‘Significant’ reduction in prison-to-prison violence – Prisons Director


For the year 2023, more than 1,500 inmates were trained in various technical and vocational skills offered by the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) and according to Director of Prisons (ag), Nicklon Elliot this has resulted in a significant reduction in prison-to-prison violence.

“I must say because of the increase training opportunities, prison-to-prison violence within the prison have significantly reduced,” Elliot said on Thursday while delivering remarks at the opening ceremony of the GPS annual officers’ conference.

Prison-to prison violence are incidents which involve inmate-on-inmate, staff-on-inmate or inmate-on-staff.

Currently, the Prison Service offers a total of 22 rehabilitation and training programmes.

Training is offered at each of the seven prison locations in areas such as literacy and numeracy, anger management, conflict management, carpentry, welding, information technology and agriculture.

Director of Prisons (ag), Nicklon Elliot

Noting that the initiative will continue, Elliot said two vocational schools were built at the Lusignan Prison and Timehri Prison and will be equipped with the necessary tools to enable prisoners to undergo further training.

Additionally, two trade shops are currently under construction at Lusignan and New Amsterdam Prisons to provide more training opportunities for inmates.

Training is geared at ensuring that there is a smooth reintegration of inmates into society following their release from prison.

“The prison administration will continue to create opportunities for staff improvement, rehabilitation of inmates, thus paving the way for a successful integration of those persons and to reduce the likelihood of reoffending and also to address the issue of stigma and discrimination to this type of population,” Elliot said.

Over time, these has been several violent incidents in the prisons, which would often times result in injuries or sometimes death.

To prevent the escalation of incidents, Elliot said there are several mechanisms in place in which complaints from prisoners can be addressed.

These include weekly meetings with inmates by the officer-in-charge of each prison and daily visits by a welfare officer to each prison facility.

Additionally, Elliot said he is required to visit all prison locations quarterly and in some instances, if requests are made before, to address concerns of prisoners.

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