Prison Service on massive recruitment drive to get ‘quality’ officers

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Candidates at a recent recruitment drive hosted by the Guyana Prison Service

The Guyana Prison Service (GPS) has recently intensified its efforts to recruit high-quality officers. Multiple recruitment drives have been conducted in various regions across the country, attracting a significant number of potential candidates.

The GPS has said its countrywide recruitment drives have been a massive hit. However, despite the turnout of around 120 potential recruits for the exams, only 37 have been shortlisted.

Assistant Superintendent of Prisons Abeid De Cunha, the Prison School Administrator

Assistant Superintendent of Prisons Abeid De Cunha, the Prison School Administrator, has emphasized the importance of selecting ‘quality’ over quantity to ensure the effectiveness and efficiency of the Prison Service.

“Of that number, we were able to shortlist 37 persons, who are already interviewed. Provided approval is granted, we will very soon have those persons enter the Prison Service…this is the only job in the world where you can leave school and be a supervisor. As you are hired, you will go through your basic training, you will be trained to be supervisors, because you have to supervise the prisoners…,” he explained.

De Cunha has highlighted the plethora of opportunities awaiting recruits within the Prison Service, and has shared on personal accomplishments and opportunities he has encountered during his tenure.

“Since 2007, I have worked at the Guyana Prison Service. I not only worked, but was worked on to mould me into the prison officer that the Service requires. That moulding required several facets of training, inclusive of occupation safety and health…the years of experience have brought me to that point to use the techniques learned in the different training programs, to bring up ranks…and to guide them into the correct path”, he explained.

Candidates at one of the Guyana Police Force’s recruitment drives

Recently, acting Director of Prisons Nicklon Elliot hinted at potential revision to the entry requirements for recruits. He stressed the significance of a solid secondary education as the basic prerequisite for candidates, along with the completion of a written examination.

According to the Prison Director, higher requirements would attract more competent candidates and ensure their retention within the Service.

However, Elliot acknowledged the challenges faced by the GPS in recruiting and retaining skilled personnel, citing efforts to improve conditions of service and address issues such as allowances and salaries.