New $1.4 billion prison facilities: Over 680 prisoners moved from Lusignan holding bay
Some 689 prisoners who were previously housed in the Holding Bay area of the Lusignan Prison, East Coast Demerara were recently relocated to new structures, addressing the long-standing issue of overcrowding in the prison facility.
Director of Prisons (ag), Nicklon Elliot, had a firsthand look at the new structures on Monday.
“The issue of overcrowding is no longer the question of the day.
“Those prisoners who were housed at the Lusignan Holding Bay section are no longer housed there and this is due to the completion of the three facilities at Lusignan,” Elliot told reporters.
This, he said is a testimony of the government’s commitment to the welfare and accommodation of prisoners.
And to ensure no reoccurrence, the three modern facilities which were constructed to the tune of $1.4B, were built with a fire suppressant system and smoke detectors in every cell.
“The building is designed with a fire suppression system so in the event of a fire we could activate that.
“There are smoke detectors in each of the cells. So, what would happen in the event of a prisoner smoking (is) that will go off and it would also send off an alarm in the control room where the officers are,” Deoraj Gyandat, Officer-in-charge of the Lusignan prison said.
“The cells are well secured along the catwalks around it…we have persons in the respective towers, which is with the Police and Prison officers at day and in night, to aid in that (security) process,” he added.
Apart from being able to better segregate inmates and providing improved conditions, the new structures will also contribute to the rehabilitation of prisoners to reintegrate them into society.
“In accordance to the first goal of the Guyana Prison Service strategic plan, which is to modernize and secure prison infrastructure, the construction that is ongoing at the new earmark location is making us capable of achieving all of our goals and putting the Guyana Prison Service in a very unique position to provide correction to the inmates that are occupying that facility and all the law offenders that will be in the care of the Guyana Prison Service,” Head of the GPS Strategic Management Unit, Rae-dawn Corbin said.
Currently, the Lusignan prison houses remanded and convicted prisoners for offences varying from murder to simple larceny.
Three other structures are currently being constructed and upon completion it will accommodate another 500 inmates.
The holding bay area of the Lusignan prison will be transformed into a trade shop allowing prisoners to benefit from vocational training in areas such as tailoring, auto mechanic and joinery.
Works are expected to commence this week.