(CNS): The nine new recruits for Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) have been trained in how to use force if necessary as part of their basic training. Prison Director Neil Lavis explained that the purpose of the programme is to prepare prison officers on the use of proper response and techniques, as well as the legal aspects of use of force, which he said was “often relied upon by prison officers as a means of safety and maintaining order”. He added, “This course is designed to teach prison officers the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and successfully handle any situation they may find themselves in while on the job.”
Two officers from Bermuda’s Department of Corrections, Steven Simons and Juan Looby, were here in Cayman and received the same training as the local recruits, delivered by internationally certified HMCIPS instructors, and to learn how to teach the course themselves.
Supervisors Cohen Daley and Troy David spent November 2016 teaching use of force courses in Turks and Caicos to the entire prison staff there and they will travel to the UK soon to be recertified in the programme so they can continue teaching in prisons throughout the British Overseas Territories.
Meanwhile, the nine local prison officer recruits continue their induction training. The two women and seven men, four of whom are Caymanian, out-performed more than 200 other applicants who signed up at the Joint Law Enforcement Job Fair in September 2016. The other candidates fell out of the running as some did not turn up for the interviews, several failed to meet the English and math tests, while others did not make the fitness grade.
The ones that got through will complete eight weeks in the classroom and another month shadowing veteran officers before they are confirmed as prison officers.
“These individuals will be exposed to a great deal of learning in critical areas such as prison policy and proper procedures, how to conduct searches, control and restraint techniques, rehabilitation strategies, and other required techniques that help maintain good order within the prison,” Lavis has previously said.
They have also been undergoing drill training, which the prison boss said was designed to “teach each recruit discipline, quick response, how to follow instructions, give instructions with authority, how to work as a team and to take pride in their appearance and performance”.