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Jamaica (Juvenile And Women Offenders)

Volume 245: debated on Wednesday 19 November 1930

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21 and 23.

asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies, (1) how many paid probation officers there are in Jamaica;

(2) how many women prisoners there are in Kingston penitentiary and what facilities are provided for the classification of these prisoners?

The number of women prisoners in the general penitentiary at 31st December, 1929, was 73. Full details as to classification, etc., in the gaols and prisons are given in Section 24 of the Jamaica Blue Book for 1929, a copy of which I will have sent to the hon. and gallant Member. The report on Probation Work for the year does not give the exact number of probation officers, paid or otherwise, but alludes to "a large staff" which is under the direction of two capable officers. Provision is made in the Colony's Estimates for the current year for £768 to cover allowances for probation work throughout the parishes of the Colony.


asked the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies whether he will take immediate steps to establish separate children's courts at Kingston and in other centres in Jamaica?

The law of Jamaica allows a discretion to a Resident Magistrate or the presiding Justices to order that the case against any child shall he heard in camera. Early this year the Secretary of State appointed a Committee to consider the arrangements in force in the Dependencies under the control of the Colonial Office in connection with the trial and punishment of young offenders, and the recommendations made by the Committee were discussed at the Colonial Office Conference in the summer and communicated to the Colonial Governments in September. Among the recommendations is a model draft law which deals fully with, inter alia, the establishment of juvenile courts, and the Government of Jamaica amongst other dependencies has been asked to consider the introduction of legislation on the lines of the model.