GPS collaborates with MoPH to manage vulnerable prisoners

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, February 8, 2018

Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels said the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) continues to collaborate with the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) to ensure proper care and management of vulnerable prison inmates.

Director of Prisons (ag) Gladwell Samuels addressing the gathering at the opening of the Handling Vulnerable Prisoners training programme.

“A number of persons who are held in the prisons in Guyana ought not to be there because they actually require specialised treatment. Our prisons across Guyana account for about 75 persons who are known to be mentally unstable, and with our relationship with the Ministry of Health we were able to provide daily care to those persons before the July 9 fire of 2017,” Samuels said.

Although these prisoners are now dispersed across the country, due to the fire, the Prison Director noted that efforts are still being made to care for them. He also made it known that with the training prison officers would now be able to identify and properly care for those deemed mentally ill.

At the opening ceremony of the Handling Vulnerable Prisoners training programme, the Acting Director of Prisons disclosed that the prison service has accounted for a number of these vulnerable prisoners.

“So, by being able to adequately identify these persons, we will be able to adequately cater for them and provide the necessary segregation for them and also expose them to the necessary training to better equip them to deal with the challenges,” Samuels stated.

The Prison Director also made it known that despite the challenges faced by these mentally unstable persons, they nevertheless are a part of the Guyanese population and should to be treated with same respect. He also noted that they need to be safeguarded against harassment. especially in the prison environment, as this can often lead to unfortunate circumstances.

The Handling Vulnerable Prisoners Training commenced on February 5 and will instruct the officers on ways to manage those considered vulnerable. The five-day programme will be facilitated by Director of CreateBetterMinds, Caroline Ravello and UK Consultant, Michael Hamilton.
By: Stephon Gabriel

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