The Guyana Government will be doling out $100M this year to train prisoners and prison officers. The sum is part of a $5.5B allocation to the Guyana Prisons Service (GPS) that was greenlighted in the Committee of Supply on Thursday when the parliamentary body met to examine budget 2023 estimates.

Of this amount, $3.2B will go towards the current expenditure, while $2.3B will further advance prisons being constructed at Mazaruni and Lusignan, and commence work for the reconstruction of New Amsterdam Prison.

Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot noted that the 2023 budget represents the government’s and the service’s strategic plan, which focuses on modernizing and expanding the prison infrastructure; enhancing human resource management; promoting successful reintegration of inmates into society; rebuilding public trust and confidence, and advancing holistic health care within the prison service.

Speaking on the training this year, the Prison Head noted that the budget is a clear indication of the government’s commitment to the rehabilitation and redemption of incarcerated persons.

“In light of this, some 1415 inmates completed training courses in various programmes for 2022, so with the support from the government we will continue to expose all prisoners, regardless of their situation, to all forms of retraining programmes within the prisons,” Elliot said.

The Prison Head further noted that if inmates are given opportunities to develop and build skills, they are more likely to find jobs when released, allowing “for a smoother transition as they reintegrate into the community”.

Elliot indicated that the innovative and impactful programmes on offer are important as they support the government’s broad policy commitments to improve education, promote lifelong learning and greater economic mobility, and provide solutions to improve the well-being of the inmates and help them to achieve their full potential.


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