Phase 2 of Mazaruni Prison works nearing completion
In an impromptu visit to the Mazaruni Prison Complex yesterday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Mr. Andre Ally, received a comprehensive overview of the facility’s ongoing developments and innovative initiatives.
Mr. Ally, accompanied by the Deputy Director of Prisons, Mr. Kevin Pilgrim, the Head of Strategic Management Department of the Guyana Prison Service, Mrs. Rae-Dawn Corbin, and facilitated by the Officer in Charge, Mr. Calton Cameron, was able to immerse himself in a comprehensive walkthrough, delving into the operational dynamics and ongoing projects at the facility.
During his visit, the Permanent Secretary was taken through a detailed exploration of the Prison facility, wherein he was thoroughly briefed on the status of ongoing projects. These projects encompass a diverse range of initiatives designed to enhance the infrastructure, living conditions, and overall functionality of the prison.
The visit showcased a glimpse of the strides being made in the construction and renovation endeavours at the facility.
Notably, PS Ally was informed that the construction of Mazaruni Prison Phase II, a pivotal project aimed at enhancing the correctional infrastructure, has reached 75 percent completion with an estimated cost of over G$700 million. Upon its finalisation, this facility will aid in the minimization of overcrowding while meeting international standards.
Moreover, the extension of ten living quarters dedicated to the prison officers, valued at over G$89 million and currently standing at an advanced 95 percent completion, aims to significantly improve the residential facilities for the staff, thereby ensuring an optimised working environment.
The construction of the Phase II fence is currently at 95 percent completion at a cost of over G$66 million. This project is a significant step towards fortifying the security infrastructure of the prison, ensuring a safe and controlled environment within the premises.
Additionally, the impromptu visit shed light on the evolving boundary fence and watchtower construction, currently at 50 percent completion, and the commencement of the officers’ mess reconstruction, designed to provide recreational space for both senior and junior officers, which will be expended at a cost of over $57 million and is currently at 5 percent completion. Noteworthy was the ongoing rehabilitation of the administrative building, which is a colonial building, which stands at 78 percent completion.
Mr. Ally’s engagement didn’t solely focus on infrastructure but also encapsulated the essence of rehabilitation initiatives. He was given a detailed tour of the Phase 1 prison, showcasing an exemplary model facility within the compound. Furthermore, Mr. Ally witnessed firsthand the innovative programme engaging prisoners in learning practical skills, such as constructing a speedboat. Led by workshop instructor Mr. Benn and an inmate, this vocational training represents a transformative approach towards prisoner rehabilitation.
The visit not only highlighted the progress of infrastructure but also underscored the prison’s commitment to rehabilitation and skill development, aiming to provide inmates with opportunities for productive reintegration into society. This will aid in minimising recidivism and encapsulating Minister Benn’s Fresh Start initiative.
The Permanent Secretary’s visit concluded with a positive outlook, emphasising the strides made by the Prison administration, not just in construction but in fostering innovative programmes contributing to the rehabilitation and skill enhancement of inmates.
The visit was a testament to the Ministry’s dedication, through the Government of Guyana, to modernising correctional facilities and implementing programmes aimed at transforming the lives of inmates. As the inspection concluded, Mr. Ally expressed his appreciation for the work being done and reiterated the Ministry’s commitment to supporting these vital initiatives, signifying a promising future for the inmates and, by extension, Guyana.