CAMP STREET WAS A TRAGEDY WAITING TO HAPPEN


There are approximately 2,000 prisoners in the five facilities in Georgetown, New Amsterdam, Mazaruni, Lusignan and Timehri. Of these 35 percent is on remand awaiting trial. The Georgetown Prison at Camp Street was designed to accommodate 600 prisoners but held in the vicinity 1,000. Violent incidents or escapes have occurred in Georgetown, New Amsterdam and Mazaruni in the past. There was always a great fear among those responsible for security that Camp Street could explode at any time. The problem of overcrowding was well known.

The recent studies and reports are as follows: Read more

MERCY MUST BE TEMPERED WITH JUSTICE


The Advisory Committee, recently appointed by the President, has constitutional responsibility only in relation to persons who have been sentenced to death. But article 190 of the Constitution, which provides for its functions, omits to state what exactly in relation to the sentence of death the Advisory Council is to advise on, even though as a matter of practice it is known that the Advisory Council advises on the commuting of death sentences.

In article 188 the President is given extensive powers in relation to prisoners. After consultation with the Minister, the President may grant to any convicted prisoner a free or conditional pardon, an indefinite respite or for a prescribed period, a less severe form of punishment or a remission of the whole or part of a punishment.

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