By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguayan.com] – Cabinet Secretary Dr. Roger Luncheon says he is unaware of the construction of a ‘youth prison’ or any major restructuring at the New Opportunity Corps (NOC),Onderneeming location.
On Wednesday, APNU Parliamentarian Christopher Jones had expressed fears that the Youth and Culture Ministry may be constructing a Juvenile Prison at the NOC.
A leaked copy of the plan for the construction of a confinement building shows that there will be eight, 9’ X 12’ holding cells constructed.
However, Dr. Luncheon said he was not aware of holding cells to be constructed. He said their discussions surrounded staff and security improvement.
He said thesegregation among inmates was also discussed. He expressed the belief that based on the severity of crimes committed for which a Magistrate would have sent a minor to the NOC as well as gender is being considered when housing the children.
He said too that there will be need special housing for “trouble maker” and “instigators” once identified. He reasoned too that any restructuring would be with the aim of enhancing security.
“We have to remember too that persons are there for crimes that would otherwise require that they spend years in prison had they not been minors.”
Jones recalled that it was the National Assembly that approved funding for the construction of the confinement building during the recently concluded consideration of the 2014 Budget estimates.
However, he said if this document was available at an earlier date, then the allocation would have been withheld.
The APNU MP explained that he would have been happier if there were more counseling rooms being constructed.
The administration recently awarded a tender for the second phase of construction for the building which is a replacement for the dormitory that was burnt during the 2012 unrest.