Min. Benn promotes more professionalism in the prison system

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon, Robeson Benn says there is need for more professionalism and empathy in Guyana’s prison system.

Minister Benn was at the time making his contribution in support to the 2021 National Budget in the National Assembly on Friday.

 “I have repeatedly told the officers that I do not want prisoners beaten, I do not want their food taken away. I have requested that the prison system plant 4,000 fruit trees to help improve the diet of the prisoners, I have asked the Minister of Agriculture for four shade houses to act as nurseries and I have said prisoners should be able to get a banana and an egg regularly,” the Minister said.

Minister of Home Affairs, Hon. Robeson Benn

Minister Benn said it is the Government’s responsibility to rehabilitate inmates and ensure they are equipped to contribute to society upon their release.

Five billion dollars have been earmarked for the Guyana Prison Service in this year’s budget. From that amount, some $50 million will be used to train inmates in the areas of anger management, literacy, agriculture, and culinary arts. Additionally, 30 incarcerated youths will benefit from digital skills training to support rehabilitation and social transformation upon their release.

The Ministry of Home Affairs is also taking steps to address the overcrowding of prisons countrywide to ensure inmates are housed more comfortably. This will see work commencing on the construction of three new blocks at the Lusignan Prison to accommodate 600 inmates.

It was also revealed in the 2021 budget that during the first quarter a building will be completed at the Mazaruni Prison to accommodate 220 high profile inmates. Similar works is also underway at the New Amsterdam Prison.

The $383.1 billion Budget was read under the theme ‘A Path to Recovery, Economic Dynamism and Resilience’.

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