More emphasis will be placed on Guyana’s Prison Service- British High Commissioner

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, August 17, 2017

British High Commissioner Gregg Quinn today said that more emphasis will be placed on Guyana’s Prison system through the multimillion-dollar Security Sector Reform Action Plan.

British High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn, during his engagement with the press.

The announcement was made at the High Commissioner’s residence in Bel-Air Gardens during a press conference. The High Commissioner stated that Advisor on Security Sector Reform project, Russell Combe, who is on leave, has already submitted an interim report to the Government.

“His plan when he comes back, was actually to start work on the prison service and that predated the events at Camp Street (prison), so he had already intended to look into the prison service and whenever he returned, of course that is given a certain amount increased importance after the events of Camp Street…, he was always going to and that is now forming part of what he is doing within the next months,” the British High Commissioner explained.

There is an increased importance on how they can assist the Prison Service after the recent events at the Camp Street and Lusignan Prisons. Referring to some of the issues that affect the country’s penal /correctional system, Quinn noted that “the fundamental problem I think is that prisoners are on remand for longer periods than the sentence they could receive for the crime.”

The High Commissioner believes that the judiciary has a significant role to play in ensuring that prisoners are not in jail longer than what the crime actually permits. To alleviate this problem Quinn is suggesting “non-custodial sentences”.

Additionally, Quinn pointed out that some of the findings and recommendations made in the report which was submitted are not entirely new, he however  highlighted there has been some improvement in the country’s security sector.

“There has been some progress in some areas on things like strategic planning and do not forget the original plan that we had… if you look at the creation of the special organised crime unit, that was something, that became a standalone after the project was cancelled, so there have been some things which have actually been done” the High Commissioner explained.

According to High Commissioner Quinn, the recommendations report will benefit all of the joint services by way of training activities and strategic policies.

 

By: Isaiah Braithwaite

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