Juvenile raises Questions
matter of a juvenile offender who during his incarceration was left throughout
the night in the same cell with an adult stranger was brought up at the 1
November sitting of the Legislative Council in the questions and answers
segment. The questions were asked by the Representative for the Third District,
Hon. Julian Frazer and answered by Chief Minister Dr. the Hon. D. Orlando Smith.
for the Third District asked the Chief Minister if it was customary for the
police to hold juvenile prisoners overnight in the same room with adults. Hon.
Smith answered that it was not the practice of the Royal Virgin Islands Police
Force to imprison juveniles overnight in the same room as adults. He explained
that the practice is for young offenders in police custody to be held separately
in the charge room instead of cells.
District Representative then asked whether the Chief Minister was aware that a
13 year-old male, BVI High School student was arrested on 17 October and was
confined for two nights in a cell of approximately 17 by 13 feet with an adult
male who was a total stranger.
announced that he was aware of that particular situation. However, he pointed
out that the young man referred to was kept in the charge room throughout his
detention, not in the cells. The Chief Minister further explained that on the 17
October the police were holding four adult male detainees and six illegal
immigrants in the two cells at the Road Town Police Station, and in order to
alleviate overcrowding the police moved one of the adult detainees into the
charge room with the juvenile. Chief Minister Smith mentioned that later that
night because of plumbing problems and flooding in one of the cells another
adult male was placed in the charge room while the plumbing was addressed. Hon.
Smith added that a Sergeant who was on duty had complete view of the charge room
from his station at all times. “The juvenile was released from custody as soon
as his parents agreed to stand surety,” he pointed out.
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