Prison situation stable – Public Security Minister

Prison situation stable – Public Security Minister

first_img…wardens seeking counselling – Director of Prisons By Shemuel Fanfair and Joseph AllenPublic Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan said on Monday that with the increased security at the Camp Street jail, the situation has stabilised. The comment came in light of security being beefed up at the prison after 13 of the 15 prison wardens reported sick apparently in response to the increasingly aggressive behaviour of inmates.Ramjattan opined that the deployment of Army and Tactical Services Unit personnel was responsible for the restoration of Guyana Prison Service officers’ confidence.Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan speaking with the media at the Guyana Fire Service on Monday“There is tremendous stability there right now. There are a lot of other things that we have to rectify; we still have to get trials called up,” Ramjattan stated.Towards this end, the Minister posited that he was in communication with the acting Chancellor of the judiciary, Justice Carl Singh, to ascertain when the requisite arrangements for inmates’ trials will commence.“Those [prisoners] that are committed for High Court trials and those who are remanded For Preliminary Inquiries and also at the Magistrate’s level, it is something that we watch constantly, but it appears that there is a settling of the dust,” the Minister expressed.One month has passed since the deadly Camp Street riot in which 17 inmates. Prisoners had set several fires inside the Capital A block of the penitentiary which housed high-profile convicts and hardened inmates awaiting trial. A Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into what transpired and what mechanisms should be put in place to address the situation is currently under way.Several prison wardens who were present during the deadly events and their aftermath have been left with lasting trauma. According to information reaching this publication, signs of recovery for many officers seem very far removed as they continue to suffer from flashbacks of their encounters with the prisoners.When Guyana Times contacted Director of Prisons, Carl Graham for an update on the situation on Monday, he said officers present on that day were given counselling facilitated by the Social Protection Ministry.He noted that the wardens could seek further counselling if they so needed. Graham opined that the prison was getting back to its normal state.On April 14, the wardens who were expected on duty for the day shift reported sick, which led Graham to deploy temporary replacements from the Timehri and Lusignan Prisons. Prison wardens have been expressing fear for their lives as reports of abuses at the hands of prisoners continue to surface almost daily.When he was asked if there was need for permanent measures to secure the jailhouse should the wardens decide to resign, Graham had said that he was confident that such drastic actions would not be taken by the officials. Graham had expressed confidence that none of the 13 prison wardens who had submitted seven-day sick leave certificates would quit the job. He insisted that these officers would return to work when their sick leave period was over.He, however, noted that adequate temporary measures were in place to secure the facility.President David Granger had last week convened an emergency meeting of the National Security Committee at the Ministry of the Presidency to discuss the prison situation. This was in light of reports that drugs and weapons were thrown over the Camp Street prison walls.last_img

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