Independent Senator Stephen King is urging government to treat the overcrowding problem at the Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF) with some level of urgency.
King, who is a committee member of Remand Justice Group – which was formed back in 2014 to look at tackling lengthy and other legal matters, said he believes the situation needs urgent attention.
His statement comes in light of recent concerns raised by prison officials that the total prison population has grown to 607 inmates, half of which are on remand for various offenses.
King told St. Lucia News Online (SNO) that several recommendations were made and presented to the Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Home Affairs for consideration.
He said it is now left up to the government to act swiftly to address the issue before it escalates and apply these new mechanisms that will help to reduce the remand population.
Alternative sentencing is one of the many mechanisms that were presented for consideration, King noted.
He said reducing the remand population will improve the capacity in the judicial system.
BCF, which was built some 14 years ago, was designed to accommodate only 450 inmates, but has since exceeded this mark every year and the number keeps growing daily.
Recent information states that 258 inmates are serving out sentences, while 349 are still awaiting trial.