Government, in an effort to address the long-term needs of the security sector, has allocated some $30.7 billion to implement several initiatives.
Minister of Finance Winston Jordan announced the multi-billion allocation during his presentation of the 2018 National Budget on Monday.
The prison riot in July of this year, which had virtually flattened the Camp Street location, had forced the government to undertake a comprehensive examination of the security sector.
Of the $30.7B allocated to the sector, the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) will receive approximately $1.5B to address the expansion and rehabilitation of the prison infrastructure. This work will include the expansion of the Mazaruni Prison to accommodate 400 inmates, or 61 percent more than its current capacity.
In addition, work on the construction of a new Georgetown Prison is likely to begin in the new year. Over $150M has also been allocated to purchase surveillance equipment, body scanners, and beds, among other items. Provisions have been made for the strengthening of the Prison Service capacity for case management, as well as rehabilitation and reintegration.
According to Minister Jordan, $1.8 billion has been provided to cater for the Prison Service ‘s operational costs, a 4.6 percent increase over Budget 2017.
Back in July of this year a fire allegedly started by death row inmate Royden “Smallie” Williams, destroyed the main holding areas of the Prison. The devastation caused by the massive inferno saw inmates being transferred to other holding areas including the Lusignan, Timehri and Mazaruni Prisons.