Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn said today that the rehabilitation of inmates is direly needed for so that they be successfully reintegrated into society. Minister Benn also urged prison officers to be part of this critical process. The official was at the time addressing ranks at the Prisons’ Senior Officers Conference.
Minister Benn said there must also be some sort of self-reform by prison officers to better deal with prisoners. He stressed that introspection by prison officers could go a long way in reforming inmates and yield many positive results.
“We have to reform ourselves, review the way we see these things, look at these things with new eyes and even where we ourselves would have had personal failings in relation to the issuance to them. We must take a step back and review how we respond to situations,” the minister said.
The Home Affairs Minister also posited that there is always a negative brush painted broadly on persons who are incarcerated. He added that the prisons must be used as a unit for not only rehabilitation but also for reintegration.
“When we see a prisoner, man or woman and when we consider the bad things they may have done, those crimes are not simply their crimes; those are our crimes. We have to find a way to move along to the point where we reduce these instances of violence, which result in people being incarcerated in these very large numbers”.
The three-day conference is being held under the theme ‘Promoting Rehabilitation and Societal Reintegration of Inmates’ and will run until Saturday, March 18, 2023.
The objectives of the conference are: to creating synergies at the managerial level of the Guyana Prison Service; to reflect on and learning from the activities, accomplishments and challenges of operations in 2022; to build cohesive and coherent strategies for performance improvement in 2023 and to devise operational plans that are in alignment with the vision for the Guyana Prison Service
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs Ms. Mae Toussaint Jr. Thomas; National Security Advisor, Captain Gerry Gouveia; Colonel Omar Khan; Acting Commissioner of Police, Mr. Clifton Hicken; Chief Fire Officer (ag) Mr. Gregory Wickham, and several other prison officials and special invitees were in attendance.