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… Murder listed as the most frequent crime for which inmates were arrestedApproximately 21 per cent of inmates across Guyana’s five prison locations have access to cellphones, while some 2.1 per cent of prisoners have a computer and internet available to them in these same penitentiaries.This is according to “A Study of Inmates in Guyana” 2018 report conducted by representatives of the the Center for Latin American Studies on Crime and Violence (CELIV), UNTREF, Inter-American Development Bank (IADB).Among other things, it was disclosed that 88 per cent of the prisoners have access to television, and 85 per cent have the benefits of books.“…the questionnaire includes a battery of questions about whether inmates had access to different types of entertainment. Findings on this topic are mixed. On the one hand, most inmates had access to television (88.5 per cent) and books (85.7 per cent). On the other hand, only 2.1 per cent of the inmate reported having access to a PC or the Internet, and [21.4 per cent] to a cell phone,” the survey said.The review was conducted anonymously among 748 prisoners attached to the Georgetown Prison, New Amsterdam Prison, Mazaruni Prison, Lusignan Prison, and the Timehri Prison.Just this month, President David Granger had expressed worry over the quality of supervision and security in the prisons.His concern came on the heels of new video evidence- recorded on cell phones- surfacing on social media displaying prisoners attached to the New Amsterdam Prison- who are on remanded for serious offences-  imbibing and in possession of high priced liquor and narcotics.RecidivismThe study also found that the two most frequent crimes for which the inmates were arrested are ‘intentional homicide’ or murder (34.9 per cent) and ‘drug possession or drug dealing’ (21.3 per cent).According to the study while many of the crimes for which offenders were arrested are serious, such as ‘intentional homicide’, only a minority of these inmates wererepeat offenders with a long “ career” in criminality.“Furthermore, almost half of the recidivist inmates had been arrested only oncebefore the current detention. This finding differs from other Latin American nationswhere by, close to 50% of inmates have been sentenced for a crime at least twice and even more” said the study.In terms of due process, the study highlights the need to overview closely the ‘police behaviour.’“Almost four out of ten inmates said they had been hit, or that physical force had been used against them to compel them to testify or to change their statement while at the police station. A clear policy implication emerges from those results: there should be an effective oversight of the police through accountability mechanisms, such as functional complaints or external review mechanisms” the study posited.Moreover, it was outlined that there is a need to develop develop therapeutic and effective oversights of drug offenders.According to the study, “One implication that emerges from comparative analysis of data with other countries indicates that when people who were imprisoned for drug offenses are released, they tend to go back to selling and using drugs. The policy implication is that in order to reduce recidivism effective drug treatments and monitoring of this sub-population is necessary once they are released from prison.” Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedPolice report 60% increase in robbery with violence, larceny from personJune 16, 2017In “Crime”22% increase in robberies – GPF says in latest reportOctober 12, 2018In “Crime”See your incarceration as your opportunity to get right back up – Director of PrisonsDecember 19, 2017In “Crime” read more

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