THE A-Z MANUAL                    
Children Rem
anded in Custody

Ambassador Marjorie E. Taylor, Special  Envoy -  Children.
Welcome New Tool for Protecting Our  Children 

Her Hon. Mrs. R. Neale-Irving.
Chairman of the Juvenile Advisory Council
Why This Manual is so Important

Juveniles Detained in Lock-ups Should Not Associate with Adults. This Manual Will Help to End That and Other Abuses

How and Why This Manual was Developed

Nine Essential Requirements

Procedures for the Processing of Children Remanded in Custody

Juveniles Charged with Criminal Offences



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A Welcome New Tool for Protecting Our  Children 

I am very pleased to be associated with the “A-Z MANUAL” prepared by the Juvenile Advisory Council, which outlines the proper procedures to be followed when children are remanded in custody. All too often our children have been unnecessarily endangered, and their rights violated, simply because of a lack of information on the part of the adults involved in the law enforcement and judicial process. This Manual is designed to provide a vital link between all the agencies involved in protecting our children, and so to ensure that the rights of children are upheld when they are in need of help, or in trouble with the law, or both. I wish to thank all those who have contributed their time and energy to the development and production of this important publication.

Let us always remember that it is only if we nurture our children that we can look forward to the future of this great country with confidence!

Ambassador Marjorie E. Taylor
Special Envoy
- Children

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Why This Manual is so Important

All civilized societies recognize that children need to be protected from abuse and exploitation. In Jamaica this reality is acknowledged and enshrined in appropriate legislation. Jamaica is also a signatory to the UN International Convention on the Rights of the Child which prescribes a detailed set of universal guidelines for the survival, protection and development of children, including children’s rights and corresponding societal responsibilities towards children. Despite these precepts, all too often children have fallen through the proverbial ‘cracks’ in the system and end up being placed in custody alongside adults for various offences. This situation is untenable and cannot be allowed to continue. Recently, the Children’s Services Division, in conjunction with the office of the Ambassador for Children, instituted several special measures aimed at improving the response capability of the Division to children remanded in custody. One important response was the establishment of a 24 hour ‘Hot Line’ to which police stations report whenever minors are taken into custody. On receiving notification that a juvenile is in custody, a Children’s Officer is dispatched to ensure that the child is placed in appropriate care. Much more work remains to be done. This manual, as a medium of information, represents a major step. The manual outlines clearly, the correct steps to be taken in situations where children are brought before the law or are required to be remanded in custody for any period. It offers systematic and comprehensive procedures for the police, judiciary and child care agencies, procedures that will eliminate the likelihood of children being detained alongside adults. The introduction to the procedural steps is based on the following: Ref I -9 (Juveniles in need of Care and Protection).

Mrs. R. Neale-lrving
Juvenile Advisory Council    

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 Juveniles Detained in Lock-ups Should Not Associate with Adults
This manual will help to prevent that and other abuses.

The detention of juveniles in lock-ups where they can associate with adults should be prevented. `Adults’ refer to “any adult, not being a relative, who is charged with any offence other than an offence with which the juvenile is jointly charged.”

Association of juveniles with adults whilst juveniles are in detention, endangers the lives and well being of such juveniles. This has happened far too frequently, and has lead to juveniles being exposed to a range of abuses including beatings, rape and psychological abuse. Some of these abuses have been committed by both inmates and police officers.

There is an urgent need for better collaboration and communication between the agencies involved in the detention of juveniles. The proper procedures need to be put in place to ensure the end of abuse.

It is the aim of this manual to provide a clear set of procedures. If followed, they will help to prevent these types of
breaches of the Juveniles Act.

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How and Why This Manual was Developed

Many persons, including some police officers, are not aware of the procedures they should follow when juveniles, for their own protection, need to be placed in care.

In addressing this challenge, the first step was a review of current practices to see exactly what has been happening to juveniles before they appear in court and during the period of waiting for a final determination to be made. The Juvenile Advisory Council (Please see Appendix 6 for full list of members), in consultation with officials of the Children’s Services Division, the Ministry of National Security and Justice (including the Jamaica Constabulary Force and
Correctional Services), examined the p
rocedures for the remand in custody of juveniles who:

        (a) are in need of care and protection; and who...
        (b) have committed a criminal offence.

The Juveniles Act makes provision for the remand of juveniles in Places of Safety during the period when the courts are giving consideration to decisions affecting them. Section I 7 of the Juveniles Act requires the Commissioner of Police to make arrangements which will prevent a juvenile:

                  (a) while detained in a police station;
                  (b) while being conveyed to or from any criminal court; or
                  (c) while awaiting, whether before or after attendance in any criminal court, from associating with any adult, unless that adult is a relative who is charged with any offence other than one with which the juvenile is jointly charged.

“Remanded in custody” is sometimes interpreted to include Police stations. However, the Juveniles Act states clearly that juveniles should not be kept in lock-ups but in Places of Safety.

Places of Safety are located at various sites across the island and accommodate juveniles i.e. persons under the age of 17 years.

Section I 9 of the Juveniles Act indicates that if the juvenile is of so unruly or depraved a character that he or she is a threat to the safety of others, “remanded in custody” can mean being remanded in:

                   (a) a juvenile remand centre named in the commitment; or
                   (b) any place certified in the commitment warrant including an Adult Correctional Centre

At the end of the review, it was decided that a manual should be provided, detailing the steps to be followed when dealing with a juvenile who is to be remanded until the case is disposed of by the courts.

It is expected that the contents of this manual will form part of the curriculum of the training of members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force.

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The introduction of the procedural steps set out in this manual is based on the following being in place:

   1. There must be a directory of Places of Safety, children’s homes and juvenile correctional institutions available to the     police, members of correctional institutions and the public. This directory is included in this manual
   2. There must be an effective communication channel to allow the police to contact Senior Children’s Officers in each parish and provide them with a copy of the statement immediately on remand, or as soon as possible after the juvenile is taken to court.

    3. The police must be responsible for ensuring that juveniles are transported to and from Places of Safety, their prompt and punctual attendance at court when required, and that the juvenile and the parents and/or those accompanying them to court are duly informed of the court date.

   4. The Children’s Services Division and the Department of Correctional Services must be equipped to make arrangements to accommodate juveniles requiring placement.

   5. In accordance with Section IS of the Juveniles Act, which deals with uncontrollable juveniles, the Children’s Officer must provide a juvenile with counseling over a period of time before that juvenile is taken before the court.

   6. The completion of a j.A.2 Form, setting out the profile (in respect of each juvenile) is a crucial first
step in the placement and any subsequent removal of juveniles. Therefore, these forms must always be available at all police stations. Copies of completed J.A.2 Forms are to be sent by the police to the appropriate Children’s Officer once the juvenile is remanded.
   7. In relation to the police, when there is a change of duties, the essential steps contained in this manual must be passed on to the new officer taking over.

  8. Each police division must appoint a senior officer to liaise with the Children’s Services Division and Family/Juvenile Courts in respect of matters affecting juveniles. The name of the officer identified is to be published in Staff Orders.

  9. The Divisional Officer is required to monitor steps I -8 above.


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 1. Between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. a juvenile who is considered to be in need of care and protection should be referred to the Juvenile Unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for the case to be processed.
 2. After 9:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. a juvenile taken to a police station should not be kept in the lock­up. The possibility of placement with family members or guardians should first be explored. If this fails, contact should then be made with the nearest Place of Safety regarding acceptance of the juvenile into its care.
 3. Juveniles who are victims of rape should be referred to the Police Rape Unit where a statement will be taken and referral made to a medical practitioner attached to the Rape Unit. The medical report should then be attached to the statement.
 4. The Rape/Juvenile Unit should offer counseling and referral should be made to the Child Guidance Clinic for therapy.

 5. If the juvenile is to be remanded to a Place of Safety, the Rape/Juvenile Unit, in consultation with the Children’s Services Division, should secure the placement in order to ensure remand.
 6. If there is any difficulty, a call should be made to the Children’s Services Division emergency telephone numbers, so that assistance can be given. These numbers will be operational 24 hours per day. Responsibility lies with the Children’s Services Division to indicate Places of Safety or foster homes to be used as Places of Safety where the
juvenile should be taken.

 7. The police should ensure the timely completion of all administrative tasks required for the prompt attendance of the juvenile at the next sitting of the Family Court. Transportation of the juvenile to and from the Place of Safety is the responsibility of the police.
 8. When a juvenile is placed in the care of a superintendent at a Place of Safety
it is the responsibility of that superintendent to ensure that the juvenile remains within the confines of that institution. However, should the juvenile abscond, it is the responsibility of the police to ensure his or her return.
9. The Divisional Officer for juveniles is required to monitor steps 1-8 above.


1. A juvenile who is considered to be in need of Care and Protection must be processed at the police station where jurisdiction lies.
2. Steps should be taken by the police to contact parents/guardians to see if they can take responsibility for juveniles (persons under the age of I 7 years).
3. If a juvenile is at risk and has to be received into care, contact is to be made with the nearest Place of Safety.
If there is a difficulty in securing placement, contact is to be made with the Children’s Services Division Area Officer or the emergency hotline (operational 24 hours per day) to secure placement.
5. The police should arrange for the appearance of the juvenile at the next court sitting, including the provision of transportation to and from the Place of Safety. (A completed j.A.2 Form must accompany each juvenile and must be left by the police with the superintendent of  the Place of Safety. Follow-up must be done to ensure court appearance).

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Juveniles Charged with Criminal Offences


  1. A juvenile who has reached the age of criminal responsibility (i.e. 12 years) and has committed a criminal offence should be charged for that offence. He should not be brought before the court as being in need of Care and Protection.

  2. Juveniles who are arrested and charged with criminal offences should be handled by the police station making the arrest.

  3.  Steps should be taken to investigate the family situation with a view to offering bail. If bail cannot be granted or there is no one willing to stand surety for the juvenile, he or she should be remanded to a Place of Safety.

  4.  The police should contact the nearest Place of Safety to secure placement.

  5.  If there is any difficulty, a call should be made to the Children’s Services Division Area Officer or the emergency hotline number (operational 24 hours per day).

  6.  The police should transport the juvenile to the Place of Safety and make arrangements for an appearance at the next sitting of the court.

  7.  A completed J.A.2 Form must be left with the superintendent of the Place of Safety by the police, in respect of each juvenile, for follow-up action to be done to ensure the attendance of the juvenile at court.

  8.  The Divisional Officer for juveniles is required to monitor steps 1-7 above.

                                         Prepared by the Juvenile Advisory Council