Prison Service launches fund for Roxanne Whinfield

Guyana Chronicle
January 5, 2003

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THE Guyana Prison Service yesterday launched a fund for Prison Officer, Roxanne Whinfield, who was critically wounded during the Mashramani Day jailbreak last year.

The Fund was launched at the Prison Officers Sports Club on Camp Street.

A sum of $320,000 has so far been realised and a certificate authenticating the establishment of the fund was presented by the Director of Prisons, Dale Erskine DSM, to Whinfield’s husband, Mark at the simple launching ceremony.

Assistant Superintendent of Prisons, Ms. Faye Clark explained that the fund was established through the efforts of Ms. Whinfield's colleagues who each made a voluntary contribution of $1, 000.

Ms. Clark noted that the gesture is a small token, but nevertheless demonstrated in a practical way the care and concern by the prison staff for their colleague. They were eager to do something tangible, she said, adding that it is anticipated that the fund would help in a small way to offset Whinfield’s expenses.

Ms. Clark expressed the hope that the gesture would contribute towards psychological and emotional upliftment of Ms. Whinfield who is still in an invalid state.

Mr. Edgar Marshall also made presentations to the family last Sunday on behalf of the Ex-Prison Officers of the US.

Mr. Whinfield told the Chronicle told that he is grateful to the Prison Service for their "kind gesture”, noting that the money will assist in keeping his wife “going”.

He said that her condition has improved slightly, but she is still not able to talk or walk.

In response to how he and his children are coping in such difficult circumstances, Mr. Whinfield said that with time, the children are getting adjusted, but noted that it is a real trying period in their lives.

At a personal level Mr. Whinfield who is employed at the Ministry of Housing in the Community Development Department, pointed out that his training as a Probation Officer has helped him tremendously to cope with the testing circumstances.

"I try to put the training I received into practice. And I do what I would have been advising other persons in similar circumstances," he explained.

Mr. Whinfield also disclosed that his family has been receiving "lots of help from relatives".

"They have been working hard to create some form of happiness for us," he sadly related.

Asked about support from the Government since the very unfortunate incident, Mr. Whinfield said he has been getting a "tremendous response". He explained that all the support from the Government is being channelled through the Prison Service.

Thirty-six-year old Whinfield was critically wounded after being shot in the head during a daring jailbreak on Saturday, February 23, 2002. The escapees also shot dead her colleague, Troy Williams.

Dr. Richard Span, a Trinidadian neurosurgeon, who performed life-saving surgery On Whinfield in March last year, had diagnosed severe brain injury, stating that the bullet had entered her right cheek and exited through the left ear.

Meanwhile, at the same ceremony, the Prison Officers who were adjudged the Best Officers for last year were honoured. Ms. Dawn Jordan was declared the Best Officer, while Mr. John Rodney was the runner-up. A special presentation was also made to Cadet Officer, Cort Corbin for his outstanding performance.

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