Rehabilitation of Prisons in 2019

– allocations in Public Security $35.6 billion budget

– Camp Street Prison set for reconstruction

– GPS to see revamping

– increased support for self sufficiency

DPI, Guyana – Friday, December 14, 2018

The rehabilitation of the prisons in all three counties in the country, particularly the Camp Street prison will be realised in 2019 following the allocation of $35.6 Billion to the Ministry of Public Security.

During the final day of the consideration of estimates, Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan said a consultancy design was prepared for the reconstruction of the Camp Street prison.  He explained that “it is not going to be a complete building as it was” but rather it will be a “cell modular arrangement” which will allow for the cells to be stacked several stories high.

Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan during Day 5 of the Consideration of Estimates

The Public Security Minister added “It is easily portable too…if we want to move from Georgetown and go somewhere in Lusignan or Kuru Kururu or where we propose our next prison to be, these steel cells can easily be moved to those areas.”

It was noted that the consultancy was done by an American company who has previously worked with several Caribbean and Latin American countries.

The Public Security Minister said in addition to the rehabilitation of the prison facilities, plans are also in place to make the jails more self-sufficient by improving their ability to produce their own food.

This was disclosed by the Minister while justifying the increase of funds from $17Million to $24Million under line item 6294. He informed the Committee of Supply that the sum was revised to support the agricultural development plans noting that through this, the prison service will be providing its own meat and vegetables.

Minister Ramjattan also explained that funds were allocated for the capacity building of prison officers. He said that the long-standing issue of smuggling has been one which the Ministry has been trying to eradicate, as such, funds have been budgeted to combat the issue.

Some of the measures listed in the fight are the installation of surveillance systems and the training of officers and ranks.

Responding to criticisms on the allocation of $50Million for the training of ranks, Minister Ramjattan explained that while the training is an important component of the revitalization of the prison service, the funds allocated was due to the lack of fiscal space. He made it a point to note that additional funds were initially requested.

“We’re going to utilise that $50Million as best as possible to get more professionals in the prison service.”

Anara Khan

Image: Jameel Mohamed

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