.

Te condemned inmates’ drinking water comes from the same tap that they use to bathe and wash their clothes. Inmates collect plastic receptacles (empty soda bottles, buckets, anything they can find or receive from relatives) in their cells and fill them during their exercise/washing period; they then carry them back to their cells to use to drink and/ or wash when locked down. Again, the fact that the prison authorities are not able to provide water vessels means that some prisoners are able to ‘catch’ far more water than others. As death row inmates are confined to their compound and are permitted less time out of their cells than the rest of the prison population, they are also less likely to be able to secure sufficient drinking water to sustain themselves in the hot Jamaican climate (the cells can reach almost unbearable temperatures during the day).

iv. Time out of cell/Exercise

During the visit to Gibraltar 1 a condemned inmate was sweeping the section and expressed pride that he was permitted to do so by the correctional officers. To a certain extent, the death row regime seems to have relaxed slightly since previous visits, presumably due to the fall in the number of condemned men. However, the amount of exercise and time out of cell permitted to death row inmates remains at the discretion of the Superintendent under the Correctional Institution Rules (Rule 188(2)). Death row inmates are thus not included in the standard regime for the majority of the prison’s population. I was informed that the condemned men generally receive around two hours out of their cells each day, though this can vary according to the situation in the institution on any given day. On days when cell searches are taking place in the prison for instance, considerably less than two hours may be permitted.

Another major issue regarding time spent out of cells and exercise periods is the size of the exercise yard available to condemned inmates. Tose on death row share their outside space with the inmates on the punishment block (Gibraltar 2) beneath them. However, unlike the rest of the population of SCACC, the inmates of Gibraltars 1 and 2 are not allowed off the fenced in compound that surrounds their block unless in special circumstances, such as to be visited by their legal advisor or to visit the medical centre. Although I was not able to ascertain the exact number of inmates on Gibraltar 2, there were at least 30 prisoners on the two sections combined. Tese inmates have a dirt yard of approximately 5 x 10 metres in which to exercise. Te only other spaces available to them are the small space between the fence at the front of the compound and the entrance to the block, and a tiny alleyway running down the block’s side. Te amount of space available (around 1.6 metres per person) is clearly grossly insufficient for the number of inmates who are forced to use it. At the time of the visit there were inmates everywhere on the compound trying to find a little space in which to eat (breakfast was


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