Prime Minister Andrew Holness was charged to answer questions about the inhumane treatment of prisoners and renewed calls for improvement in the conditions at penal facilities, following reports that 81-year-old Noel Chambers died under inhumane circumstances at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre where he had been held for 40 years without trial.
Mr Holness expressed his embarrassment and said, “Some of the circumstances in the report, I believe the government can do a little better and we will.”
He then revealed that the Government is now looking at a proposal for a new prison, however, he was not willing to reveal any details.
The Prime Minister was speaking during a virtual press conference at Jamaica House on Friday afternoon (June 5).
He also refuted suggestions that he was responsible when his 2017 administration rejected an offer by the British Government to provide $5.5 billion dollars to build a new prison.
Holness said “Just to be clear, I was not the government at the time when the offer was rejected.”
At the time, no explanation was provided for rejecting the offer. Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Kamina Johnson Smith only highlighted that the terms of the officer were not beneficial to the island.
More details are to come relating to this new proposal.