Government today (April 27, 2017) announced the award of two multi-million dollar contracts aimed at upgrading and expanding the facilities at the Mazaruni Prisons in Region Eight.
The announcement was made by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, who was at the time providing a post Cabinet briefing following its meet on Tuesday last.
The cumulative value of the contracts, is some GYD$60M and was awarded to R Kissoon Contracting Services Limited and A Nazir and Sons Contracting.
According to Minister Harmon, a GYD$28.1M contract was handed to A Nazir and Sons Contracting for the rehabilitation of the living quarters at the facility, while R. Kissoon Contracting Services Limited was awarded a GYD$30.4M contract.
Grilled on the specifics of the expansion of the Mazaruni Prisons, Minister Harmon reported that while he did not have the details, the general thrust of the first phase of the works entails a significant amount of rehabilitative works.
The Mazaruni Prisons sits on a 20 acre plot of real estate, according to Minister Harmon, as he explained that the facility caters for living accommodations for Prison Officers, as well as for the incarceration of inmates in addition to lands that has been set aside for agricultural works.
He said the works will also include the fencing of the 20 acre property. According to Minister Harmon, it is government’s intention to re-locate several of the prisoners housed at the Camp Street penitentiary to the Mazaruni location. “The intention basically is to move some of the long term prisoners from Georgetown and take them to Mazaruni,” Minister Harmon explained.
According to the State Minister, despite persons being incarcerated, they are still citizens and as such certain basic accommodations and amenities must been provided. “We are trying to make better accommodations in keeping with standards around the world,” he said.
Minister Harmon also used the occasion to recall that Head of State, President David Granger, had led a delegation to the Mazaruni Prisons last year and “recognized we need to do a little better.”
He spoke of plans too, to have the facility become more self sufficient with regards its dietary supplies and pointed to the agricultural lands at the prisons that can be used to supplement the facility.