The Cabinet has been briefed, following the recent prison escape and unrest at the Lusignan Prison’s Holding Bay. During a post-Cabinet press briefing today, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon said Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan also engaged a technical team of former prison officials and security stakeholders to chart a way forward. It is Governmnet’s hope that this will aid efforts to prevent a repeat of similar occurrences.
According to DPI, Minister Harmon added that the Director of Prisons (ag), Gladwin Samuels was given “clear directions to address any operational issues, on-site”. These operational issues or challenges include addressing the provision of an adequate supply of water, washroom facilities and the overall treatment of prisoners by ranks stationed at the various prison locations. Several strategic measures will also be implemented; these include higher levels of security and supervision by more Joint Services ranks, and increased electronic monitoring and surveillance, DPI said.
Minister Harmon reiterated that the prisons at Lusignan and Timehri were designed to be temporary holding facilities and not “Hard/Strengthened Prisons”. The Mazaruni and Camp Street Prisons are currently being rehabilitated; when complete, inmates will be relocated to ease overcrowding at other facilities.
The Public Security Minister and the prison administrators have come under severe fire over the past few months over the poor managemnet of the prison system.
Earlier today, twenty-three-year-old murder accused Travis Evans, who, on October 15 2018 escaped from the Lusignan Prison, was recaptured in Linden. The escapee was apprehended at around 07:45h by ranks of the Joint Services who received a tip-off of his whereabouts.