Inmates’ voluntary work part of rehab process

| 15/04/2016 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

Prison inmates volunteer for a beach clean-up

(CNS): With the prison now obligated to rehabilitate offenders before they can be released into the community but with no new resources to do so, inmates in the lowest risk category are being encouraged to join external work parties and participate in community projects. As part of this new initiative, four prisoners recently volunteered to work over four days on a beach clean-up covering over a mile of coastline in North Side.

Prison Director Neil Lavis, who has previously noted the need for more investment in rehabilitation for inmates, said he will continue to support community projects as much as the resources of the prison service allow.

“When prisoners assist, we must also provide staff to supervise them, so it is not always easy considering our present understaffing, but we are happy to help in any way we can,” he said.

Participation is voluntary, a spokesperson for the prison service told CNS. “We do not require inmates to do community service. However, civic responsibility is very much a part of rehabilitation and is a critical factor when considering parole, risk categorisation, etc.” While the work is not required, it is “certainly recommended, depending on risk category, environmental factors and nature of offense”, the spkesperson added.

Acting Deputy Director for Rehabilitation Richard Barton pointed out that promoting civic mindedness helps prisoners recognise their role and responsibility as members of the community.

“Most of the prisoners that are held at HMP Northward and Fairbanks are local citizens and they must return to these very communities when released,” he said. “It is good for them to be a part of the restoration and work going on, establish networks and build relationships with community members. All of this will ease their re-entry into society once they are released.”

The prison work party in the North Side clean-up included local and expatriate prisoners, who worked side by side to clear the beach of seaweed and garbage. Over 90 bags of refuse were removed from the beaches during the project, and North Side resident Anne McFarlane, who coordinated the project, said she was extremely pleased with the prisoners’ work.

Inmates have been engaged over the last few years to assist with much needed renovations at the prisons following the condemnation of HMP Northward and HMP Fairbanks by the UK’s prison inspectors.

Prisoners focus on victims to face up to crimes

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Category: Crime, Prison

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why are they not out cleaning up the beaches everyday? Or better yet – after release a little community service should be added to their sentence.

  2. Concerned KY says:

    Let’s hope they monitor them correctly. It’s a well known fact that when they would work on the farm release that the prison officers would allow them to go off and meet some (misguided in my opinion) woman for a conjugal visit. This behavior led to an inmate being able to kill a local named Sabrina some years back. I’m all for rehabilitation as long as it does not pose a risk to the public, if the women are not smart enough to protect themselves once an image is sent to prison the prison/govt. arrange responsible.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am sure the schools could use bookcases and benches.

  4. Anonymous says:

    To Prison Director Neil Lavis.
    When travelling to other countries around the world we always like to return with some unique item (art, carvings, handicrafts, etc.) that will remind us of that particular place.

    In one country we were directed to the local prison!
    At the prison security post we told them we were there to “shop” and after passing through security we were taken to a room filled with all sorts of prisoner hand made items.
    Their work ranged from mediocre to incredible!
    To buy something you were introduced to the inmate(s) who made it and between you and them decided on the sale price of the purchase.
    Wow, capitalism at work behind bars.

    I don’t know how the money part was handled but this program revealed the abilities, talents and dedication of some of those serving time.

    Director Lavis, Please consider such a program within your walls. You might be surprised at this win-win scenario.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Excellent and encouraging news!

  6. Anonymous says:

    The inmates used to make outside dog houses with materials bought for by local businesses and then despatched by local animal charities. These dog houses were essential for those poor dogs who were constantly chained outside in all weathers with no shelter from rain or sun. Apparently the person “responsible” for overseeing these being produced in the prison has now left and no one has taken over this role – end result: no more dog houses. These dog houses were not put together with glue: they were artistically made with care and attention by the inmates – basic carpentry skills were put to good use here and the prisoners could at least feel that they were “doing” something worthwhile. It’s just a shame that not only do the dogs go without but the prisoners now have one less “trade” to put their skills to good use.

    • Anonymous says:

      They could also make tables and chairs which could then be sold and the funding used to subsidize the free stay. Do not allow the prisoners to make a profit from the proceeds. They live free have them earn their keep.

      In the university I attended the residence furniture were all made by prisoners. I’m sure that reduced cost of furniture benefited the school as well as giving the prisoners a trade.

      • L A says:

        They do have a programme like that at the prison here. The prisoners sold their goods (games, picture frames, furniture and some pretty awesome handmade BBQ grills) at the Agricultural Show this year. If you’re interested in buying or custom ordering furniture from the prisoners all you have to do is call!

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