Shocking details of Noel Chambers' death lead to calls for change

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Shocking details of Noel Chambers' death lead to calls for change

Thursday, June 04, 2020

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Members of the public are calling for the Government to fix the broken justice system following yesterday's detailed report from the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) on the death of Noel Chambers.

Chambers died in prison after being deemed unfit to plead to a murder charge.

He was incarcerated at Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre in February 1980 and spent 40 years without being tried, despite being deemed fit to plead on two occasions.

At the time of his death, Chambers was in a deplorable physical condition, showing evidence of chronic emaciation and covered in vermin bites, live bedbugs and bed sores.

Since reports of Chambers' case circulated, people turned to social media to call for change.

“I just saw the images of #NoelChambers body and I cannot understand this level of cruelty. The people who oversaw his suffering at Tower Street must be made to pay! Where was his advocate? No care, no mercy. Loudly (sic) crying face @matthewsamuda @AndrewHolnessJM,” one user tweeted.

“Has the Department of Correctional Services said anything as yet? What about the Warders Association weh ever ah cuss bout pay? Minister of Justice – yuh see or hear bout #NoelChambers yet? Or the other 140 odd other Jamaicans who are still alive? How we ah fix dis?” another asked.

Meanwhile, some users labelled the justice system as “poor” and questioned its accountability.

“Reading #NoelChambers case and spending 40 years in prison without an actual conviction. This just shows how poor the justice system is....”

Another user added: “#NoelChambers was locked up for 40 years without a trial! 40 YEARS. Who's to tell of other inmates who have been deprived of their rights and have been held without due process. Who monitors these things? Who follows up with the cases? How did this really happen?”

INDECOM this week raised concerns about the treatment of mentally ill persons in prison and said action must be taken immediately to address the issue.

The body also reported that there are currently 146 mentally ill inmates who are now in prison without being convicted, with at least nine now fit to plead.

Read more: MADNESS!

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