INMATES within the Guyana prison system will now be able to stay connected to their friends and families, as over 30 phones have been installed within local prisons by Barbados-based communications company, Corrections Communications.
Corrections Communications provides innovative communications solutions in prison settings across the Caribbean. The company designs, installs and maintains communication and media services, at no cost to the prison and correctional services, or the average Guyanese taxpayer.
The company has collaborated with Mobile Money Guyana (MMG+), and the Guyana Prison Service to provide convenient ways for family and friends to top up their relatives’ phone credit accounts in prison.
So far, in excess of 30 phones have been installed at the Timehri Prison, while the installation of some 50 are underway at the New Amsterdam prison. The system that has been installed will allow prisoners to maintain meaningful contact with their family and friends during their time in prison.
Corrections Communications has indicated that it will work in the coming months to install more phones at other prisons across Guyana. Since the collaboration, MMG+ has on-boarded the communications company as a new biller within its app, in order to allow persons to purchase credit for their relatives and friends in prison. Inmates will have accounts set up to facilitate their making calls to pre-approved numbers.
Speaking on the project, General Manager of MMG+, Bobita Ram, described it as a “unique medium”, which allows persons to stay connected with their relatives and friends, while in prison.
“I guarantee that the MMG+ service will provide absolute convenience to both parties, since sending funds to the account can be done within mere seconds from a mobile device or an MMG+ agent anywhere in the country,” she said.
Corrections Communications’ Caribbean Manager, Ed Wozniak, in speaking on the system becoming live at Timehri prison, highlighted his company’s expertise in providing the innovative communications solution within the local prisons.
“Our company was founded by prison professionals with many, many years of experience working in the field. We are committed to working with prisons to provide communication solutions that will allow prisoners to maintain their ties with family and friends. We believe this is beneficial for the prisoners and their families and for the development of a safer society,” he related.
He further noted that communication with persons from the outside world should no longer be considered a privilege, as it is an essential element in supporting prisoner rehabilitation, reducing stress and maintaining good order in the prison.
“Allowing prisoners to have access to telephones is no longer a privilege…. It is an essential element and research across the world has shown convincingly that successful reintegration reduces subsequent re-offending and this will lead to a safer Guyana. This system will allow prisoners an easy and affordable means to connect with their families and friends,” Wozniak said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot lauded the two companies for collaborating with the local prisons to provide such a fitting solution for the benefit of all.
He expressed his hope that the new communications system being installed will reduce the number of illegal phones found within local prisons.
“We are delighted to have this new system implemented in our prisons, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe this will reduce the number of persons visiting the prisons daily to connect with their relatives.
“Over time, we have seized a number of illegal phones within the system as many of the prisoners tried to communicate with their families, so we look forward to that number being reduced and to this organised system and all it has to offer,” Elliot said.
Persons interested in utilising the service can access more information via the Corrections Communications website http://advanced-com.com/.