In its effort to combat the difficulties of managing the nation’s “complex” prison environment, the government has recruited 24 officers who are specially trained in the areas of supervision, correctional emergency response, leadership, and emergency medical procedures.
This was noted in the 2019 Half-Year Report that was released by the Finance Ministry yesterday.
According to the report, the recruitment drive in the first half of 2019 brought the size of the service to just over 500 officers. However, this is still short of the 601 members of staff that is required.
But the hiring of qualified and competent officers who have the necessary skillset to allow them to effectively manage this complex environment is not all that the government has been doing.
The report reminded that the Guyana Prison Service was allocated approximately $4B in the 2019 budget to ensure the maintenance and improvement of the prison environment across the country.
In this regard, it was noted that the design for the reconstruction of the New Amsterdam Prison will commence during the second half of this year. The Guyana Standard understands that some components for the rebuilding of the Camp Street prison, including steel cells, have already been procured, with works to begin in the second half. As for the expansion of the Mazaruni prison, the report notes that this is ongoing and the project remains on track for completion in the second half of 2020.
In addition to this, it was noted that these upgraded facilities are intended to alleviate the overcrowding situation across the prison system. Further, the procurement of equipment intended to improve the safety of officers and inmates, including body scanners, has commenced and is expected to be concluded in the second half of the year.