Yet Another Death in Custody in Trinidad

In prison abuse on April 2, 2008 at 8:49 am

On 1st April, 2008 at about 4 p.m. Jason Hospedales of Curepe was arrested for breaching a protection order and taken to the Tunapuna Police Station. By 6 p.m. he was found hanging in his cell from two bandannas he used as a makeshift noose.

CURB is adamant that persons who are taken into the custody of the State must be protected by the State even against themselves (from self harm or suicide).This man’s death was due to negligence as the officers needed to assess his mental state and relieve him of every item which could be used to commit self-harm.

Last year alone, 2 prison inmates – Beepath and Alexander – died in custody and no one has been held accountable thus far for their deaths. Beepath died from blunt force trauma to the chest and Alexander from hanging after he attempted suicide on 2 previous occasions.

Apart from deaths in custody, other people are being physically and sexually abused in custody (Boys Industrial School, Youth Training Centre, in Prison) and nobody is being held responsible in this country.

In other countries, the family members of the dead and those sexually and physically harmed in custody sue the State for millions of dollars and police and prison officers lose their jobs and all financial benefits.

It is time for that to happen in Trinidad and Tobago and other Caribbean territories. Irrespective of the offence a person is accused or convicted of having committed, physical and sexual abuse and negligence leading to self harm are “Not Part of the Sentence”.

Enough is enough!!!

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