Remand prisoners caught with contraband in sneakers, snack bags

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The Guyana Prison Service continues to face an uphill task of prisoners smuggling prohibited items in the penitentiary and according to Prison Director (ag) Gladwin Samuels, while prison officers are involved, family members are to be blamed as well.

In a statement issued to the media on Thursday evening, Samuels revealed that prison officers recently discovered contraband on prisoners who returned from court and investigations have so for indicated that family members of some prisoners are deeply involved in the supply.

It was revealed that on August 14, 2017 remanded prisoner, Shay Hyman, who is charged for five counts of robbery, was found with cigarettes in what appeared to be a sealed pack of corn curls, while on August 15, Sherwyn Clarke known as ‘Cash Money’, who is accused of murder, was found with 225 grams of marijuana in his sneakers, which he did have on when he left the prisons.

Prison Director (ag), Gladwin Samuels

“It was however reported, that he received same from a family member at the Court. From all indications, the marijuana was placed in the sneakers and then taken to a shoemaker where it was carefully sewn and pasted to secure the marijuana at the bottom. That discovery was only made due to the experience observation by the rank who conducted the search and his loyalty to the job,” Samuels revealed.

He further noted, “I would like to commend the Officers for a good job done and also take this opportunity to once again advise all ranks to desist from all forms of malfeasance. Lives are at risk and the security of this nation is at stake and No efforts would be reserved in bringing those corrupt Officers down. We are continuing to work assiduously to ensure the safety and security of the nation.”

According to the Prison Director, “Albeit the likely involvement of some staff, they are several Prison Officers who are committed to their work even though they are exposed to risk and temptation on a daily basis, they continue to execute their task in a very professional manner.”

One of the strategies implemented to combat contraband smuggling in the Guyana Prison Service is requiring EVERYONE to undergo searches when entering the facility. However, according to Samuels, this only has a limited deterrent effect – especially when staff members search other staff members, given the pervasive nature not only of corruption but also of the tendency for employees to protect their co-workers.

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