Jamaica News, April 18, 2018 – Families of Inmates at Barnett Street Lockup Concern about their Health
Montego Bay, Jamaica (McKoy’s News) – Recently news surfaced that the St James Health Department had still not given the green light for prisoners to be housed at the Barnett Street lockup and several officers mentioned that they were concerned that the facility may now be closed permanently.
In the middle of a ding-dong battle to have the lockup suitable once more to house prisoners at the Area One Police Division, a critical jailbreak occurred at the Falmouth lock up in Trelawny. Following the jailbreak, it was discovered that four very deadly prisoners had escaped, two of whom have been recaptured.
The police high command then carried out a survey at the Falmouth lock up and decided that the facility was unfit to house prisoners, due to its poor structure. A decision was taken last week to transfer the remaining prisoners from that lock up in Trelawny to the Barnett Street lockup in downtown Montego Bay.
Since then a number of families of prisoners being housed at Barnett Street are now voicing their concern as to the health of these inmates.
During the first few days of January 2018, Inspectors at the St James Health Department ordered the cell blocks at the Barnett Street police station to be closed temporarily.
It was further stated that cell blocks were ordered closed after Health Inspectors detected a disease known as Scabies in and around the cells blocks.
During that same period, the then Minister of National Security, Hon Robert Montaque and other members of the security forces toured the Barnett Street facility. The Minister indicated that following the recent closure of the cell blocks by the St James Health Department, the police high command had carried out the necessary priorities ordered by the health department.
He also stated that workmen were in the process of completing the cleaning of the cells and when the process is completed they will calling in the Health Inspectors at the Health Department for a final assessment, to determine if the lockup has passed the health risk laws.
The Minister was informed that the cell block broke out with a serious case of insect infestation and several of the inmates were diagnosed with Scabies ( tiny mites called Sarcoptes scabies, that set up shop in the outer layer of the human skin).
The concern residents told our news team that, they hope the police has made the necessary alterations to avoid another Mario Deans saga or even a similar health issue such as the one now taking place at the Cornwall Regional Hospital.