…shows lack of investigation to capture ‘bosses’
Most inmates detained in Guyana are usually arrested within a few hours of the crime, according to recently released survey findings.
The report, ‘Study of Inmates in Guyana’, found that almost half of the inmates had been arrested on the same day of their offence.
“Most of these inmates had probably been arrested “red-handed” or in flagrance and not as a result of a thorough criminal investigation,” the report noted.
The report which was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), was handed over to the Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan on Monday. The findings in the report are based on interviews conducted with hundreds of inmates in Guyana’s Prison System.
Based on the report, inmates were asked how long after the crime they were arrested. According to the finding, 19.1% of the inmates said that they had been arrested within one hour after committing the offence, which they were charged with.
Some 10.6% of the inmates told researchers that they were arrested within three hours. Between three hours and one day, the arrest rate was 13.1%.
“In other words, almost half of the inmates, 42.8%, were arrested during the same day of their offence,” the report noted.
Further findings indicate that 23.3% were arrested between one day and a week after the crime for which they were charged; 11.1% between a week and a month after the events, and close to 14% between a month and a year after the commission of the alleged offense.
In summary, half of the inmates were arrested no later than a day after committing the alleged crime, and almost a third of the population arrested within the first three hours.
“This indicates that in many cases there was no investigation but offenders were caught red-handed. For crimes such as theft, drug dealing and other acquisitive crimes, these are usually the foot soldiers of criminal rings, and most likely, not their bosses,” the report stated.
On the other hand (and more worrisome), almost four out of ten inmates said they had been hit, or that physical force had been used against them to compel them to testify or to change their statement while at the police station.
Some results show a relative level of overcrowding in the prisons. Six out of ten inmates said that there were more prisoners in prison than he facility was designed for.
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