Inmates lodged 437 complaints of mistreatment in prison over the last 6 months

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The Guyana Prison Service has provided data, which revealed that some 437 complaints were received from inmates across the prisons in Guyana about mistreatment.

These figures were provided to the National Assembly on Wednesday by Home Affairs Minister, Robeson Benn in response to questions asked by APNU+AFC Member of Parliament, Geeta Chandan-Edmond.

The MP asked the minister to say how many complains of mistreatment in prison were received since August 2, 2020 – the date when the Coalition exited office, allowing for the PPP/C to take up the role of the executive government.

Minister Benn did not provide a breakdown on which penitentiary the complaints came from and in what numbers. He was, however, asked to provide information on the investigation process for the complaints lodged.

To this end, Benn explained that complaints are made to the Duty Officer who then refers those unresolved to the Officer-in-Charge (OIC).

“This is done on a daily basis. On the formal weekly visit of the OIC, or as necessary, individual concerns are addressed,” Benn said in his written response.

He further explained that during quarterly formal visits and hearings by the Director of Prisons, matters are further reviewed.

“Requests to meet and raise matters with the Prison visiting Committees for interventions are made and accepted, there are also Inmate Complaints Committees, comprised of orderlies, who meet fortnightly with the OIC,” he added.

Minister Benn assured that the Prisoners’ Welfare Officer is constantly available to address prisoners’ concerns.

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