The Government will be taking a $2.5B supplementary financial paper to the National Assembly next week, with the intention of using $756 Million of that amount for capital projects at two of the country’s prisons.
The financial paper was presented to the National Assembly on Thursday but will be debated at the next sitting which is scheduled for August 3, 2017. The entity requesting the money is the Ministry of Public Security which provided a break-down of how the money will be spent.
According to that Ministry, $69M is needed for the construction of temporary holding facilities at Lusignan Prison holding compound; $46M to clean up the site at the Camp Street Prison; $21M for the refurbishment of the dormitories at the Georgetown Prisons; $144M for the construction of an administrative building at the Camp Street Prison; $62M for security system at that prison; $40M for kitchen and infirmary; $28M for a medical centre; $75M for a solitary block; $62M for general work on the external areas; $18M for the fire suppression system; $10M for plumbing; $8.5M for electrical works; and $19M contingency.
This request became necessary after a devastating fire at the Georgetown Prison at Camp Street on July 9 during a jail break.
That fire demolished all of the wooden buildings in the compound, which accounted for more than 70% of the facility.
Prisoners were then taken to a holding facility next to the Lusignan Prison. However, due to the compound not being equipped with the necessary infrastructure, government was forced to develop a temporary holding area for some of the inmates, while transferring the majority to other prisons around the country.
In the 2017 Budget, government allocated $369M for the expansion of the prison at Mazaruni. Works at that prison have since commenced.