Reconstruction of the Camp Street Prison is expected to begin in 2018 as Government has made a sizable allocation in the 2018 Budget towards this effort.Finance Minister Winston Jordan told the National Assembly during his Budget presentation on Monday that $30.7 billion has been allocated to implement several initiatives in the security sector.“Of that amount, our Prison Service will receive approximately $1.5 billion to address the expansion and rehabilitation of the prison infrastructure,” he explained.Jordan said this work would include the expansion of the Mazaruni Prison to accommodate 400 inmates, 61 per cent more than its current capacity. At present, the Prison is overcrowded.The Minister said this move was made based on the tragedy that occurred in July at the Georgetown Prison, which led to the penitentiary’s destruction.The Public Security Ministry had requested $756 million for the clean-up and refurbishment of the Camp Street Prison following its destruction in the July 9 fire. This sum assisted with the clean-up at the Camp Street Prison, and refurbishment of the dormitory, security system, medical centre and the capital block.The supplementary financing also made provision for the construction of temporary holding facilities at the Lusignan Prison compound. The Camp Street inmates were transferred to Lusignan and Mazaruni penitentiaries following the destructive prison fire.Minister Jordan noted that the wanton act of violence and mayhem threatened the country’s national security and highlighted the state of affairs in which the security services operate.Based on that incident, Jordan said Government had to undertake a comprehensive examination of the security sector, which resulted in the diversion of scarce resources to address both the immediate security and management concerns, as well as the judicial and other related systems.He recalled that the Joint Services had launched several operations in order to quickly address the immediate situation. But Government now wants to address the long-term needs of the security sector.“Over $150 million has also been allocated to purchase surveillance equipment, body scanners, and beds, among other items. Provisions have been made for the strengthening of the Prison Service‘s capacity for case management, as well as rehabilitation and reintegration,” he added.Additionally, in Budget 2018, $1.8 billion has been provided to cater for the Prison Service‘s operational costs, a 4.6 per cent increase over Budget 2017.Jordan said, “We will continue to modernise our Police Force in the coming year. Our 114 Police Stations across the country will benefit from increased vehicular access to support their response times to reported crimes. Further, team policing efforts are expected to deliver 24-hour patrol service.”Another six Police Stations will be targeted in 2018 for remodelling. In addition, Police Stations at Cove and John, Lethem, Springlands, Central (New Amsterdam), and Matthews Ridge are slated for rehabilitation, and a new police station would be constructed in Parfaite Harmonie to serve that area.“Another $200 million has been allocated for the purchasing of equipment for the Police Force; this will supplement the generous gift received from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, comprising of vehicles, riot gear and other equipment worth $500 million,” he stated.Jordan said this was to improve the capacity of the security services. However, youths will also be trained to create avenues for income generation and sustainable livelihoods as a preventative measure.Some 300 youths will be trained in 2018, in the areas of entrepreneurship, conflict resolution, and violence prevention, and parenting, as part of the citizen security initiative.“No person should ever feel like their only option is to pursue a life of crime in order to survive.”The Fire Service will receive its first fire boat in 2018, and a sum of $165 million has been budgeted to make the final payment. The boat will be fully equipped and will form part of a package of interventions to improve the capacity of the Service to respond to fires, both on waterways and bridges.An allocation of some $60 million will be used to expand the Fire Service coverage, to cater to residents of Melanie Damishana, Mabaruma and for the first time, Onverwagt.