‘Stand Up For Jamaica’ concerned about death of mentally ill inmate at Tower Street Correctional Centre

Human rights group ‘Stand Up For Jamaica’ is raising concerns about the death of inmate Leroy Bailey at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, yesterday (September 11).

The lobby group said Bailey, who was mentally ill, was held in prison for 22 years at the Governor General’s pleasure.

Executive Director, Carla Gullotta has blamed the justice system’s continued inaction for Bailey’s death, claiming it is another example of the state’s failure to protect the lives of the mentally ill who have been incriminated and indefinitely detained.

She said Mr. Bailey did not have access to a trial and was not convicted of any crime.

She noted that ‘Stand Up For Jamaica’ has been coordinating a campaign for the release of several prisoners trapped in the system, awaiting trial for many years.

After the INDECOM report on Noel Chambers’ death was released in June 2020, there were promises of legislative and policy changes, which have not been implemented.

Chambers, who was incarcerated at Tower Street since February 1980, died in 2020, after serving over 40 years in prison without being tried or convicted for an offence.

Miss Gullotta said the agency has been continuously asking the Ministry of National Security and other agencies, to release information under the access to information act, on the condition of persons deemed to be mentally ill in prison and they have failed to answer.

She has urged INDECOM to conduct a full and thorough investigation into the immediate events surrounding Mr. Bailey’s death, and the history and context of the circumstances leading up to his death.

She also wants a commission of enquiry into the situation of the mentally ill being kept in prisons and people being held at the Governor General’s and courts’ pleasure.


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