The Northern Territory Supreme Court has again heard that two mentally impaired men are still being held in prison without conviction, because a specialist facility built last year does not have enough staff.

Kerry Doolan, 23, and Christopher Leo, 21, have not been convicted of any crime but have been held in the Alice Springs prison for years because they have been deemed unfit to plea to charges against them.

Last year, the Government built a secure care facility that could cater for the men's needs.

But the Supreme Court has heard the facility is not fully functional.

The court was told the Health Department has had problems with recruiting people to run the facility and is unable to move the two men from the jail.

The men are allowed a few day visits to the facility each week, spending the rest of the time in prison.

Lawyers for the men today questioned the Health Department about the situation.

Mr Doolan has been held in the maximum security section of the prison for nearly five years.

He was charged with assault in 2007.

Had he been deemed fit to plead to the charge, it is likely he would have received a 12-month sentence.

Mr Leo has been held at the prison for more than five years.

Both men are believed to have suffered from foetal alcohol syndrome.

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