University of Leicester
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Virtual Reality and Guyana’s Prison System: Control and Infection Prevention

posted on 2020-12-02, 13:19 authored by Kellie MossKellie Moss, Manish Pareek, Joe Beyera, Clare AndersonClare Anderson, Mellissa IfillMellissa Ifill

The aim of this project was to provide Guyana’s Prison Service (GPS) with the tools and information required to help tackle the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. Funded by the Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies (LIAS) COVID-19 Urgency Fund this project is a collaboration between the GCRF ESRC project MNS in Guyana's Jails, 1825 to the present day; the GPS; and the University of Leicester’s departments of Engineering; Respiratory Science; and History, Politics, and International Relations (HYPIR). The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted prisons globally, with the housing density and population turnover contributing to an increased risk of contracting the virus compared to the general population. Contextual factors, such as overcrowding, lack of sanitation, and delays in diagnosis have contributed to this problem in Guyana’s prison system.

The first part of this project, the creation of a computer-generated three-dimensional visualisation of Mazaruni Prison was designed to tackle this problem by preparing and enabling prison staff to effectively control and contain the spread of COVID-19 in a safe environment. Through the eyes of an avatar, users (prison officers and trainee cadets) can interact in the virtual world with standard input devices, such as a keyboard, or mouse. The GPS will also be able to use this technology, along with conventional methods, to improve in the control of infectious diseases and training more generally. Please note that for security reasons we are unable to upload or share a link to this application, however a selection of authorised images is attached.

The second element of this project, the creation and use of an interactive app serves two purposes: To enable medical officers to input key information on the spread and effects of COVID-19 in Mazaruni prison. And, to provide the prison officers with targeted information on procedures to control infectious diseases. The World Health Organisation, the GPS, and Guyana’s COVID-19 Task Force where instrumental in the creation of this guidance. This part of the app also offers the officers and trainees the opportunity to test their understanding of this information. Images and a video representation of this technology is attached.

Funds for this project were generously provided by the Leicester Institute of Advanced Studies (LIAS) Covid-19 Urgency Fund.

For more information on this project please contact:

Dr Kellie Moss:


MNS Disorders in Guyana's Jails, 1825 to the present day

Economic and Social Research Council

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Leicester Institute for Advanced Studies - COVID-19 Urgency Fund