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Report on Prison Conditions in Jamaica


population are irregular and severely restricted by a lack of staff. Many of the inmates had not been outside in the open air or seen sunlight for over a month.


Food


Te most common complaint among the inmates at HARC was regarding the food served by the institution, which we were informed was frequently spoiled and/or inedible. By contrast, the inmates at SCACC and TSACC did not, on the whole, criticise the provision of food at the institutions, choosing to direct their criticisms elsewhere. At HARC, strikingly, the first complaint of an inmate who had been locked down for over a month would invariably be the food he received, given the general living conditions at the institution, this was something of a surprise. Interestingly, the food at HARC is supplied by a private contractor, whereas the kitchens at SCACC and TSACC are run and staffed by Correctional Services employees and the inmates themselves. As remandees, the majority of inmates at HARC are not permitted to work whilst detained; clearly, a kitchen largely run by remandees would have an incentive to provide a higher standard of diet.


Tis issue is compounded by another frequent complaint at HARC, which is the pricing in the tuck shop. Remandees’ families are unable to bring food into HARC, but can purchase tokens that the remandees can then use at the tuck shop. However, we were told on many occasions that the prices for foodstuffs and other items at the tuck shop were up to three times the general market value of the goods.


Tere is an urgent need for a review of the provision of food at HARC including the pricing of goods in the tuck shop.


Juvenile Remandees


Tere were 29 male juvenile remandees at HARC at the time of the visit, housed in a separate section on the ground floor of a remand block. For the most part, the juveniles are held in identical conditions to the adult detainees, although there is a small hall in front of their cells where a communal television plays constantly. We were informed that the juvenile remandees spend the majority of their day locked down, although their regime was more flexible than the adult remandees. It was not clear how often the juveniles were permitted to exercise outdoors. Te conditions were shocking for a juvenile detention centre, with little more than a television to keep the detainees occupied and no meaningful activity provided for them.


HARC is also used to house a limited number of female juvenile detainees, in a separate block at the rear of the institution. Apparently, the female juveniles were being housed


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