News

Transfer of juveniles irks JFJ

BY KARYL WALKER Editor -- Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, December 08, 2013    

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THE decision by the Department of Correctional Services to move several juvenile inmates of the Metcalfe Street Remand Centre to the New Horizon Adult Remand Centre has drawn the ire of human rights lobby group Jamaicans For Justice (JFJ).

The move comes just weeks after a number of female juveniles were removed from the adult facility and placed at a refurbished facility at South Camp Road.

The human rights group questioned the legitimacy of the move and said that the authorities have shown scant regard for the rights of the juveniles.

"They recently moved some boys from Metcalfe to Horizon even after it was made public that children should not be locked up in adult prisons," JFJ director Susan Goffe said during the Sunday Observer's Press Club on Wednesday.

The group has been making a stink over the decision by the authorities to house juveniles who have been deemed uncontrollable or who have committed serious offences in adult penal facilities and have complained to the International Council for Human Rights about the issue.

However, a source in the department who asked not to be identified, said the male juveniles who were taken to the New Horizon Adult Remand Correctional Centre were hardened criminals who were a bad influence on the rest of inmates and were wreaking havoc inside the Metcalfe facility.

"One of them is charged for 10 murders. Even though they are below the age of 18 they are a terrible and most vicious set of criminals. They were about to break out of Metcalfe when they were caught. Them kick off the steel doors and spoil the locks. The one who is charged for murder is the leader of the gang and they are not at all easy to handle," the source said.

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