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Getting prisoners to court on time proving problematic

Getting prisoners to court on time proving problematic

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Getting persons on remand to court on time, particularly those being held at the new Belle Isle correctional facility, is proving problematic.{{more}}

The issue has been a cause for concern and has prompted the presiding magistrates at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court and Serious Offences Court to comment.

On Monday, Senior Magistrate Donald Browne of the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court commented on the long wait for the arrival of inmates, saying that he had been advised by the former Superintendent of Prisons Eric Rodriguez that it was the responsibility of the police to make the requisite transportation arrangements for prisoners to get to court.

“There was a time when officers would walk; I don’t see why we can’t do this,” Browne said.

He continued, saying that those on remand were being given special treatment and he was of the view that they should be made to walk to the court.

“We have enough security to make sure that they don’t run away,” Browne contended.

According to the senior magistrate, a number of cases were being held up because of the need for proper transportation arrangements.

Prosecutor Inspector Glenford Greg also commented on the matter, saying that there were issues getting individuals from the correctional facility at Belle Isle.

The issue was again raised on Tuesday, at the Serious Offences Court, with a number of inmates not being there on time when the court was in session.

Court Prosecutor Inspector Adolphus Delplesche commented, saying that Belle Isle was causing problems.

“It ought not to cause a problem; they should leave on time,” Chief Magistrate Sonya Young responded.

But according to Inspector Delplesche, the transportation coming from the facility, located on the Leeward side of the island, had been leaving there late and thus arrived at court late.

Over 200 inmates were taken over to the new EC$18.7 million facility in April this year. (DD)

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