Prison official concerned about high levels of contraband items in system

The Guyana Prison Service has noted that over the past few weeks, despite regular searches, the Prisons authorites continues to unearth various forms of contraband including cellular phones, marijuana and local wine, and these are the minor items, which have made their way into our prisons. Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels calls this situation a cause for concern.

“Make no mistake about it, our security is at risk when we allow these items in. Taking into account the quantity of these prohibited items and the locations where some of the items are discovered it stretches the imagination that these items got into the prison only being trafficked by prisoners using their bodies to conceal same,” he said.

Trafficking in contraband at all locations is a matter of grave concern, but at the Mazaruni Prison, which is a maximum security prison it is worst because of the extent of the collusion that is needed for many contraband items to get into the prison. The director is calling on prison officers to not put their fellow officers at risk by allowing contraband items to make its way into the system.

The Chief Prisoner Officer noted that If the prisoners are bringing the items in the system, then the quality of the searches conducted is poor, so the items are not detected.

He also noted that Some persons may be bringing the items in because of sympathy while Some persons are being paid to allow the items into the prisons..

If the prohibited items are being brought by staff, then the sentries at the checkpoints are compromised or they are being paid to allow the items to get in, he ascertained.

“We cannot allow this to continue for a few dollars more in the pockets of a few, criminal acts are committed that bring into question the integrity of all of us in the prison service, and can result in loss of an honest job and put fellow officers at risk,” he said.

He stated via a press release, that getting rid of contraband items cannot be a single fight but a collective effort.

Samules also noted that the well-established syndicate may think that they are safe and secure but they cannot be allowed to continue. “We will continue our searches, and those found to be colluding in trafficking contraband will have to answer to the law,” he stated.


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