‘Special Response Team’ to handle any future prison riots

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Any case of misconduct that may arise in the future at the Camp Street Prison in Georgetown will be handled by a special unit called the “Special Response Team” that will also boost the capacity of the Guyana Prison Service (GPS).

Minister Khemraj Ramjattan
Minister Khemraj Ramjattan

This is according to Public Security Minister, Khemraj Ramjattan, who noted that the Special Response Team will not be dependent on the Guyana Police Force (GPF) since it will comprise of highly trained ranks that would be able to “make better judgment calls” and be prepared to enforce discipline among inmates.

He told members of the media that, at present, the training of Guyana’s prison officers is “not of the best” and in light of this it is now mandatory that all recruits in the GPS undergo training at the GPF’s training schools.

“It is not enough, they need lots more training and we want better recruits and so on,” the Public Security Minister stated in relation to the present training programme for prison officers.

INews understands that additionally, the Government is deliberating on methods so as to improve the salaries and conditions of work at the GPS with the aim of attracting and keeping skilled personnel.

“Our prisons are tough places to work and sometime the more quality people do not want to go there,” Minister Ramjattan said.

With regard to the deadly rioting at the Camp Street Prison about three weeks ago, he added that if his administration does not begin investing in better recruits then such disturbances are likely to recur.

“If we don’t start investing in better recruits, their accommodation, their allowances, their salaries and all of that, we might have lots more riots on our hands, which will cost (us) in the long term, lots more,” the Public Security Minister declared. (Kristen Macklingam)

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