Laptops, printers gifted to Prison Service for inmates’ rehab programme

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In efforts to rehabilitate prisoners in Guyana and in preparation for their reintegration into society, equipment for Information Technology Labs was gifted to prisons across the country on Monday.

During a handing over ceremony held at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, Attorney General Anil Nandlall presented Information Technology equipment valued over US$150,000 to the Director of Prisons (ag) Nicklon Elliot and Head of the Prisons’ Welfare and Corrections Department Marielle Bristol-Grant.

The Attorney General said the equipment purchase was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) for the Prison Education Programme. He explained that this project aims to train prisoners and provide them with the skills necessary to reduce recidivism.

“The prison service is a central part of the criminal justice system and the way that things are evolving there is a movement away from punitive sanctions and there is a concentration more now on rehabilitation of the judicial system as well as concepts such as restorative justice,” the Attorney General said.

Further, Nandlall explained that facilities and equipment for prisoners to be reformed are paramount for such programmes to be successful.

With the Lusignan prison currently under construction, the Guyana Prison Service on Monday received air conditioning units, 100 desktop computers, ten laptops, four routers, four LaserJet printers and five projectors screens for the New Amsterdam, Timehri, Lusignan and Mazaruni prisons.

As you are aware we are responsible for ensuring those persons are equipped with the necessary skills and tools to make them marketable on their release from prison,” Elliot said.

Elliott also said that over 1,400 prisoners benefitted from the programme last year. He added, “This year we are seeking to ensure that all categories of prisoners are exposed to various types of training programmes under our care.”

The prison service is trying to ensure that all prisoners are skilled in areas that will be beneficial to them upon release and reintegration into society.

According to the AG, assistance to reduce the prison population has been ongoing with the amendment of legislation to remove some of the archaic offences and laws.

The removal of custodial sentences on marijuana and small quantities of cocaine, the exploration of sentences alternative to custodial sentences, the abolition of preliminary inquiries in criminal trials amendments to the plea bargaining legislation, among other things are part of the legislative component that targets the overcrowding at prisons and the rehabilitation of prisoners.

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1 Comment
  1. Patricia Pierre says

    This is a great initiative for the inmates. There are those who are intelligent enough to grasp the opportunity to further their knowledge on the use of the computer.

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