Prison transport contract up for grabs

| 17/08/2017 | 32 Comments

(CNS): The prison service has taken the controversial leap into the private sector by issuing a request for proposals (RFP) for security firms to take over the transportation of prisoners to and from Northward, Fairbanks and the courts. No formal announcement was made to the press or public but the service began the process of looking for a private contractor in June with advertisements in the print media, and the details have been posted to the government’s new procurement portal 

Prison Director Neil Lavis has spoken previously about the possibility of privatising prisoner transportation, as he has said it would free up his officers to engage in more constructive and proactive work with the prisoners and the rehabilitation programmes being developed at Northward. Last autumn the prison prepared an outline business case for outsourcing the service. Officials estimate that it could cut costs by almost a quarter of a million dollars a year.

But the privatisation of elements of the prison service in the UK, Europe and the US has raised controversy over a number of issues including the increase in escapes by inmates being supervised by private security firms, the abuse of prison staff by poorly trained security guards and the working conditions for security firm staff who are often paid much less than professional public sector prison officers.

The issue of prisoners escaping during transportation is one of the major problems. Already the most vulnerable time for security – when a prisoner who wants to make a bid for freedom is likely to take his chance – many security companies fail to meet what are generally stricter standards and expectations of prison officers.

Nevertheless, the growing prison population and a general upward trend in crime have led to the prison service seeking private sector firms to take on the work of transportation. According to the RFP, the prison is looking for a private company to take over responsibility “for transporting all persons in custody from Custody Suite to Court, Court to Prison and vice versa. This will be done in a Prison Escort Custodial Services (PECS) compliant vehicle and services will be executed by Custody Officers who are trained to the industry’s best practice standard.”

The deadline for submissions is 24 August.

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Category: Government Finance, Local News, Prison

Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Why was this not made public????? The prison is being supplemented by a Private firm that is landing big contracts without due dilegence. Transparent dealings???? This is the opposite. Why?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Privatizing government agencies and responsibilities always end well. A private company would never prioritize profits over everything else.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The terrible issue here is that this is going to cause a lot of funding in overtime to capture escaped prisoners. Under what authority are the Security Guards acting under when transporting these prisoners? They are not Constables nor Prision Guards. Is this service going to be used to transport low risk offenders or in general? These Guard Companies pay low wages. Corruption is something to be considered. We seen this with the Service provided at the Police Headquarters where a load of ganja was stolen. The CCTV scheme is a failure. Some companies are in dismay as they are unable to secure themselves. The Government better think long on who they award this contract to as this could have far reaching implications if not executed correctly. To privatize this is a mistake.

  4. Anonymous says:

    can we transport them to 12 mile banks on the helicopter and just kick them out the door? Im sure this would save the CI gov lots of $ in the future.

  5. SSM345 says:

    Can the Security Center be made to fix the CCTV cameras they installed before they get this contract and start transporting criminals to and from HMP Northward?

    Can you imagine if they escape? “Um, sorry your Honor, we lost one of the way here and unfortunately we were unable to see where he went because the CCTV cameras we installed island wide don’t work”.

  6. Anonymous says:

    There’s an interesting book on outsourcing in the UK – Who Really Runs Britain? by Alan White

    It makes disturbing reading and you can buy the Kindle edition online.

    Bottom line – the only people who benefit from something like this are usually the contractors and I don’t think it’s any secret who will get this contract, it’s effectively a done deal already.

  7. Jonson Williams says:

    This all sounds great and cheaper however, supplying prison staff to do this job would be the safest bet, you get what you pay for at the end of the day, security would be lapsed and escapes would be available I’m sure. There would be family members and friends turning up at the prison to escort their highly dangerous criminal acquaintances.
    It was never the directors idea to do this it came from higher authority.
    Right now the prison staff are running the prison. Fighting drugs and gangs in there. Running the Cuban detention centre and delivering programs in line with the conditional release scheme. This is all done without extra staff. Govt need to invest in what they put in place. Give them the staff and tools to do their jobs properly.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hire more prison officers, since that would be cheaper than privatizing.
    Privatizing increases cost for the public.
    Yes, some of you idiots will say private companies can do it cheaper. Yes they can, but they will charge more, so the public will pay more to satisfy the greed for profit of private business,

    • Anonymous says:

      A lesson many other governments and councils are learning across the world. Maybe we should benefit from their bad experiences and reinvest in our country’s infrastructure and staffing, rather than farming it out to the lowest bidder who’ll do a slapdash job and cost us more in the long run.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is an EY project future recommendation. Remember that report and is apparently not gathering dust!!

      I read on this site a strong and repeated call for government to privatise services and now that’s what happening.

      So why are we complaining? We are getting exactly what we asked for.

      The prison and courts are already conducting the remand of prisoners by video link.

      But trials can’t be conducted by video link.

      Seems like good work by our new and improved civil service.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is this guy’s wife the one that works (or used to work) for the certain largest security firm?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Now I wonder who might get this contract….if only there was an existing security company that already supplies Government with CCTV and other private business with a multitude of top notch security guards……

  11. Anonymous says:

    Just allow video conferencing with the court. No field trips until your trial date. Works great.

  12. Sharkey says:

    Mr. Lavis , would this private contractor be fully responsible for the recapture of prisoners if an when prisoner escape ? Or would that be on Government expense ?

    • Anonymous says:

      Based on UK experience, when a prisoner does a runner the contractor simply hands the problem over to the police.

  13. Sharkey says:

    Mr Lavis should be a shame of himself to suggest such a thing and to say what he said in this article . How can he say that a private contractor could do it cheaper ? Sounds like he’s just making excuses to get some private Company a big contract .

    Just get a van and secure the driver, and handcuff and chain the prisoner legs and transport them from the Court House to Prison and the other way around the same way . If this new job is approved the cost of each prisoner would be up to CI$80,000 per prisoner per year .
    The Cayman islands budget can’t withstand that with the prison population growing faster than the Islands .

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t go projecting local corruption to decent hard working expats. I doubt the decision is Mr. Lavis’, it will be CIG that awards the contract. Now say something about that.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Give it to Island Waste Carriers… They’re the best when it comes to moving trash!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Good suggestion! There are a number of ex-police officers who would do an outstanding job as they have the knowledge and experience as to dealing with prisoners. Some of them would do well with extra cash. Please for heaven sake dont take on some of these unscrupulous security officers who is filled with aggression and dont know how to communicate. I have seen them. So advertise and give first preference to ex -police officers who are still willing to make a contribution to society.

    • Sharkey says:

      3:46pm see if you get the contract , they would say you don’t have the qualification or the education unless you are the one selected for the job / contract .

    • Anonymous says:

      You are so right 3.46pm ex Police is the better option. Put my name down even though I’m a W/Police Officer. I’ll be on the next flight from the UK

  16. Anonymous says:


    CNS: I generally delete comments written with the caps lock on.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I can’t wait to see “the amount of escapee’s” this new venture will bring about in Grand Cayman.

    Our CCTV cameras that we spend millions of tax payers money on can’t work half the time and I bet the contract to transport of prisoners will likely go to the same company.

    • Debbie says:

      You should say number of escapees and you use apostrophe s when you show possession only.
      Boy’s coat
      But you say
      Boys’ coats
      Outside apostrophe when both are plural.
      English is great but please educate yourself on a few grammar rules.
      Unny kin learn jess do so na.

  18. Crony Island says:

    Wonder who will get this cushy little gig? Almost as good as running school buses.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I got me ’96 Honda with blacked out windows for security, and the ganja smoke will keep ’em from wanting to run off, and you should see my PECS. Enormous. Where do I apply?


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