Dominica prison population: Male prisoners outnumber females by 99%
Sitting criminal judge, Justice Wynante Adrien-Roberts fussed over the jurors for their service rendered during the September session of the Roseau High Court.
The court closed the session on Wednesday December 16, 2020 during which Superintendent of Prisons (Ag) Kenrick Jean Jacques made his jail delivery.
Justice Adrien-Roberts thanked the jurors for their diligence, patience and their keen interest to the matters which came up before them. She noted that theirs was an important and patriotic duty in a democracy. She hoped that they had all learnt something from the experience, and observed that some might want to serve in the future.
She wished the jurors and indeed all those who played a role in the session's proceedings – court staff, the police, counsel, Welfare Division and even the press – a blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Director of Public Prosecutions Evelina Baptiste added her words of appreciation to the jurors, and in turn wished all good wishes for the season.
The prison population as at Wednesday December 16, 2020 according to Superintendent Jean Jacques stood at 222 inmates, two of whom were female. That was an increase of 3.2% on the number of inmates when the session closed in December of 2019.
The female population was four in 2019 so that the number was down 50% while for the males who numbered 211 in 2019 was increased by 4.26%.
The inmates coming through the High Court were 32 males and one female the same as in 2019; Magistrate's Courts- 90 males and one female, which was one male more than the preceding year while the female count was also one. There were 98 males on remand. These included one juvenile who was serving a two-year prison sentence, and 15 foreigners on remand while one was serving a prison sentence.
The Coronavirus pandemic had put a stop to in-person visits with only drop-off of items permitted. Quite a bit of the activities was also suspended, Jean Jacques told the court.
The buffer zone which has come up during these sessions over many years was still incomplete as prison staff tried to deal with people throwing things like drugs over the fence to inmates.
Jean Jacques was also in need of more personnel as four of his staff members had retired. There is no programmed of recruitment. Staff members are taken on at the retirement of a staff member.