Black Immigrant Daily News
By Rawlston Pompey
A ‘New Year’ has come upon the nation. Lots will be happening. Stakes are high. The environment will hostile. Some will be robustly contentious. There will be rhetoric and antics and accusations and counter-accusations. There will be quarrelling, equally as much as there will be ‘mudslinging.’
There will be no veil threats. There may even be fighting. Not surprisingly, people from every stratum of society will be watching and waiting. Though not startling breathlessness, ‘on or after January 18, 2023,’ some will be sighing and some will be weeping.
As if to suggest they are feeling pain, whether or not sane or insane, some will also be moaning and groaning.’ These are all part of the human endeavor, and obtain only in most democracies. Whatever, ‘Happy New Year-2023.’
This commentary, however, is far removed from these contending, but realistic lines. It primarily looks at; (a) ‘Writ of Habeas Corpus: and (b) The lengthy 11-month remand of a female, ‘Court and Prison Records’ may identify as ‘Gillian Simmons.’
It also looks at her apparent ‘Surreptitious Release’ from Prison without a ‘Trial Date’ for at least three mundane Summary offences Trial.’ It also looks at certain issues affecting ‘Prison Management and Prison Inmates.’
For clarity of understanding, this is the juncture where it shall be said that within the ‘Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS),’ persons appointed; (i) ‘Attorneys General, Ministers of Justice, Police and Prisons, have special ministerial responsibilities: (ii) Police Commissioners, command and control Police Services: (iii) Magistrates run, and adjudicate in Summary trials; while (iv) Prison Superintendents, superintend Prisons.’
Within the penal institution previously called ‘Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP),’ not much appear to have been changed. It was so named, following the ‘Reign of Longevity of ‘Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II (Regina)’ [February 6, 1952 – September 8, 2022].
The facility has long provided institutionalized residency for ‘convicted persons.’ It began since the Reign of King George II (Rex) in the ‘Year 1735’ [1683 – 1760].
The institution, now called ‘His Majesty’s Prison,’ has been so, consequent upon the reign of ‘Her Majesty’s Successor and Son, King Charles III’ [BBC: September 10, 2022-].
CRONYISM OR NEPOTISM
Frequently, some appointees have benefited from either ‘Cronyism or Nepotism.’ Every so often, there are reported troubling developments within the nation’s lone, and over-populated penal institution. Institutionalized ‘Morally Defective’ residents, serving term of imprisonment, are expected to be released with promptitude.
Some isolated from their community for reasons of insanity and neglect, will occasionally be ‘Forgotten.’ Rightly or wrongly, it has been the public’s view, that this has often been the end result when persons are selected to manage institutions, without consideration of the constitutional criteria.
MERIT – ABILITY – INTEGRITY
There are those engaged in activism, and by extension, a great many people in the wider society, harboring the view that even though ‘Thy Kingdom were to come’ and ‘Thy ‘Will’ were to be done,’ there appears to have been no testicular fortitude, and no resoluteness in effecting meaningful change to the penal institution.
The ‘Constitution Order’ speaks to ‘Opportunity for advancement on the basis of recognition of; (a) Merit; (b) Ability; and Integrity’ [CO: 1981: Founding Constitutional Principle: ‘B’]. Undoubtedly, the absence of these has been seen, and continue to be seen as negatively impacting the effective and efficient ‘Management’ of most ‘State Institutions.’
The penal institution has been no exception.
That which remains uncontroverted, is that likened to other institutions, ‘Penal Institutions,’ are neither managed by ‘Idiots,’ nor ‘Robots.’ There are those that continue to suggest that ‘Institutionalized Danger’ shall not be allowed to overwhelm the ‘Prison Superintendent, his subordinates and those with institutionalized residency. To any public institution, those so perceived, are problematic. Speaking to such ‘Danger,’ it has been the knowledge that ‘Law enforcement’ have often embraced the ‘First Aid Principle.’ Such principle dictates two particular courses of action. For instance, when either ‘Life; Limb; or Liberty’ is threatened, a manager may either; (a) ‘Remove potential victims from the ‘Cause;’ or (b) The ‘Cause’ from potential victims.’
That which shall be said is that, no matter how efficient or inefficient, a ‘Defective Mind,’ has never been causation of ‘Prison Management.’ Conversely, no matter who is convicted or remanded, ‘Prison Superintendents’ are not ‘Medical officers; Psychiatrists or Caregivers.’ Even so, ‘Superintendents’ shall make appropriate referrals.
Many persons have entered the facility for various acts of criminality. Some had returned to society, either in a ‘State of Reform or State of Insanity.’
There have been some ‘Ex-convicts and Remandees’ that have gravitated to committing more acts of criminality. The case of previously ‘non-tried and non-convicted indicted ‘Murder-accused, Ziggy Beazer,’ supports such contention.
For many reasons, the indigent members of society are seen and feared more for their behavioral traits. Some, sociologists have called ‘Survival Strategies.’ The society has classified them as acts of criminality.
Their only crime is really that of poverty. Such status, that continues to plague depressed communities. Many have been incarcerated for ‘Crimes against Property.’ Irrespective of ‘Mental State,’ many have been fortunately institutionalized at the nation’s lone ‘Psychiatric Hospital.’
Those that were not so fortunate and lacked financial resources to obtain the out-of-reach ‘Psychiatric Services,’ were either left to degeneration. Then compounding the situation, some have found themselves serving remand time at ‘His Majesty’s Prison (HMP).’
ACCESSING PSYCHIATRIC SERVICES
Those with grave concerns for the ‘Mental Well-Being’ of the affected, can do no more than highlight, through mainstream and social media, the constant plight of those suspected to have been mentally-challenged.
Though not necessarily the lone voice, but known for her advocacy for ‘Mental-Wellness,’ ‘Chaneil Imhoff’ can do no more, than speak passionately to the ‘Confronting Issues’ and write of her misgivings.
Research has revealed that it is significantly less costly, in engaging practicing Psychiatrists from the neighboring ‘Commonwealth of Dominica.’ That obtained within this jurisdiction, was said to be limitlessly exorbitant.
Thus, ‘Accessing Psychiatric Services,’ was said to be well beyond the financial capacity, means and reach of the indigent.
VICTIM OF THE SYSTEM
Cries of institutionalized residents, advocacy Counsels and incessant calls and activism by ‘Prison Reform’ activist ‘Jessica Thompson’ and Mental Health Treatment Reform advocate, ‘Chaneil Imhoff,’ seemed not to have been heard. That which the citizens- ‘Sane or Insane,’ often faces has been ‘Deprivation of Liberty.’ The latter appeared very much so, as has been the experiences of the ‘Unsound Mind, Gillian Simmons 53.’ She appeared to have been a ‘Victim of the System.’ Reportedly, forcibly escorted to a ‘St. John’s Magisterial District ‘A’ Court,’ where she reportedly exhibited erratic behavior in the presence of the Court. Consequent upon such behavior, she was reportedly ordered a ‘One-week (7 Days) remand’ at ‘His Majesty’s Prison.’ That was reportedly extended to ‘11 Months.’
LANGUISHING IN PRISON
Confusion reigned over the unreported disappearance. Research revealed that sometime in the month of ‘January 2022,’ she was reportedly snatched from her dwelling place by national Police officers.’ She was said to have been suspected to be a person of ‘Unsound Mind.’ Practicing psychiatrist within this jurisdiction and of ‘Sister-Island, Commonwealth of Dominica,’ will have informed ‘Courts and Prison’ authorities that such term relates to a mental condition. Among the indicators, would be ‘an inability to act in a normal and logical way’ [Wikipedia]. When she disappeared from her ‘Potters community,’ the only records that will have reflected her whereabouts would have been those held within the ‘Magistracy and His Majesty’s Prison.’
Given the experiences of ‘Gillian Simmons,’ that which appears most troubling, was that it was reported that she had been left to ‘Further Degenerate’ further in the lone penal institution. Research has revealed a more damning account. The background information for her detention by the Police was simply for being suspected as a ‘Person of Unsound Mind.’ These developments appeared pregnant with confusion. Her apparent ‘Surreptitious Release’ from ‘Prison Custody’ back into society, has not only sparked controversy and generated much public discussions, but also cries of ‘Travesty of Justice.’ The rather disquieting story surfaced on social media of a mother, remanded to, and helplessly left to degeneration at ‘His Majesty’s Prison (HMP).’ She appeared to have been forgotten in the Prison.
EXISTING RECORDED FACTS
Access to treatment is consistent with constitutional and statutory provisions. Inaccessibility to ‘His Majesty’s Prison Records’ provided no confirmation. However, properly kept Records are expected to show that according to the authority of the Court, ‘Gillian Simmons’ was on remand to ‘His Majesty’s Prison.’ These, and other records may also show that a ‘Practicing Psychiatrist’ had visited the ‘Remandee’ for the purposes of; (a) ‘Evaluation: (b) Treatment: and (c) Care.’ [CO: No. 1106: 1981: and Mental Treatment Act: Chapter 274]. An attending practitioner is well-positioned, and reasonably expected to guide any ‘Inquirer,’ not only by his/her professional practice and expertise, but also his/her knowledge of ‘Existing Recorded Facts.’
The ‘Unfolding Events,’ as unearthed, might be troubling to the mind, as has been the referred comments of a prominent ‘King’s Counsel and a social media activist.’ Suspected to have been mentally challenged, the mother of a 14-year-old and four young adult children, was said to have adopted a ‘hermit-like existence.’
She reportedly had no visible means of support. The dwelling she occupied was described as being in a state of disrepair. Though doorless and windowless, for reasons of her apparent overlooked ‘Mental Challenges,’ it nonetheless, provided nightly shelter and a place of rest. To ‘Gillian Simmons’ and many other institutionalized residents, conditions within the penal institution appeared more horrible than that confronted them in their respective communities.
SQUALOR AND DESTITUTION
In spite conditions bordering ‘Squalor and Destitution,’ and clearly in dire need of treatment and care, she reportedly posed no threat to residents. Privileged information suggested that she was detained by a member of the ‘Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda.’ That officer was identified with the rank of Corporal.
There are family members and members of the community, that appeared to have concluded that the officer had taken advantage of; (i) ‘Her mental condition: (ii) Apparent family-neglect; and (iii) Hapless state of indigence.’ Even so, by causing her appearance before the Court, rightly or wrongly, family and members of the public have cited ‘Police Excesses.’
Consequent upon her appearance at the ‘St. John’s Magisterial District ‘A’ Court’ her ‘Mental State’ took on the transformational change, associate with ‘Butterflies and Caterpillar Worms.’ She reportedly ended upon two criminal charges; (i) ‘Threatening Language; and (ii) Failing to Wear a Face Mask at Court.’ These developments reportedly occurred only after she was forcibly removed from her adopted dwelling place.
These, therefore, not only speak to the ‘Corruptible Behavior’ of ‘Law Enforcement,’ but also of a ‘Remediable Travesty’ of compensatory magnitude. Clearly, with such bold responses, ‘King’s Counsel, Justin L. Simon’ would have been ‘au fait’ with the statutory provisions contained in the law.
In the ‘Remand Category of Prisoners,’ the vexatious and ‘Most Damning’ of ‘Administrative Issues’ may have been the over-extended stay of ‘Remandee,’ Gillian Simmons’ [January 22 – December 23, 2022].
Though not necessarily harmful to herself, or to members of the community, the law dictates that in dispensing its medical services, the State shall provide ‘Clinical Treatment’ to people psychiatrically diagnosed with such condition. Her presence, then within the penal institution, not only appeared dire, but also seemed to have placed Prison authorities at their ‘Wits End.’
BETRAYING PUBLIC TRUST
Moreover, there are those that believed that he also appeared to have shown blatant disregard to her human dignity and personal liberty and institutionalized residency. Though inexcusable, to all intents and purposes, that officer was said to have possessed requisite knowledge in dealing with persons so afflicted. Court officials harbored the belief that he may have been expediently re-assigned.
Most incensed and disturbed has been a prominent member of the legal fraternity, practicing attorney-at-law, ‘Justin L. Simon KC.’ Likened to the feisty and indomitable ‘Sir Gerald Anderson Watt KC,’ he viewed silence as a ‘Betrayal of Public Trust’ in; (a) ‘The Criminal Justice System; (b) Antigua and Barbuda Bar Association; and (c) Other opportunist social organizations.’
Reacting to the situation, social media, so disturbed and indignant, he was quoted on social media as saying; ‘That Order from the Chief Magistrate is a travesty and unconstitutional’ [December 23, 2022]. He may have sensed ‘Institutionalized Injury.’ Seemingly became more incensed when prison authorities spoke to ‘Indigent Bail’ and sought to apportion blame to the ‘Mental Defective Gillian Simmons.’
In a ‘State of Mental Confusion,’ she reportedly refused to sign a Prison-assisted filled-in ‘Indigent Bail Application Form.’ Such application, was intended for persons without the requisite financial capacity to engage legal counsel to apply for Bail.’ It matters not the nature of the criminal offence, be it ‘Murder’ or ‘Threatening Language.’
STATE OF PRETEXT
Convinced that ‘Prison authorities were in a ‘State of Pretext,’ uncompromising, yet not startling, he resorted to the use of rather colorful non-Courtroom language. Speaking outside of ‘His Majesty’s Realm,’ graphically explicit, he described the explanation for not accessing ‘Indigent Bail’ as; ‘Bullshit’ [Antigua Breaking News].
He had not lost ‘Common Touch.’ Adding his voice to the disturbing saga of the lengthy remand on the media-reported developments, was mainstream and social media activist ‘Frank’ Frankie’ Southwell.’
Placing his observations on social media, using more moderate language, he purportedly commented; ‘Just one of many injustices and abuse of the Court system’ [December 23, 2022]. He was as ‘frank’ as the name suggests. Both confirmed the correctness of their social media responses.
Mindful that some situations may necessitate immediate attention, Parliament, through the ‘Mental Treatment Act (MTA)’ not only tasked ‘Magistrates’ with certain responsibilities, but also empowers them to make ‘Urgency Orders.’
Thus, in dealing with persons suspected to be of ‘Unsound Mind,’ it states for the knowledge of Magistrates, and that of every serving Law enforcement officer that; ‘Whenever a Magistrate considers it expedient, either; (a) ‘For the public safety; or (b) For the welfare of any person’ with respect to whom ‘Information on Oath,’ has been laid that such person shall be forthwith placed under observation’ [ANU: MTA: Chapter 274: Section 5]. Such observation shall be psychiatrically clinical at a hospital for such purpose.
STATE OF MIND
Those superintending the prison appeared reckless not to have known that in such ‘State of Mind,’ prison confinement was clearly not the place for any person suspected to be of ‘Unsound Mind.’ It has been made procedurally clear, how such treatment shall be accessed, albeit, employing the use of coercive methods.
Hence, those dealing with suspects shall be guided by statutory provisions contained in the ‘Mental Treatment Act’ [Chapter 274].’ A family, troubled by indigence, saw ‘Gillian Simmons,’ reportedly lived helplessly, but peacefully and quietly. She had taken up ‘Solitary Dwelling.’ This was said to be at a structure within her ‘Potters’ community.
This may have been compounded by that which might reasonably be assumed was family neglect and State social services ‘Transformational Abandonment.’
CHRISTMAS AND LEGAL CHEERS
As the ‘Yuletide Season,’ drew close, those with the wherewithal were to be seen roving depressed and not so depressed; ‘Peripheral city; Suburban; and Rural communities.’ Whether or not seasonal or other events, they could have been seen trucking and sharing ‘Seasonal Tangibles.’
At a time of harsh economic conditions, such gesture has been as welcomed as the ‘Christmas Breeze.’ Such contributions were necessary to satisfy the physiological needs of both the indigent and not so indigent. From a totally different perspective, leading criminal defence attorney, ‘Wendell Robinson’ was reportedly extending ‘Legal Cheers’ to an indigent and depressed ‘Potters’ community family.
JOINDERS IN THE WRIT
More specifically and fundamental to restoration of the deprived liberty of ‘Gillian Simmons.’ Though reportedly formally charged with a criminal offence, but ‘Not tried; Not convicted; and Not sentenced to a statutory term of imprisonment’ [CO: 1981: Sections 5 & 15].
He was mindful that those that shall have been joined in the proceedings. Ensuing that they shall be held accountable, he included; (i) ‘Principal Legal Adviser to the Government, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs and Justice, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin; (ii) Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney KPM; (iii) Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh; and (iv) Prison Superintendent Jermaine Anthony.’
Providing ‘Probono Legal Service’ to her apparent estranged, but distraught family, criminal lawyer, ‘Wendell Robinson,’ unsuspectingly caused visitation by the ‘Judiciary’ upon those responsible for the apparent ‘Unlawful over-extended detention of ‘Gillian Simmons. By application for ‘Habeas Corpus,’ he instituted proceedings against; (i) Justice and Prison Minister, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin; (ii) Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh: (iii) Commissioner of Police, Atlee Rodney KPM: and (iv) Superintendent of Prison, Jermaine Anthony’ [ABN: December 23, 2022], all seemed to have quaked. They know that it would not only be ‘Contemptuous,’ not to produce the person so ordered by the Court, but also ‘Custodially Perilous’ to be seen as disrespectful and defiant.
SENSE OF SOBRIETY
After service of the documented process, duly filed at the ‘High Court of Justice,’ one or more of the joinders to the ‘Habeas Corpus Writ Application,’ seemed to have regained, either their ‘Sense of Sobriety’ or temporarily lost sanity.
Even as some sought to apportion blame to the ‘Chief Magistrate,’ guided by the principle of ‘Collective Responsibility,’ she was no more blameworthy than the others.
At all material times, ‘The Buck’ rests with, and on the State, its agencies and agents. There was no evidence that these ‘Public officers’ were ever considered victims of ‘Alcoholism’ or of ‘Memory’ that had lacked ‘Soundness and Discretion.’ Had that been the case, they too, may have been considered ‘Mentally Defective.’
PRISON REMAND WARRANT
Whether or not a ‘Prison Remand Warrant’ was properly or improperly issued by ‘Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh,’ it appeared insufficient for ‘Justice Minister, Steadroy ‘Cutie’ Benjamin and Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney KPM’ to feign ignorance of the detention of ‘Gillian Simmons.’
Moreover, whether or not so commanded by the Court, it was insufficient for ‘Superintendent of Prison, Jermaine Anthony’ to find shade under the issuance of such ‘Warrant.’ Instructively, the ‘Court’ reportedly ordered a ‘First Instance 7-Day Remand’ within the penal institution of ‘Gillian Simmons.’
Incidentally, out of apparent ‘Gross Negligence,’ the ‘One Week Remand’ was extended to some ‘11-months.’
This may very well have been due to an apparent woeful lack of comprehension of ‘Prison Management’ and an inability to distinguish a ‘Penal Institution’ from a ‘Psychiatric Hospital.’ Such may very well have been among the reasons that has ‘Provoked Consternation’ in the ‘Gillian Simmons’ family, and by extension, members of the wider society. Even so, her absence appeared not to have attracted the concern of her immediate family, as well as the attention of members of the ‘Potters’ community. Seemingly, neither her whereabouts, nor concerns appeared to have been raised over her health, safety and well-being.
WRIT OF HABEAS CORPUS
In providing an understanding of this legal term, it is important to know what is the meaning of the term ‘Writ.’ Law enforcement training taught this as; ‘The instrument issued in the ’King’s name’ by which action is commenced in the highest or superior Courts of law.’ This, is distinguished from a ‘Complaint or Summons.’
The ‘Writ of Habeas Corpus’ is among two others. That which concerns this commentary is that which the application seeks to achieve- a ‘Order’ from the High Court of Justice.
Such ‘Order’ compulsorily requires the ‘Detainer’ to produce to the Court a person detained, and held in his/her custody.’ This is either for; (a) ‘Remedying the ‘Unlawful Detention’ or (b) Bringing the ‘Detainee’ before another Court on another charge or matter (Civil or Criminal) [1971: Baker and Wilkie’s: Police Promotion Handbook: Criminal Evidence and Procedure: Pages 200 & 201]. Incidentally, Law enforcement were said to have suspected ‘Gillian Simmons’ to be a person of ‘Unsound Mind.’ Appearing before the ‘Magistrate’s Court,’ she ended up in an institution for reasons outside of ‘psychiatric evaluation, clinical treatment and care.’
ORDERS OF THE COURT
At this juncture, it shall be understood that ‘Orders of Courts (Magistracy and Judiciary), rightly or wrongly made, shall be executed by him/her so commanded in the Orders. There are consequences for those that will not exhibit a ‘Sense of Obedience.’ As it affects Prison, Superintendents are commanded by Courts to receive; (a) Convicts custodially-ordered to be in ‘Lawful Confinement;’ (b) Persons charged with criminal offences and ordered remanded to prison custody; while (c) Persons ‘Mentally Challenged,’ and so charged to be ordered to undergo ‘Psychiatric Evaluation’ before trial.
PROTECTION OF LIBERTY
If there are three ‘State Institutions’ that know what; (a) ‘Liberty; and (b) Deprivation of Liberty’ are all about, then it must be; (i) ‘Law Enforcement: (ii) The Magistracy; and (iii) The Judiciary.’ None shall be, or feign ignorance of the constitutional provisions, pertinent to the ‘Protection of Right to Personal Liberty.’ It states; ‘No person shall be deprived of his/her personal liberty, save as may be authorized by law’ [CO: 1981: Section 5]. This has been universally known. In most constitutional democracies, it is provided for legal redress, when there were abuses or seen as unjustified. For the avoidance of doubt, it provides clear understanding to the citizenry, be they law-abiding and lawless. That which shall not be considered a ‘Deprivation of Liberty,’ is the case of those certified to be of ‘Unsound Mind.’
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
As it affects ‘Crime and Punishment,’ it provides for ‘Deprivation of Liberty.’ It speaks to the ‘Execution of a sentence of the Court in respect of a criminal offence of which a person has been duly tried and convicted or pleaded guilty.’ Thinking outside of criminality, ‘Framers of the Constitution Order’ anticipated that some indigent, vulnerable, at-risk or risk-posing members of society shall be given ‘State Protection.’ It identifies persons who are, or reasonably suspected to be of; (i) ‘Unsound Mind; (ii) Addicted to drugs; (iii) Alcohol; and (iv) Vagrants’ for the purposes of his/her; (a) ‘Care or treatment; or (b) Protection of the community’ [CO: 1981: Section 5 (1)].
As it affects the actions of law enforcers, this often comes through enforcement of Law. As it affects referrals to the ‘Magistracy and Judiciary,’ it may follow; (a) ‘Arrest on reasonable suspicion; (b) Prison Remand: or (c) Trial and Conviction; and without the option of a fine; (d) Custodial sentence.’
Then there is the ‘Constitutional Exception’ to lawful restraint or detention of persons; (i) ‘Reasonably suspected of his/her having committed a crime; or (ii) Being about to commit a felonious act.’ These, are among the ‘11-Liberty Deprivation Exceptions’ so specify in the ‘Constitution Order.’
Though she reportedly ended up twice on ‘Prison Remand,’ those seemingly not seized of, or without the benefit of facts, alleged that her charge was one of ‘Making Use of Threatening Language.’ However, ‘Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh’ has guided the understanding that it was not.
That which the Defendant stood before the ‘Magistrate’s Court,’ allegedly arose from an incident of ‘Fighting and Biting a Police officer.’ This, appeared not to have been disseminated to the media. It may one day be headlined; ‘Man Bites Dog.’ Whether or not it shall be considered of mere academic interest, it may still be worthwhile to know the law and consequences for making use to any person, ‘Threatening Language.’
The statutory penalty of a ‘One Month Term of Imprisonment’ for such offence, and the ‘11- Months Prison Remand,’ suggested that the ‘Prison-Management Team’ (if any), suggested ‘Woeful Failure’ of the management structure. In all places, only the ‘Insane’ would make use of such language to an officer of, and in the presence of the Court.
The ‘Small Charges Act’ states; ‘Any person who makes use of any ‘Threatening Language;’ (a) ‘In any public place; (b) In any place to the annoyance of the public; or (c) Tending to a breach of the peace,’ shall be liable to a fine not exceeding $500.00 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ‘One Month’ [SCA: Chapter 405: Section 9].
RESISTANCE TO ADMISSION
The process often begins with the intervention of law enforcement, and shall make referrals to the ‘Magistrate’s Court.’ Parliament anticipated that some ma believe they are ‘Antigua and Barbuda King Charles IV.’
Thus, in order to avoid ‘Resistance or Abuse,’ the ‘ACT’ stipulates that; ‘Without the production of a Medical Certificate, by ‘Written Order,’ a ‘Magistrate’ may direct that such person be received into an institution to be named therein, to detain a person for observation for a period not exceeding 14 days.’
In the event of extension of time, the ‘Act’ provides for a ‘period not exceeding 28 days.’ Thus, dependent upon the mental state of the person, the Magistrate may order ‘an additional 14 days’ [MTA: Section 5 (1)].
Thus, he would not have confused with; (a) ‘Deprivation of Liberty’ for psychiatric treatment; and (b) Remand at Prison to face criminal trial.’ Besides, as a ‘former Attorney General; Minister of Legal Affairs and Justice,’ he would have seen the ‘Sane and Insane; Good and Bad,’ as well as the ‘Ugly and Indifferent’ [2004-2014]. Speaking to the ‘Indifferent,’ he had reportedly left overly officious, hostile and aggressive and reckless, law enforcers fending for themselves in litigious proceedings against his ‘Office and the State.’
IGNORANCE AND INDISCRETIONS
He heralded none. He loathed inefficiency and showed absolutely no tolerance for mediocrity and incompetence. Though seemingly punitively harsh, he had refused to avail ‘State Resources’ to those that have exhibited ‘Ignorance and Indiscretions.’
This ministerial position, rather than policy, appeared to have altered ‘individually-developed mindset’ to one of ‘Service-oriented; Public-spirited helpfulness; and Cheerfully obliging.’ Though no information was sought from him, he should feel no ill-will, nor harbor animosity for these brutally frank law enforcement observations.
Criminal Courts are particularly guided to observe, the constitutional provision that states; ‘In consequence of his/her unfitness to plead to a criminal charge.’ As it relates to persons of ‘Unsound Mind,’ they could get away with ‘Murder; Threatening Language; and ‘Biting and Fighting.’ The cases of ‘Ziggy Beazer and Gillian Simmons’ make the point.
The cases that support the point, are persons that have been indicted, included murder-accused; (i) ‘Ziggy Beazer 34: (ii) Delano Forbes 27; and (iii) Britany Jno-Baptist 22; and Gillian Simmons 53.’ These accused have not only been categorized as ‘Morally defective,’ but also ‘Mentally defective.’
The former held on ‘Prison Remand’ for some ‘7 years’ for the ‘Shooting Murder’ of ‘Jermaine’ Six Months’ Destin’ [March 18, 2013]. Instructively, insanity saw him being released without trial [ANR: July 25, 2020]. Then as fate sometimes has it, he was indicted for the ‘Choking Murder of Leroy Caesar 64,’ then not of ‘Sound memory and discretion.’ Ironically, if not with ‘Reckless Negligence,’ while being held in a ‘Police Holding Cell’ . The defendant, ‘Gillian Simmons’ was said to have been ‘Confusingly Charged’ with; (i) ‘Threatening Language: and (ii) Failing to Wear Face Mask.’ It laughably begs the question; ‘What Judges Rule/s may have been applied to those persons of ‘Unsound Mind at the investigative stage?’ Criminal Defence attorneys may wish to familiarize themselves with such ‘Rules.’
GRIEVOUS PRISON ISSUES
Among the ‘Grievous Prison Issues,’ have reportedly been ‘Prison Conditions.’ There were said to be; (a) ‘Rodents infestation; (b) Diseased-filled environment; and (c) Prison Deaths.’ The latter is yet to see the commencement and completion of ‘Coroner’s Inquisitions.’ Most troubling, however, was said to have been the ‘Illegal Entry,’ and acquisition of contraband by the incarcerated, as well as those on remand. These, as media reports revealed, ranged from ‘Kitchen utensils of pots, pans and electric kettles to electronic devices that included; ‘Tablets, television sets and cellular phones.’
This was said to have necessitated the establishment of a Police-manned ‘Check and Search Point.’ Though this was intended to curb illegal entry of contraband into the penal institution, by suspected ‘Smuggling Prison officers,’ that appeared to have been a serious ‘Abdication of Responsibility.’
Superintendents of Prisons, ‘Superintend Prisons,’ while Police officers fight crime; apprehend and bring to justice those they may eventually ‘Superintend.’ Such authority to search, resides only with the ‘Prison Superintendent.’
The related ‘Rule’ states; ‘Every subordinate officer or servant of the Prison, shall submit him/herself to be searched if called upon by the ‘Superintendent’ [Section 100: Prison Act: Chapter 341].
LINE OF DEMARCATION
An oversight body called the ‘Prison Visiting Committee’ has been functional within the ‘Prison Service.’ Its membership may be ‘three,’ but ‘not more than six Justices of the Peace’ [Rule 3].
Not infrequently, public perceptions appeared to have been warped of its role and function. That which shall be said is simply this, ‘The ‘Prison Superintendent is’ not the ‘Visiting Committee,’ and the ‘Committee’ is not the ‘Superintendent.’ There is a functional ‘Line of Demarcation.’
Still, there appears to have been something more fundamental. This has been identified as a ‘Undesirable Prison Management System.’
This was said to have been gravely affected by apparent ‘incompetence and professional impotence. Research has revealed that a sizeable number of ‘Serving Prison Officers’ have become ‘Grievingly Despondent.’
The currency of the Prison situation clearly demands reform.
SENSE OF HUMANITY
Nothing appeared not to have worked for; ‘Prison reform activist/litigant, Jessica Thompson,’ nor for the sane and mentally-challenged Remandees.’
Incidentally, chairing the ‘Prison Visiting Committee,’ religious ‘Bishop Charlesworth Browne,’ would have experienced numerous challenges. As much as he may have prayed for remedial actions, little seemed to have been achieved.
Nothing seemed to have worked for; (i) ‘The Prison Superintendent; (ii) Prison officers; (iii) Visiting Committee; and (iv) Institutionalized residents.’ The ‘Prison Act’ states; ‘The Visiting Committee shall ‘Cooperate with the Superintendent’ in; (a) ‘Promoting the efficiency of the Prison; (b) Make inquiry into any matter specifically referred to them only by the Governor General; and (c) Report their opinion thereon to him’ [Rule 10].
INSENSITIVITY – STUPIDITY
Not infrequently, ‘Insensitivity and Stupidity’ have been the cause of discontent among prison populations.
The ‘Prison Rules’ have made it clear that both ‘Prisoners, ‘Sane or Insane’ and Prison officers ‘Depraved and Corrupt,’ not only provide for the; ‘Superintendent to exercise his authority with firmness and temper, but also with ‘Humanity’ [Prison Rule: 34: Prison Act: Chapter 341]. Parliament could never have intended this to be exercised only for ‘Prison Discipline.’
It could easily be inferred that ‘Prisoners’ serving custodial sentences or temporarily ordered on ‘Prison Remand,’ ought to, or caused to be ‘Treated’ with dignity and a ‘Sense of Humanity.’ Such is an administrative ‘Discretionary Power,’ that resides only with the ‘Prison Superintendent.’
It was not clear who invented it, but it has long been the saying that; ‘When Doctors differ in their opinions, some patients will suffer, and some will die.’ Apply to ‘Penal and Psychiatric Institutions,’ the results are not dissimilar.
Be they ‘Sane or Insane,’ some institutionalized residents and remanded persons will not only suffer, but also, some will most certainly die.
It has been universal knowledge that mountains cannot be move. However, whatever and whomever appears to have been the causes of discontent and dissatisfaction, whatever the institution, all ‘Demoralizing Influences’ shall be re moved.
FAILINGS OF BUREAUCRACY
Those positioned to know and wield influence may have been concerned over that which may have been perceived as stymying efforts for such reform. Such possibility may strengthen belief of the lack of official attention to; (a) An officially-commissioned ‘Prison Inquiry’ by ‘former Public Prosecutor and retired Criminal Assize Judge, His Lordship Justice Keith Thom.’ There might be risk in such been seen as the ‘Failings of Bureaucracy.’
Acting in an official and legal professional capacity, he was assisted by ‘former Crown Prosecutor and functional attorney-at-law, Adlai Smith.’ Ironically, functioning within the ‘Ministry of Legal Affairs,’ likened to ‘His Lordship, he too will have seen that which ‘professional competence, ability, integrity and ‘Prison Security,’ not only necessitates management, but also structural change. No attempt was made to compromise confidentiality.
That which was nationally known and easily distinguishable, is that ‘Mental Defectives’ were usually, rightly and properly referred to the lone ‘Clarevue Psychiatric Hospital.’
This institution is located just off the ‘Simon Bolivar’ double-laned public road. Instructively, that which appeared intriguing and ‘Shockingly Revealing’ has been the ‘Voice Recognition’ of one of one of the young adult children of their incoherently screaming mother ‘Gillian Simmons.’ With presence of mind, he engaged the empathy of criminal practicing attorney ‘Wendel Robinson,’ who came to his mother’s ‘Rescue.’
The ‘Coronation Road-located penal institution not only provides term-limit residency for those convicted of crimes, but also temporary, and invariably extended accommodation to those ‘Ordered on Remand.’ Such was either ordered by the ‘Magistrate’s Court’ for minor summary offences, while for those indicted, Jury-tried and convicted, by the ‘High Court of Justice.’
These were said to have been among the most troubling ‘Administrative Issues’ that have been in constant confrontation with ‘Prison Superintendent, Jermaine Anthony.’
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