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Prisons get new inspector in Daniel Khan

Friday, January 21, 2011
Daniel Khan

Attorney Daniel Khan, son of attorney Israel Khan SC, has been appointed Inspector of Prisons, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan announced yesterday. Ramlogan announced the appointment during yesterday’s Lower House debate on the Summary Courts and Indictable Offences Act. The bill is geared toward a practical solution to problems in the administration of justice in the Magistrates’ Court.

Ramlogan said Khan, a criminal defence attorney of four years, would visit all prisons and speak with officers as well as field complaints from prisoners. He said Government would soon be presenting legislation to reform prison rules formulated in 1838. Khan will be required to visit prisons monthly and investigate all complaints and concerns, bringing to the attention of the Prisons Commissioner any infringement of the law. Khan told the T&T Guardian yesterday that he had already started preparing prison visits and has liaised with his predecessor.

On the bill, Ramlogan said it would increase the period in which a magistrate can remand a prisoner on summary and indictable matters from ten days to 28 days. Ramlogan said this would reduce the frequency of court hearings, since cases do not always get off the ground immediately at the outset. He said it would also reduce the number of times a prisoner has to be taken to and from court, thereby cutting high transport costs.

Ramlogan noted that Amalgamated Security Ltd, which transports prisoners, was paid $98.4 million over the period 2002 to 2009, an average of over $12 million annually. He said that in 2010 this would be $16.9 million annually VAT exclusive. This excludes cost of staff to supervise and escort inmates and associated costs. Ramlogan said that ultimately his vision is to have video coverage of cases so that prisoners would not have to leave cells, but appear via video-conferencing. He said he hoped the savings from this would build more courts.
Ramlogan added, “Budgets are shrinking and the task of ensuring public safety while transporting accused to courts, hospitals and training facilities takes police officers away from their core job.”


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