Government has allocated $40M for the construction of a two-storey block at the Camp Street Prison to mitigate overcrowding.
According to a Government Information Agency (GINA) press release, Minister of Home Affairs Clement Rohee, during a visit to the country’s main penitentiary on Wednesday said he was satisfied that the proposed location for the new block will be well secured.
Also, several reform programmes such as a literacy, skills training, craft and agriculture will be undertaken shortly at the facility to ensure that released prisoners are given a better chance at successful reintegration into society. A Prisoner Rehabilitation Programme launched in 2006 provides training in masonry, carpentry, tailoring, music, shoe making, barbering and electrical technology. These are being facilitated through government agencies in collaboration with non-governmental organizations. The inmates’ work was recently displayed during Prison Service Week observed from September 30 to October 6.
GINA also said Rohee visited the Georgetown Magistrate’s lock-ups to check on the transportation process to and from the Camp Street prison. “I wanted to have a first-hand look at the situation to establish the extent to which they (prisoners) make physical contact with persons. I also had a serious talk with Commander Paul Slowe and the ranks because there have been talks about them facilitating these things,” he said. Rohee said it is peculiar that when prisoners leave prisons they are thoroughly checked for cell phones, instruments, weapons, drugs and other objects yet they return to the prison in possession of such items.
He said too that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.