Construction of additional cells at Camp Street Prison recommences

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The Camp Street prison

The construction of additional cells at the Camp Street Prison has recommenced. This was disclosed by Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels during an interview with the Department of Public Information (DPI).

The works started just over a week ago. Upon completion, the cells will house approximately 180 prisoners – a move which will address the overcrowding at the various prisons.

Samuels noted that while work has recommenced on the Camp Street Prison this is not the case, over at the Mazaruni Prison. “Mazaruni has been given approval but they are still finalizing some fine details,” he stated. The completion of the first phase of the Mazaruni Prison will see some 200 prisoners being housed in the facility.

The Director of Prisons highlighted that overcrowding at the prisons has “gotten worse since the burning of the (Lusignan) Prison”. “We are working on some additional space for persons who are admitted from the court.”

He said that Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn has made some proposals for incoming inmates.

“The Minister is proposing building additional holding facilities but we are looking specifically at an isolation unit for persons being admitted from the court. We have some housing units that we are using right now, so we are trying to get some more of that,” the Prisons Director stated.

Taking COVID-19 into consideration, the Prisons Director said that all precautionary measures by the Ministry of Health are being strictly followed.

A total of 284 prisoners were displaced due to the recent fire at the Lusignan Prison. While some were relocated to other penitentiaries across the country, 156 were placed at the holding bay at Lusignan. [Extracted and Modified from DPI]