At a time where smuggling of contraband has peaked to its highest in recent days, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan has given his word to increase the salaries of prison officers, in an effort to stamp out corruption in the prisons.The Minister gave this applauded assurance at a recent ceremony at the heels of comments emanating from the Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels. According to Samuels, prison officers are being disrespected.“For too long the prison officers have not been given the respect they deserve, while the present remuneration package which can do with some improvement, honourable Minister, I thank Almighty God daily for all the good purpose-driven officers in our midst who continue to work against all odds,” he said.When Minister Ramjattan took to the podium, he said he will make sure the issue of a proper remuneration for prison officers is raised with his fellow lawmakers in Parliament.“There is a lobby, yes we can do with a little bit more salaries, that’s a big lobby and I will behave like a politician here and say ‘yes I promise that will be done’. I must say that it’s (the prison service) probably the most difficult of jobs, especially in the context of salaries that you get. It is difficult…and rest assured, I will, I as Minister am going to make the lobby at the relevant places, Office of the Presidency and especially Minister of Finance, that we have a better day,” he said.His statements come at a time where only recently, the PSC raised concerns about the low wages being received by not only prison officers, but Police Officers in Guyana.According to that body, the low income being received by these Government workers, contributes to them participating in illicit acts to earn an extra dollar.It was recently reported that some 28 prison officers were dismissed after being involved in the smuggling of contraband at the various prisons. A number of illegal weapons and substances have been discovered in recent days.
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