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Forum: Histories of Incarceration in Guyana
In November 2018, researchers from the universities of Leicester and Guyana convened a workshop with a group of officers from the Guyana Prison Service. The purpose of this gathering was to present preliminary findings from a British Academy funded project on the history of the nation’s jails, and to find out how the research team could translate its historical work into materials of value to prisoners and the people who work with them. Several key themes emerged, most especially about the nature and extent of the ongoing use of colonial-era infrastructure and regarding modern continuities in practices and rhythms of incarceration. We discussed how three of the five jails in use in the nation today were built or substantially remodelled during abolition, apprenticeship, and their aftermaths in the 1830s and 1840s and learned that they now operate in ways that showed remarkable similarities in law, policy, and experiences - for prisoners and officers alike.
British Academy Global Challenges Research Fund project ‘History and Security Sector Reform: Crime and Punishment in British Colonial Guyana, 1814-1966’ and the Economic and Social Research Council Global Challenges Research Fund project ‘Mental Health, Neurological and Substance Abuse Disorders in Guyana’s Jails: 1825 to the present day’ (award numbers IC2\100030 and ES/S000569/1).
Author affiliationSchool of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester
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