Calls for Custody Suites to close

The name sounds nice, but it is far from any resort. In fact, on Sunday one person who spent a night there told the STAR that he’d rather spend a year at Bordelais than another minute at the Custody Suites.

The suites are actually remnants of one of the biggest horror stories in our nation’s history; Her Majesty’s Prison on Bridge Street. It is now a place where persons who are arrested are temporarily detained before they are charged.

“Why would they put someone in a place like that who hasn’t been charged or found guilty,” our former Custody Suites guest told us. “On mornings they will give you a small piece of baguette dirtied with some butter and if you are lucky to have a container, they would throw some kool-aid in it for you. The place stinks as persons urinate on the concrete floor. There is no bed just a hard floor to sleep on.”

Last week, president of the Saint Lucia Vendors’ Arcade declared that he would be mounting a legal challenge to have the place shut down and called on citizens of the country to join him.

On Monday there was a response from the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. “There are some issues at Custody Suites which need addressing, however, these issues are not due to negligence on the part of police officers,” the release read.

“Some of the issues are brought about because of the configuration and layout of the facility, which are compounded by the actions of the persons in custody,” it added.

The release went on to point out that although persons are fed, due to logistical, security and financial constraints, it is not possible to provide persons in custody with hot meals.

“However, there are provisions made for persons with special medical conditions and dietary needs. In some instances, subject to the rules and regulations of the facility, meals may be accepted from relatives or friends,” it went on.

According to the police, the Custody Suites serve a very important role as a temporary holding cell. The authorities are mindful of the issues and have been seeking to address them subject to the availability of resources.

But should the police be dealing with issues? Isn’t this a matter for the ministry of national security and justice? So far we have not heard from the Minister on the matter or from the bar association or for that matter any civil organization about the uncivilized conditions at Custody Suites.

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4 Responses to Calls for Custody Suites to close

  1. MKaks says:

    How can child molesters be free to roam around me and you endangering our children? Why can’t a proper technical secondary school be opened instead of forcing children to attend traditional secondary schools when they are clearly struggling with academics? Stop talking diversification be about it. And to you guys in the media fraternity who ask rubbish when you interview these politrickcians stop side stepping to stay in their good graces and ask real questions the populous are interested in. Stop being brown nose, take your head out and ask the questions of the day stop making those clowns dictate what you ask, I think you would get more respect that way.

  2. MKaks says:

    I know what most people are thinking it isn’t me so I don’t care but what when it is you or your family member what then? the changes don’t come over night. People of St.Lucia do yourselves one favor stop seeing RED and YELLOW, and start seeing RIGHT and WRONG. Hold those clowns you voted for more accountable put pressure on them at those town meetings,when you meet them in your constituency when they come talking trash about opposing politrickcians, tell them you want to deal with real issues affecting the people. How can we kill that monster we created in the police force? how can cases move faster and smoother in our justice system? how can child molesters be free to roam around me…

  3. MKaks says:

    Tell me if it really takes a genius to figure out that keeping people in this place isn’t a violation of their constitutional rights and at best the inhumane conditions present. By the police’s own admission the officers working this hell hole use gas mask when approaching the cells so what mask does the inmate put on when he or she stays there for an extended period of time. This is ridiculous and its time we start to demand better for our citizens, the politrickcians you voted for certainly don’t give shit about your welfare so it is up to you to stand up, protest, demand better. Let us stop creating monsters in this country.

  4. Dont you just love the prefix assoicated with such a place of filth Her Majesty Prisons. Mind you most of the population just knows it as central booking. Her majesty would thump her nose at the association. The Royal St Lucia Police Force. I bet some of us still walk around with the Queens Envelope in our back pockets dreaming of a day when knighthood will be bestowed upon them. Well Sire, who am I to interrupt ones dream and desired anatomy. (Ha Ha Ha) As you were Sire, as you were.

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