Ministry still mulling recommendations on delinquent officers
August 12, 2002
The Ministry of Home Affairs is still considering how to deal with the recommendations of the Kennard Report into the Camp Street jail-break that called for early retirement for a number of senior prison officers and reassignment of others.
These officers were on duty on February 23, when five dangerous criminals escaped from the Camp Street prisons.
The five criminals who are still on the loose are Troy Dick, Mark Fraser, Andrew Douglas, Sean Brown and Dale Moore. During their escape the five killed one prison officer and seriously injured another as well as hijacked two cars in separate incidents after leaving the prison.
Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj told Stabroek News that the officers censured in the report are still on the job. However, he said that they are not in the same positions they held before they were sent off on leave last month to allow the ministry to conduct a departmental inquiry.
Gajraj said that the officers have been assigned other duties in the Prison Service while consideration was being given to implementing the Kennard recommendations in a manner that does not impact negatively on the service’s ability to discharge its responsibilities.
Sources close to the Prison Service have told Stabroek News that it is not easy to replace officers with the seniority of the censured officers because of the experience and expertise they built up over the years in the custodial, rehabilitative and security aspects of the work.
The Kennard Report on the Mash Day prison break said that the senior officers on duty as well as the Director of Prisons were responsible for a number of lapses which compromised the security of the prisons and helped to create conditions that made the breakout possible.
The Report said that the Director of Prisons who had cautioned the officers about the need for them to be alert should be censured for not following through to ensure that his caution had been heeded and the appropriate steps taken.
As a result the report recommended that the two most senior officers at the Camp Street jail be removed from their posts as they were unsuited to hold them and two others be considered for early retirement.
Since the Mash Day breakout the country - especially Georgetown and its environs - has witnessed an escalation of serious and violent crime.