Funds cleared for Camp Street Prison reconstruction

DPI, GUYANA, Friday, August 4, 2017

The Ministry of Public Security’s request of $756,159M for the cleanup and refurbishment of the Camp Street Prison following its destruction in the July 9 fire was approved late last night in the National Assembly.

This sum makes provision for but is not limited to, the cleanup at the Camp Street Prison, refurbishments of the dormitory, security system, medical centre and the capital block. These were all razed when prisoners set fire to the jail on July 9 during a riot and subsequent prison break by inmates.

The supplementary financing also makes provision for the construction of temporary holding facilities at the Lusignan Prison compound. The Camp Street inmates were transferred to Lusignan and Mazaruni penitentiaries following the destructive prison fire.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, explained that the rebuilding of the Camp Street Prison should be completed in three months, after which prisoners will be transferred from the Lusignan Prison tarmac holding facility back to the Camp Street Prison.

These supplementary funds are an addition to the $537,500M that was allocated to the Ministry of Public Security for Prisons in the 2017 national budget. Minister Ramjattan explained this provision included the design for the extension of the Mazaruni Prison which was awarded earlier this year. The expansion of the Mazaruni Prison is a phased project the Minister clarified.

Meanwhile, the House also approved $8,877M for the provision of furniture and equipment for a building that will house the National Anti-Narcotic Agency (NANA).

NANA is a policy agency that will coordinate and integrate the efforts of the Guyana Police Force’s Customs Anti-Narcotic Unit (CANU) and the enforcement arm of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA).

Minister Ramjattan told the House the official opening of NANA has been delayed because its office in Kingston has not been properly outfitted. He added once this is completed, there will be an official opening of the Agency.

NANA was initially scheduled for a December 2016 opening.

 

By: Tiffny Rhodius

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