Guyana’s President David Granger pardoned five females from the New Amsterdam Prison just in time for Christmas. The women released on Christmas Day ranged in age from 24 to 54. According to Caribbean 360, he also ordered the release of eight students from the New Opportunity Corps (NOC), a juvenile correctional facility.
The release of the students came on the heels of a visit by President Granger earlier this year, when he said he had started a process to look at the early release of girls and boys housed at the NOC at Onderneeming in the Pomeroon-Supenaam Region.
The Head of State had visited the facility to speak with the 85 young people, the majority of whom have been committed to the institution for wandering. He said that as part as an overall plan to ensure improvements to the physical conditions and the programmes offered, Government would in the short term be setting up criteria and a system to ensure that regular early release is an option for those who qualify.
President Granger said he remains focused on education and youth empowerment and strongly believes that children are better off in educational institutions rather than in incarceration or detention. [. . .]