SURENDRA Sukhdeo, who has been incarcerated at the Camp Street Prison for the last five years, was, on Wednesday, named the winner of the inter-prison essay competition for his piece which focused on, “A person who inspired me.”
According to a press release from the Guyana Prison Service (GPS), the competition which was organised by the Prisons’ Welfare and Corrections Department, saw the submission of 25 essays from four other prison locations.
Second place went to Davernand Dhandari of the New Amsterdam Prison; Gomeshwar Perez of the Timehri Prison was third; Tamira Melville of the New Amsterdam Prison was fourth and Kenneth Griffith of the Camp Street Prison copped the fifth position.
The release added that during the prize-giving ceremony which was held in the Camp Street Prison compound, Sukhdeo disclosed that the achievement was due to the support and encouragement he received from other inmates.
Meanwhile, Officer-in-Charge of Prisons’ Welfare and Corrections, Marielle Bristol-Grant said the competition is a rehabilitative project which is aimed at increasing the reading proficiency of inmates, while also improving their literacy levels in general and facilitating their transition into formal education.
According to the release, she also said that the competition was aimed at facilitating the rehabilitation and reintegration of violent offenders into society and also preventing recidivism.
Additionally, Director of Prisons, Nicklon Elliot in his comments commended the participants and said that the Prison Service will not relent in its commitment to providing a habitable and conducive environment for learning.
He also stated that the infrastructural improvements will only seek to complement the mandate to rehabilitate.
Elliot further stated that discussions are being conducted with several stakeholders in relation to post-release support for inmates to further support the fresh start initiative launched earlier this year, the release added.