172 inmates at Mazaruni, New Amsterdam prisons graduate various training programmes

One hundred seventy-two inmates of the New Amsterdam and Mazaruni Prisons are now equipped with skillsets to aid in their reintegration into society.

The batch of inmates graduated on Wednesday, after completing training in areas such as electrical insulation, carpentry, joinery, welding, plumbing, culinary arts, horticulture, and women empowerment.

Several female inmates also graduated from rehabilitation programmes offered by the Prison Service.

The move is in keeping with the government’s commitment to ensure prison reform, which allows inmates to acquire basic income-generating skills and improve their education, while they serve prison time.

Officer-in-Charge of the New Amsterdam Prison, Senior Superintendent Kofi David said the programme is to give inmates practical and valuable skills and will allow them to secure employment after being released, thereby removing the chance of recidivism.

“We want you to recognise that you have the ability to have a productive life, despite the circumstances,” Officer David encouraged the graduates.

Officer-in-Charge of the Mazaruni Prison, Superintendent David Shepherd, and Officer-in-Charge of Prisons’ Welfare and Corrections, Marielle Bristol-Grant also shared similar sentiments.

Meanwhile, Director of Prisons (ag) Nicklon Elliot pointed out that the Guyana Prison Service is obligated to provide prisoners with the necessary skills.

Elliot is optimistic that as the prison infrastructure continues to be developed, more prisoners will benefit from the rehabilitative programmes.

Of the $5.5 billion budgeted in 2023 for the Prison Service, the government has earmarked  $100 million for the training of 1,500 inmates, to support their rehabilitation and social transformation in preparation for their exit from the prison system.

Also, $50 million is allocated to ensure “trade shops” at these facilities are fully equipped to facilitate training in carpentry, joinery, masonry, block making, and other craft and trade activities for inmates.