Study looking at alternatives to imprisonment to commence soon
The Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) will begin a study to evaluate alternatives to imprisonment later this year. This is expected to address the problem of overcrowding in prisons.
Project Manager of the CSSP, Clement Henry said this study is part of the third component of the programme which seeks to build the capacity of the Guyana Prison Service (GPS).
“This study intends to look at what are the alternatives to protract detention so that if there are options instead of incarceration, we will explore those options rather than for every offence we are dumping people within the prison system,” Henry said.
The CSSP is currently drafting contracts and preparing to advertise for persons to conduct the study which is projected to begin in November.
Funding for the project was acquired from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
A report from the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the Camp Street prison riots which led to the death of several persons in March, cited overcrowding as a serious cause for concern.
Henry stated further that advocacy will be required when the findings of the study are revealed. “This one is not a straight slam dunk there’ll be legal implications here, probably there may be legislative, other implications,” Henry pointed out.
Another aspect of the CSSP in building capacity is the establishment of a case management system where Henry said, “We will know the batch of prisoners who are about to be released and we will see what type of post -release services we already have prepared for them so it doesn’t surprise us.”
The establishment of the case management system is dependent on the findings of the prisons survey which is also being facilitated by the CSSP aimed at developing rehabilitation and social reintegration services for prisoners.