The flawed judicial system was the cause of what happened on July 9

Dear Editor,

With regard to the recent prison fire catastrophe, most people are stifling their consciences because of political slants, or sheer stupidity.  These keyboard generals are not putting Guyana first.  They do not have a clue about the criminal mind.  While the prison officials plan ways to keep the prisoners in when they are at work, these inmates work at it 24 hours a day, all year round.  It is my opinion that it is the flawed judicial system that has caused this.  Justice delayed is justice denied.  When this phenomenon manifests its ugly head, frustration and desperation set in.  These criminals had no option other than to do what they did.  On the other hand, these are convicts and must be treated as such.

What started in the prison on Sunday, July 9, could have been no secret to some of the other prisoners.  So by complicity, they too are guilty of collusion.  I am sure some of them could have alerted the authorities to the impending catastrophe.

Then there are some greedy lawyers, who just show up and get postponements for more fees.  The incompetent police on the other hand are never ready to proceed, whilst the magistrates and judges allow this to continue.  So in reality the causes are not isolated, but are coupled to each other.  The authorities should fix the system and stop imprisoning persons for minor bailable offences.

Prison is a place that contaminates, not a place to rehabilitate humans.  Get the system right, and it will ease the overcrowding and bitterness.  Get the police sleuths to be efficient or dismiss them.  No more than 3 adjournments must be allowed.  Why charge someone if you are not ready to proceed?  It is a very complex situation.  Solutions are there if the authorities have the fortitude to apply them and get them right.  You get caught with an unlicensed firearm, let the bidding start at 20 years.  Small amounts of marijuana should be a fine, not mandatory jail time.

Yours faithfully,

(Name and address provided)

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