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Part Three: Horizon Adult Remand Centre


in the same section as female adults (who are held at HARC for safekeeping prior to deportation, having overstayed their visas). Tis raises clear issues as regards the separation of different categories of detainees. Rule 29 of the United Nations Rules for Juveniles Deprived of Teir Liberty requires that ‘in all detention facilities juveniles should be separated from adults…’ We were also informed that until recently the female juvenile detainees had been locked down permanently, but that a policy announcement by the Commissioner of Corrections had led to them being allowed more time out of their cells. Female juvenile detention policy was the subject of much media concern during the time the visits were carried out, due to the ongoing inquiry into the fire at the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Centre – which resulted in the deaths of several girls.


Te detention of juveniles – both male and female – in adult detention centres raises significant human rights and welfare concerns. Tese concerns are only compounded by the wide discretion afforded to the Jamaican judiciary as regards juvenile detention. Juveniles may be detained if they are in need of care and protection, if deemed uncontrollable, or if in conflict with the law.45


Sentenced Population


Tere were also 29 convicted prisoners held at HARC at the time of the visit. As observed above, these inmates are, according to subsidiary legislation, legally held in the Horizon Adult Correctional Centre. In reality, the sentenced inmates sections are in the same block of the building as the remandees, albeit divided by different corridors.


Te inmates are held in cells identical to those of the remanded population, but with fewer men per cell. Some had cells to themselves, some shared with one or two others. Te sentenced inmates at Horizon were mainly serving life sentences. Amongst their number were some former escapees, and some convicted of notorious crimes, suggesting, as elsewhere in HARC, that the institution is used by Correctional Services as something of a ‘holding house’ for inmates they wish to remove from the general prison population.


An effort seems to be made to provide the sentenced inmates with a similar regime to that they would receive in a full adult correctional centre. In contrast to the remand population, they are therefore allowed out of their cells in the mornings and afternoons between breakfast and lunch and lunch and dinner, for around one or two hours. Tey are not, however, permitted outside any more than their remanded counterparts. Tose that we spoke to had not been in the open air for over three weeks. Te inmates only move freely along the length of the corridors of their sections and in and out of their cells.


45 See further p.49 below, on the Commission of Enquiry into the tragedy at the Armadale Juvenile Detention Centre on 22nd May 2009. 49


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