New rehab project introduced for jailed women

| 07/05/2018 | 8 Comments
Cayman News Service

HMP Fairbanks

(CNS): The Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) has established a Female Empowerment Services Project to help incarcerated women take a different path when they are released from jail. Around a dozen women are currently serving time in Fairbanks for a variety of crimes, from murder to drug related offences, and the DCR recently began offering a series of gender specific workshops to help them manage their particular risks and needs ahead of their release.

Successful rehabilitation is now an important factor in the potential early release of all prisoners, as it is no longer a given that serving prisoners will be automatically released based on good behaviour after they have served two-thirds of their prison term.

Before they can get out of jail on licence, all prisoners serving more than 12 months must now appear before the Conditional Release Board after serving 60% of their time and demonstrate that they have addressed their offending and have plans for a positive future.

The latest programme introduced into the women’s prison started with a workshop on “Women and Anger”, followed by another entitled “Depression: A Woman’s Perspective”, both of which featured HSA mental health professional Dr Arline McGill as a guest speaker. The programmes follow the recognised Level of Service/Case Management Instrument (LS/CMI), which, officials said in a release, is used for the assessment of offenders, as well as the development of case management protocols.

Last month the workshops moved on to more practical subjects with “Independence through Self-Sufficiency: Starting a Small Business”. Presented by DCR staff and guest presenters from the Royal Bank of Canada and the Ministry of Education, the seminar was designed to help the women understand the basic steps to create a small local business, develop opportunities for personal growth and learn about the training available to them.

“The response to this workshop was very positive and all female inmates expressed an interest,” Acting DCR Director Lisa Malice said, adding that the rehabilitation programmes are going to be expanded.

“The DCR is devoted to continuing these quarterly workshops to empower our female offenders to rise above their circumstances and learn new skills based on their unique needs, so that they can become successful and law-abiding citizens of the Cayman Islands,” she said.

Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers, who has responsibility for the prisons, was at the most recent workshop, where she said government was committed to supporting rehabilitation efforts and commended the DCR team for implementing the project to address the unique needs of female offenders.

She said, “These opportunities help them to look at their experiences with the criminal justice system and realise that they have other options. This is empowering; and in gaining new insights and coping skills, they will be better prepared to reintegrate into the community when they are released from prison and hopefully this will help them not to reoffend.”

Tags: , ,

Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Prison

Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Yet if we started one just for men, it would be deemed sexist.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am offended by this article. Gender specific? How does it apply to the LGBTQ community and those who choose a non binary gender in the gender spectrum. Also, shouldn’t a bilogical male who identifies as female be able to go to a woman’s prison?

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  3. Dinkley dunkley says:

    Good to see DCR taking the lead. What’s the rehab dep doing? Camera club?

  4. Anonymous says:

    How about these lovely men and women do some community service and pick up trash around the island while incarcerated too?

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  5. Anonymous says:

    “Successful rehabilitation is now an important factor….” Successful rehabilitation should’ve always been the most important factor in releasing a person from prison whether its fairbanks or northward.

    We always create great ideas and programs, but we always seem to fall short in the execution of the programs.

    I hope it works as it supposed to!

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