(CNS): HMP Northward and the National Roads Authority have entered into a partnership to help clean up Grand Cayman using prisoners to clear litter along the roadside to make the authority’s work cutting back trees and overgrowth more efficient. The prison work crews have all volunteered for the hard and hot but necessary work helping the NRA because the authority does not have staff in their team allocated to clear trash ahead of the heavy equipment. The project is also being touted by the authorities as putting inmates on the road to rehabilitation.
Speaking to the press Thursday in Bodden Town, close to where the prison crew was working, Steve Barrett, the interim prison director, said the project would contribute towards that rehabilitation and the goal to cut recidivism, but it was also a collaborative project to clean up the important and precious local environment.
Home Affairs Minister Tara Rivers said the new partnership was a key initiative in providing prisoners with the opportunity to do things like this to help them in their reintegration into the community. The minister said it was part of the ongoing prison community work party project, where risk assessed prisoners are able to help with important clean-up activities around the island, such as clearing seaweed from the beaches and removing graffiti.
Rivers said this was the first formal agreement between government agencies and she encouraged other departments to do the same. She said this type of project gave prisoners a chance to demonstrate their commitment to work and that they can be productive members of the community, in preparation for their release from prison.
Commerce Minister Joseph Hew said that this programme was separate and apart from the government’s NiCE project, which offers short but more extensive clean ups. He said the prisoners would be doing the specific job of clearing trash from the roadsides but it may be expanded to a more permanent trash clean-up in partnership with the Department of Environmental Health.
“It’s a win-win,” Hew said, explaining that it was not taking away anyone’s job and was not adding to the NRA’s budget, but it would make the roadside pruning more efficient and ensure that the trash would be cleared and not spread across the area after the trimming.
Category: Local News