Inmates will find ways to introduce contraband – Prison Service attorney

first_imgCamp Street SearchBy Shemuel FanfairCounsel representing the Guyana Prison Service (GPS) and Guyana Police Force (GPF) Selwyn Pieters has suggested that prisoners at the Camp Street facility will continue to find “creative ways” to acquire contraband items. These comments came on the heels of Operation Restore Order on Saturday which unearthed a barrage of banned items at the jail, including mobile phones, marijuana and improvised weapons.GPS counsel Selwyn PietersIn a media release, Pieters noted that the operation was “relatively successful” in terms of the extraction of the inmates who were identified as “ringleaders” or for reasons of the “institutional security” that needed to be transferred to other prisons. In the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Camp Street Prison riot, it was revealed that “ring leaders” when extracted are not returned to the division in which they were housed.Pieters also noted that there was some “active resistance and threats” from inmates Treon Douglas and Carl Browne. “Those threats were neutralised very quickly and with minimal use of force.”“It is clear that the prison had to be sanitised of illegal weapons that are in the possession of inmate. It is also clear that the cellphones to the extent that it is possible had to be seized. The nature, scope and variety of… improvised weapons located are a serious cause for concern and adds currency to the concerns that the officers related post March 03, 2016 in respect to the fear for their lives in the yard,” his statement added.As legal counsel representing the prison and police officials, Pieters noted that one of his roles was to ensure the law and Standard Operating Procedures were followed in joint services officers conducting the search.In responding to concerns over the length of time that elapsed between this search and the one in March that contributed the prison riots, Pieters observed that all along the plan was to preserve and protect the lives of officers, inmates and the public.The attorney stressed that the wooden structures of the Georgetown Prison make it “exceedingly difficult” for joint services officers to search.“On March 4, 2016, the inner cordon of the Georgetown Prison was completely taken over by inmates. A lot of weapons, knives, scissors etc may have been obtained on March 04, 2016. Alternatively some may have been missed during the search,” Pieters pointed out.On the sideline of the prison CoI on April 20, Deputy Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels had revealed that contraband was a multimillion-dollar business at the Camp Street prisons.Samuels noted the loss of resale value from seized contraband items from the Camp Street prisons was responsible for the disdain which inmates harbour against him. He had explained that “for the last two years” when he held the post of Officer in Charge, pounds of narcotics had been removed which caused inmates to incur significant losses from the trade.“The record is there to show that I would have removed pounds of marijuana during raids and thousands of packs of cigarettes were found… if you do the mathematics based the resale value in prison, those prisoners would have lost significant amount of cash and all those are reasons why they would not like a person like me around,” the deputy director had expressed. Samuels also pointed out that many inmates manage to “maintain families” and conduct business from behind prison walls.However, inmates in their testimonies maintained that it was Samuels who on March 3 gave the order to lock the prison door at the time of the Camp Street fire. The deputy director had rejected those claims. During the riots of March 3, 17 inmates perished by a fire caused by lit mattresses.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *