Camp Street was a tragedy waiting to happen

There are approximately 2,000 prisoners in the five facilities in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Mazaruni, Lusignan and Timehri. Of these 35 per cent are on remand awaiting trial. The Georgetown Prison at Camp Street was designed to accommodate 600 prisoners but held in the vicinity 1,000. Violent incidents or escapes have occurred in Georgetown, New Amsterdam and Mazaruni in the past. There was always a great fear among those responsible for security that Camp Street could explode at any time. The problem of overcrowding was well known.

The recent studies and reports are as follows:

In 2001 a comprehensive report by a British team on prison reform was made. It found overcrowding, violations of human rights, inadequate alternatives to incarceration, poor conditions for prisoners and staff and minimal scope for rehabilitation…..

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