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Part Three: Horizon Adult Remand Centre


1. Governing Legislation


As remandees, the majority of the persons held at HARC are not subject to the Correctional Institution Rules. Section 6(3) of the Corrections Act states that:


For the purposes of this Act, a lock-up or remand centre shall not be regarded as an adult correctional centre and the Correctional Institution Rules, unless expressly otherwise provided therein, shall not apply thereto.


Certain sections of the HARC building were deemed to form part of the Horizon ‘Adult Correctional Centre’ under secondary legislation in 2005 in order that they might house convicted inmates.42


Tese parts of the institution are, therefore, subject to the rules.


Remandees held elsewhere in correctional centres in the Jamaican penal system, such as SCACC and TSACC, are also subject to the rules. However, there is no domestic legislation governing the treatment and detention of adult remandees housed in remand centres (which effectively means only HARC). Remandees housed in lockups are subject to Te Prisons (Lock-ups) Regulations of 1980;43


but the regulations are very basic, extending


only to record-keeping obligations upon officers regarding detainees and incidents, and requiring visits to lockups by a police officer of the rank of at least superintendent every 48 hours. Tey establish no basic standards of treatment or accommodation and are only two pages long. Te lack of effective rules governing pre-trial detention in Jamaica is a matter of some concern, as it leaves remandees – despite their unconvicted status – in something of a legal black hole, without procedural and substantive safeguards, and makes their treatment more susceptible to arbitrary administrative decision-making.44


Still more confusing is the fact that the subsidiary legislation which deemed certain parts of HARC to be an Adult Correctional Centre in 2005 states that certain communal or shared areas, specifically ‘the surgery, court room, reception areas, visitors’ booths, exercise areas and other administrative support areas’ form part of the Horizon Adult Correctional Centre ‘whilst being used as the said Adult Correctional Centre’. Tus seemingly an area is to be deemed a correctional centre, and thus subject to the rules, when being used by a member of the sentenced population, but the same area will remain a remand centre when being used by remandees. Tis is a legislative compromise borne out of the need to house inmates of separate categories in a single institution. It is impossible to retain complete division between the sentenced and unsentenced populations at HARC. Both categories clearly have to use some of these areas simultaneously: there is, for instance, only one surgery in the facility. Te provision is objectionable on two levels. Firstly, it casts a legal cloak over the fact that, de facto, the two categories of prisoner will inevitably mix, in breach of both domestic legislation and the SMR. Secondly, it is arbitrary, in the


Te standard practice of keeping remandees in cells of six at HARC would, for instance, be a breach of the Correctional Institution Rules if they were applicable.


42 43 44


45


Te Corrections (Horizon Adult Correctional Centre)(Declaration) Order 2005, made under s.6(1) of the Corrections Act 1985. No.126D/1980, September 10 1980, made under the Prisons Act, now taking effect under the Corrections Act.


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