In an effort to curb the levels of corruption within the Guyana Prison system, Director of Prisons Gladwin Samuels has announced a monetary incentive for Prison officers who come forward with information that can result in the prosecution of officers found complicit in illegalities.
Samuels had lamented on the struggles authorities face in detecting and weeding out corrupt officers from within the system. He had pointed out that despite efforts to rid the prison facilities of contraband, exercises such as raids create the demand for more illicit items, which some officers take advantage of and capitalise on.
Moreover, he noted that while several methods are there to gather intelligence in the prison environment, these efforts are hindered by the practice of officers who witness or are aware of such acts by their colleagues but choose to remain mum instead of reporting to higher authorities.
This, the Prisons Director said, has made it difficult for authorities to identify the rogue officers.
“Many persons have not been forthcoming with information they are privy to and so these [corrupt] persons are not known… The fact that you cannot link it to so specific time, it is difficult to sanction persons who are on duty because sometimes when you discover these items, it could be days that they’re in the prison already and so to just go and bring charges against the persons who were on duty during that entire period might not be in the best interest of the service,” Samuels had asserted.
To address this issue, the Prisons Director posited on Monday, that “The Ministry of Public Security and the Guyana Prison Service would like to see officers speak out on corruption at all levels. As such, Officers are encouraged to help in this fight. For all those officers who come forward with details that can result to detection and prosecution, they will be given an incentive of between $15,000 to 25,000.”
Outlining his commitment to making the Prison organization a purpose driven one, Samuels also said that “the sanitization of the Prison System requires all officers to be committed to the move.”
Only recently four prison officers were arrested, after they reportedly smuggled contraband into the Lusignan Prison.