The rate at which convicted criminals have recommitted an offence – recidivism − in Guyana stands at 18 percent in 2023, according to Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot. The Prison Head attributed the low result to a suite of technical and vocational skills training programmes that are conducted by the prisons, coupled with the behavioral modification programmes that are available.

He further credited the social services programmes provided within the communities by the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, along with the social crime prevention approach adapted by the Guyana Police Force.

Altogether, recidivism has reduced from approximately 33% to 18% over the period of 2015 to 2023.

Guyana’s rate of reimprisoned law offenders is hailed as remarkable in comparison to Australia’s average of 45% and the United States of America’s average of 43%, as reported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The Prison Director also acknowledged the impact of the number of interventions being made nationally, and the impact of the Service’s strategic developments.

According to the Head of Strategic Management Department, Rae-Dawn Corbin, “with the support from the Home Affairs Ministry, the Guyana Prison Service is dedicated to upskilling prisoners, with a focus of reducing the chances of them returning to a life of crime post-incarceration.”

It was further noted that during 2023, 1,520 inmates were exposed to training opportunities by internal and external trainers. Similarly, 435 of the Service’s 498 employees were exposed to training to increase their capacity and ability to manage inmates within a reformative and correctional setting.

According to a release from Service, the Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn remains resolute on “increasing the peace in Guyana.”

The Head of the Service’s Strategic Department also noted that the minster’s multiprong approach is reaping positive rewards for every individual within Guyana.


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