Notably, the Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels has said was a “distraction” for the jailbreak and some eight inmates are currently on the run, six of whom have been identified by authorities.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, contends that government’s four-part emergency response plan, specifically the move to “immediately reduce the prison population” is worsening the “moral hazard” government created with its actions after the March 2016 prison riots – where fire was set to sections of the Camp Street Prison and resulted in the death of 17 inmates.
At a news conference, yesterday, Jagdeo recalled that the government was warned about its actions after March 2016, as it relates to the fact that after the prisoners set fire to the City jail they secured a meeting with a member of the Executive. “They created a moral hazard there…where does it end?” he questioned, noting that prisoners have been give the impression that if they resort to riotous actions their demands will be met.
“In the long term, their actions will affect us,” he said.
The move to release prisoners early, he charged is compounding the “moral hazard” problem that was created last year. According to him, if government was intent on addressing sentencing policies to reduce prison population, this should have been not before, not as a response to the fire and jailbreak of Sunday.
Jagdeo said, “We have to be extremely cautious about our approach [with the release of prisoners] and not sow the seed for another crisis in the future.”
Additionally, government remains unresponsive to the calls from the Private Sector Commission (PSC) for it to “fully the identities of persons being granted bail and those being released in any way together with histories” and other information. The PSC has also stressed the need for the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to monitor wherever possible these persons.