High profile prisoners to be transferred to newly built block soon

GINA, GUYANA, Tuesday, September 20, 2016

High profile prisoners housed at the Georgetown Prisons, Camp Street, Werk-en-Rust will soon be transferred to a high security, brick prison constructed at a cost in excess of $80M.

The decision to construct the high security prison block was made following the findings of the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the March prison riots at the Georgetown prisons.

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan

Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan

Speaking to media operatives, at the Cecil Kilkenny Prison Officers’ Training School, Lusignan, recently, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, said the “brick block” of the Georgetown Prisons, to house high profile prisoners has minor corrections to be done before being commissioned.

“The brick block is completed with the exception of the doors… I didn’t want to risk putting any prisoners there (in its current state) because it was the hard core prisoners who were supposed to go there, into that brick prison,” Minister Ramjattan explained.

The faulty door, the Minister said, would be fixed shortly as the contractor has to get back some of the locking system apparatus and paraphernalia from overseas.

The brick prison which was built in the compound of the Camp Street jail to house more than 300 high profile prisoners was scheduled to be completed by the end of July.

During the sitting of the COI into the prison riots, Attorney-at-law Selwyn Pieters who represented the Guyana Prison Service said Government needed to invest financially in constructing a brick prison, since the main prison is housed in the country’s capital city, which is also the country’s business capital.

Further, Pieters pointed out that Superintendent Kevin Pilgrim, Officer-in-Charge of the Georgetown Prisons, in his testimony, had said the old wooden structures make it easy for inmates to hide contraband, and pose challenges for officers assigned to the living units.

“Wood buildings at the Georgetown prisons…have their place, and their place now is ‘historic relics’; those are not places to house prisoners,” Pieters told the commission at that time.