See the full statement from the Guyana Prison Service below:
Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn on Monday reminded Prison Officers stationed at the Prison Headquarters of the important role they play in maintaining law and order.
In delivering the charge to the officers at the Director of Prisons’ quarterly muster and general inspection of officers, Minister Benn called on them to balance security and control with humanity and justice in the execution of their duties.
“We must remind ourselves of the mission of the Guyana Prison Service which is to ensure that the prisoners you keep remain in custody and that there are no break outs and things of that nature, maintaining order, control, discipline and a safe environment for yourself and prisoners is important because when you do that, you are maintaining a safer environment for the entire country, and when you do that, there are benefits … it has very far reaching effects,” the Minister said.
Acknowledging the number of resources available, the Minister encouraged the Prison Officers to play a meaningful role in helping to reform prisoners and preparing them for return to their communities as positive contributors to the development of society.
Meanwhile, Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot urged the officers to adopt methods to execute their duties with more expertise, accountability, and change.
Mr. Elliot stressed that there is a need to review the current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) practised in prisons, which contributed towards some failures of recent.
Under the theme, ‘Promoting Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Prisoners’, Elliot stated that the Prison Service has a duty to give inmates the skills necessary to make it easier for them to reintegrate into society.
He further explained that an aim of the prison is to assist the inmates in realizing their errors and improving themselves as people.
Acting Deputy Director of Prisons and Head of the Staff Training Department, Kevin Pilgrim, emphasised the necessity for careful selection and thorough training, which are key for the crucial public service as prison staff.
To date some 309 Prison Officers completed 65 courses during the first half of 2023.
The ranks were trained by internal and external facilitators, and among the completed courses were: Prison Management, Human Rights and Supervisory Management.
Mr. Pilgrim said “Based on the current budgetary allocations for training, same has been utilised to ensure that staff are exposed to not only institutional training but at the technical level so that they can offer more support and guidance to prisoners.”
Additionally, 250 ranks have been identified for further training for the second half of the year.