Suriname, St Lucia participate in Prisons Service Annual Officers Conference

The Guyana Prison Service will be working with their counterparts from St Lucia and Suriname to have exchange programmes that will benefit the prison systems in the countries involved thereby enhancing the capabilities of the prison systems to deal with the common issues among them.

Director of Prison Nicklon Elliot who spoke with the Department of Public Information (DPI), on Saturday on the sidelines of the Annual Officers Conference, noted that for the first time the heads of the Prison Service from St Lucia and Suriname were present while other heads from the region attended virtually.

From Left :Christ Felix-Assistant Director For Administration-St Lucia,Nicklon Elliot Director of Prisons-Guyana and Joyce Pane-Aflfaisi Commissioner of Prisons-Suriname

“We are reviewing all of the challenges with regards to case studies, looking at the best practices, [and[ how to address those challenges we face. With regards to,  following and adhering to SOPs, we are looking at what needs to be developed more, looking at the issue of esescapes and how we can further prevent something like those incidents from happening,” he stated.

The different managerial and leadership techniques were also covered as well as approaches in the prison system to make it more effective.

He noted that the conference brought synergy among the senior officers.

“Letting them understand at the policy level what they are required to do and how the issue of professionalism and integrity affects their performance so it gives them an opportunity to have an introspection with regards to their own performance and the performance of the organization,” he stated.

He noted that training of inmates, and rehabilitation opportunities are indicators.

“For the year 2023, we would have trained a number of inmates in various skilled areas this in itself would have provided them with the necessary coping skills to help them effectively manage themselves while in prison, and give them the additional coping skills to prevent them from reoffending” he stated.

He stated that because of these training offered, there has been a significant reduction in prisoner-to-prisoner violence in the institution.

The director added that the conference falls in line with greater efforts by Heads of Governments and Police Forces in the region to improve security.

“This goes a very far way whereby we could have a greater interaction, looking at the best practices with regards to management of prisons in the correctional setting”

Acting Chief Commissioner of Prisons in Suriname Joyce Pane said she is grateful to be invited and applauds the Guyana Prison System for the Infrastructural developments and the efforts made by the senior officers to improve the system.

“Its an advantage to be here, one of the things we will do is to work together, we already make some agreements to facilitate each other, to exchange with each other so we can learn from each other.

You are not in the prison system just to work, you are in the prison system to help Guide, coach the one that make some steps that isn’t so good in the community, that you want to change them, and if you want to do that you have to work together, not only in your country, but look overseas, look at your neighboring countries,” she stated.

Meanwhile, St Lucia’s Christ Felix also welcomed the opportunity to participate.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity. I have seen how the team work for Mr Elliot and his senior officers, the synergy right there you cannot do it all alone, you need that team work to get it done and I can see that he has good control and order,” he stated.

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