The situation within Guyana’s prison system appears to be getting from bad to worse despite the assurances given by top security and ministerial officials that more will be done to make the country safer and more secure by improving the quality of law enforcement and beefing up the conditions and security of various penitentiaries across the country.On Monday, Guyanese were informed that three more men managed to escape from the Lusignan Prison by scaling a fence there. Officials again assured the public that the men would be caught and the prison officers had everything under control.Later that same day, prisoners began a riot in protest over the reportedly “inhumane” conditions that they are forced to endure at the Lusignan Prison. This newspaper, like other sections of the media, was told that the rioters also cited the type and quality of food being offered to the prisoners. Chaos broke out, and the prison officers went into “riot mode” using pellets, tear gas, and other methods to calm the prisoners and restore order.Both Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan and the acting Director of Prisons, Gladwin Samuels visited the scene of the unrest. It was also reported that the Commissioner of Police, Leslie James is working along with the Prison Service to resolve some of the problems there.Over the next few days, the executive will no doubt attempt to give a plausible explanation for what took place at Lusignan. Guyanese can expect the same type of tone and rhetoric from officials within the prison system akin to what was said after the Camp Street Prison fire and unrest, which left 17 dead and over 20 injured.It is most unfortunate that there have been little or no real improvements in the Prison Service despite the assurances given from all sides that more would be done. It is even more unfortunate that the Lusignan unrest occurred on the same day when there was a security breach and the escape of prisoners. What is also appalling is the fact that a Commission of Inquiry was established by the executive following the 2017 events, but half of the recommendations contained in the final report remain unimplemented, according to well-placed sources.Also the smuggling of contraband, narcotics and other illegal items into the prisons has not declined, but has taken on a shameful if not shocking story line of its own with prison officers themselves being discovered with the booty or facilitating the trafficking of these items.If Minister Ramjattan is interested in his tenure and the reputation of the Government, he should also consider transferring top prison officials and perhaps even asking for the resignation of the current head of the establishment to allow for the appointment of newer and more independent leadership.A robust civil society effort must be led which will see stakeholders from all sides of the divide conducting more routine searches and raids of the prison facilities. Government must also look at the integrity of the officers serving within the prison system and the relationships that exist between wardens and hardened criminals. Both parties must be read the riot act, and special emphasis must be placed on shaking up the establishment in order to make way for Government, Police and intelligence informants to enter the system and work as undercover agents or double agents in order to understand how the smuggling of contraband takes place.If any other disaster breaks out, Minister Ramjattan may find it necessary to tender his own resignation. Integrity would demand it, because it would appear that he is unable to grasp the importance of his portfolio and the fact that he will be judged by the number of policy initiatives that would have been successfully piloted and implemented within the Prison Service which in turn lead to measurable benefits and reform.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) should retable the spate of reforms, which was presented by PPP/C parliamentarian Clement Rohee when he served as Home Affairs Minister, only to be rejected by this very same Administration utilising its one-seat majority while in opposition.