Newly accredited Deputy British High Commissioner to Guyana, Judy Kpogho, was impressed with the modern correctional-prison facilities at Mazaruni but even more by the Guyana Prison Service’s prison reintegration programme.
Kpogho visited the location on Wednesday and was accompanied by Director of Public Prosecutions Shalimar Ali-Hack, Deputy Director of Prisons Kevin Pilgrim, Regional Commander of Region 7 Dion Moore, along with other officials from the Guyana Prison Service and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
“I am totally impressed with this facility. It will definitely improve overall security amongst prisoners and officers. You have to create a good living condition for prisoners and at the same time enable them to learn skills that would help them once they have completed their terms,” the Deputy British High Commissioner said.
The first phase of the $4 billion expansion of the Mazaruni Prison has been completed. The expansion will accommodate 220 prisoners and help alleviate overcrowding at the other prisons across the country. The new wing is expected to be in operation soon.
Further, Kpogho says she is encouraged by the comprehensive suite of programmes offered by the Guyana Prison Service for the rehabilitation of inmates.
“The inmates who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, we want to make sure that we give them an opportunity to learn from whatever wrongs they may have done, so I was very impressed with the work I saw to help prisoners to prepare for life back in the community. The staff and the prisoners themselves demonstrated their dedication and commitment to improve inmates’ chances of leading a positive and fulfilling life when they leave custody,” Kpogho reckoned.
Over the years, the GPS has focused on programmes such as education, vocational training, life skills, and the inmates’ overall mental and therapeutic development.
In addition, Pilgrim described the new prison block as being very modern and incorporating respect for human rights as it adopted innovative approaches to treating prisoners.
Meanwhile, works on Phase 2 of the expansion have commenced, while the Mazaruni Estate was also amplified by a much-needed road network linking each section of the vast Prison Estate.
A Water Purification System required to supply water to the Phase 1 and 2 wings was also erected.