October 21, 2020

Jamaica has new guidelines for arresting persons with small quantities of marijuana

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smoking marijuana and drinking beer amid clouds of smokeFrom Caribbean360

, Jamaica, 13, 2014, CMC – The Jamaica government has outlined new guidelines which are to be implemented immediately by police regarding how they treat persons who are charged with minor offences such as possession of small quantities of marijuana.

National Security Minister Peter Bunting said that the guidelines would allow for law enforcement officials proceeding by way of summons where a Justice of Peace (JP) is available.

“If a JP is not available, or if the offender is unable to provide identification or is unable to be identified by other means, he/she may be taken to a police station until identification can be verified. Once identification is verified, the person should be granted bail on his/her own recognizance.”

Bunting said that in exceptional cases, such as, if the offender is being investigated for other serious offences, “persons will be given bail with conditions, or be remanded in custody.

The new guidelines arose from a memorandum on the matter from the Attorney General’s Chambers, and followed discussions between Bunting and Acting Police Commissioner Glenmore Hinds.

The Attorney-General Patrick Atkinson was asked to review the existing situation with view to recommending new guidelines, if deemed necessary, following the death of in hospital last week, after he was severely beaten while in custody at the lock-up for possession of a marijuana cigarette.

Six police officers, who were on duty at the time of Deane’s injury, have been interdicted and suspended with immediate effect, as investigations continue to determine possible culpability.

Dean’s family has already announced plans to sue the state arguing that the state failed to protect him while he was in the custody of law enforcement authorities after being arrested on August 3.

Meantime, Bunting says he expects to receive from the Acting Commissioner of Police, “by Monday the latest,” a report on new arrangements for the care and protection of persons in police custody.

This is in response to a directive from the Minister to the Police High Command last Thursday, “that there needed to be an immediate and comprehensive review of all the procedures and arrangements governing detentions.”

The Minister, in his statement, said he “joins with the family and all well thinking citizens in mourning the death of Mario Deane and reaffirms the government’s resolve to make the necessary policy and legislative changes to avoid recurrence of such a tragedy”.

IMAGE: smoking marijuana and drinking beer amid clouds of smoke

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/jamaica-has-new-guidelines-for-arresting-persons-with-small-quantities-of-marijuana?utm_source=Caribbean360%20Newsletters&utm_campaign=36c2cbcdb1-8_13_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-36c2cbcdb1-39393477

 

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