Min­istry look­ing at how men­tally ill per­sons are cared for in prison

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ed­mond Camp­bell/ Se­nior Staff Reporter

THE MIN­ISTRY of Na­tional Se­cu­rity has said that it is work­ing on a pol­icy on how to treat, care, and house men­tally ill per­sons who are in­car­cer­ated but who are un­fit to plead.

State Min­is­ter for Na­tional Se­cu­rity Rud­yard Spencer told his par­lia­men­tary col­leagues on Wed­nes­day that the min­istry was now car­ry­ing out con­sul­ta­tions and was aim­ing to com­plete a strat­egy in this fi­nan­cial year.

At present, there are 282 men­tally ill in­mates, rep­re­sent­ing seven per cent of the pop­u­la­tion. Of this num­ber 119 are un­fit to plead.

Spencer also high­lighted that there were 168 reg­is­tered sex of­fend­ers in the na­tion’s cor­rec­tional fa­cil­i­ties. “We are still work­ing as­sid­u­ously to pro­vide suf­fi­cient in­ter­ven­tion pro­grammes for sex of­fend­ers and in­mates in need of psy­chi­atric care,” he said.

He dis­closed that the min­istry had ar­ranged in­di­vid­ual and group ther­apy ses­sions for sex of­fend­ers, adding that the web­based Sex Of­fender Registry was also be­ing up­dated to ef­fec­tively track sex of­fend­ers af­ter they were re­leased.

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