President of the Law Association Douglas Mendes is concerned that the office of Inspector of Prisons has been vacant for more than a year.
In a letter to National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, Mendes said the term of office of the last Inspector, Daniel Khan ended in June 2016.
He said the Inspector of Prisons performs an important function in ensuring that the prison rules are complied with by those charged with guarding prisoners and generally in seeing after the health and welfare of persons detained in the nation’s prisons.
“Although a person who has been convicted of a crime or who is detained pending trial is constitutionally deprived of his or her right to liberty, the other protections which the Constitution affords are not suspended in the meantime. The inspector plays a crucial role in ensuring that the state lives up to these obligations and expectations,” he said.
When Newsday contacted President of the Prison Officers Association Ceron Richards he said every effort should be made to fill that vacancy as it is an integral part of the prison service. Calls to Dillon’s cellphone yesterday went unanswered.