American firm to fit 60 steel cells at Camp Street Prison

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As the Government considers a new larger prison outside of the city to replace the Camp Street, Georgetown facility, it has decided on modular prison cells for that location.

“We are dealing here with a company out of America that has provided steel cells for a number of countries in the Caribbean and Latin America,” Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan stated Friday during the consideration of the budget estimates for his Ministry.

“It is an arrangement whereby it is easily portable too…so these steels cells are easily removed,” he stated, reasoning the cells could easily be transferred to a new location.

He was clear that the country’s new main prison will be outside of Georgetown but would remain in Demerara.

The reconstruction of Camp Street Prison to fit 60 of the steel units will cost $265 million.

Meanwhile, the Government has abandoned plans for a four-storeyed prison at Mazaruni as part of expansion plans and will now build a two-storeyed structure for that maximum-security facility in the Essequibo River.

Ramjattan said the new design would cater for additional space so that it would fit the number of prisoners intended from the original expansion design.

Minister Ramjattan told the Parliamentary Committee of Supply that the original design for the Mazaruni prison expansion was changed by the National Security Committee and the President because it was felt that it could prove to be a fire hazard.

A total of $709 million has been allocated in the 2019 budget for the expansion of Mazaruni prison.

Funding for projects are catered for in a total allocation of $3.9 billion for the Prison Service in 2019.

The funds were approved during the consideration of the budget estimates for the Ministry of Public Security.

The $1.4 billion for prisons works include:
• Payment of retention
• Provision for New Amsterdam prison
• Construction of exercise bay at Mazaruni and bond at Lusignan prisons
• Rehabilitation of fence at Timehri Prison
• Extension of kitchen at New Amsterdam Prison and bond at Georgetown Prison
• Purchase of security locks

Other allocations for the Prison Service are:
• $43.8 million for purchase of vehicle, buses, truck and ATVs
• $300 million for equipment. The funding entails provision for body scanners, arms and ammunition, radios, water dispensers, hand held scanners, telephone system, desks, chairs, filing cabinets, fire pumps, printers, air conditioning units, beds, fans, metal detectors, shredders, uninterruptible power supply systems, cameras, fax machines, computers and accessories.
• $5 million for purchase of tools and equipment

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