Contract signed for major prison survey

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The University of Guyana (UG) will be conducting a survey in the prisons and lockups across Guyana with the aim of developing a rehabilitation and reintegration model for ex-offenders. On Wednesday, Project Manager of the Citizen Security Strengthening Programme (CSSP) Clement Henry and UG Vice Chancellor (VC), Academic Engagement Dr Michael Scott signed contracts for the study.

The survey is being facilitated by the Ministry of Public Security’s CSSP.

Beginning January month end, the six-month research is expected to support the overall prison system reform. Henry cautioned the University to ensure that ethic principles are followed when conducting the survey. “The client must also be informed that all data will be kept confidential being only accepted by members of the study team,” Henry said.

The University’s VC, Dr Scott, guaranteed that every researcher is ethical in the conduct of their work. Faculty staff, from both Turkeyen and Tain campuses, includes medical personnel, legal personnel, mathematicians, criminologist and social workers are going to comprise the core team leading the survey. “The persons who’ll be engaged in this exercise are very seasoned researchers and consultants and have had experiences working with international organisations,” Dr Scott, who will have oversight responsibility for the survey, assured.

The exploratory survey will provide ground-breaking data for the research. Dr Scott said that some 30 students from the University will be trained in data collection to assist the team in conducting the survey.

The University has sought the assistance of Tres de Febrero University of Argentina with the drafting of the survey. “We recognise that our situation is quite different and so we have made our inputs into the instrument insofar as it reflects our context,” Dr Scott explained. The Argentine university has extensive experience in conducting prison surveys in the hemisphere.

The survey is part of Component Three of the CSSP, which seeks to: finance sustainable re-entry initiative by assessing rehabilitation and reintegration needs across the prison system, develop a rehabilitation and reintegration model based on the needs assessments and the outputs of the survey, develop a case management programme to support and track inmate progress and offer training to Guyana Prison Service (GPS) staff on delivering rehabilitation and reintegration services.

CSSP is a five-year programme that aims to contribute to a reduction in crime and violence in Guyana, especially in targeted communities and among youths, by increasing their human and social capacity. The specific objectives of the project are to: improve behaviours for non- violent conflict resolution in targeted communities; increase Guyana Police Force’s effectiveness in crime prevention and crime investigation nationally; and improve the Guyana Prison Service’s effectiveness in reducing offender recidivism.

The CSSP is being funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the government. Henry noted that US$74,200 has been allocated for the survey. (GINA)

 

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