Lusignan inmates attempted to break out of prison

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The Ministry of Public Security on Tuesday revealed that inmates of the Lusignan Holding Bay, East Coast Demerara attempted to break out of the penitentiary by attacking guards with hundreds of missiles, which damaged the inner fences of the Holding Bay on Monday night.

“They then focused their attention on gaining access to the gate that allows exit from the location by using several items to hit the gate, but they were unsuccessful in their attempt,” the statement noted.

According to the Ministry, the inmates began to behave in a “riotous manner” at around 16:16hrs, some 12 hours after three prisoners had escaped from the facility.

At the time of the unrest, there were 558 prisoners in the facility while a total of 80 personnel from Prisons, Police and Fire Service was working at restoring calm.

It was noted that several attempts were made by officers and ranks to enter the location with the use of shields, but the large number and size of the missiles caused them to retreat to a point of safety.

The statement noted that as darkness approached, the prisoners continued to throw various missiles and damaged four perimeter lights.

“They then started to set fire to items, mattresses and pallets were placed along the inside of the fence and set ablaze. The fires caused damage to the monitoring room with the CCTV cameras.”

The statement further noted that after repeated attempts to have the prisoners desist from their riotous behaviour failed, officers reverted to the use of rubber pellets. As this approach also failed, various calibers of live rounds were directed in the air. This resulted in a calm as eight prisoners were hit by the pellets.

Those injured are Cleveland Williams, Lester Joseph, Teaive Cush, Raymond Jones, Corwyn Artur, Anirudh Prashad, Lakeram Singh and Lexroy Rigby.

The Ministry said that six of them were escorted to Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where they received medical attention and were later sent to Georgetown Prison, two received medical attention on location.

“The prisoners at Lusignan then became relatively calm and requested an audience with the Director which was facilitated.

“During this engagement, efforts were made to understand what prompted such action on the part of the prisoners.

“From Holding Bay One and Two, mention was made of seven prisoners not receiving lunch, issues ranging from the physical infrastructure of the facility to the length of imprisonment and the way some junior ranks deliver their duties. These concerns were noted by the Director of Prisons Mr Glawin Samuels, and actions will be taken where necessary.”

However, at about 21:15hrs, some warm tea was issued since the prisoners had destroyed the food that had been prepared for dinner.

The situation remained calm up until 23:00hrs, when a standby unit was increased since prisoners from Holding Bay One and Two started to break the inner fence.

The Ministry said that the situation is now under control and the facility remains secured.

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