CIG to take on ex-cons in pilot programme

| 25/01/2019 | 66 Comments
Cayman News Service

Prison inmates volunteer for a beach clean-up

(CNS): The Portfolio of the Civil Service (PoCS) has begun a new initiative to provide a fresh start for Caymanians who have been convicted of crimes and served their time but are now in need of work as they transit back into society. While the government has pressed the private sector to take on rehabilitated prisoners, the civil service has only rarely provided work for former inmates until now. The Second Chances pilot programme received Cabinet approval and launched this month with the first five former inmates. It aims to provide full time government jobs for Caymanians who are able and willing to make a contribution to society following rehabilitation. 

“It is important to cut repeat offending by encouraging the rehabilitation of offenders and supporting them into employment on their release from prison,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin in a release from government about the initiative. “Government wants to help eligible Caymanians who have served their time with a second chance to enter mainstream employment and to make a positive contribution to the Cayman Islands community.”

The goals of this programme are to achieve full employment and jobs for all Caymanians and to reduce crime and the fear of crime by offering meaningful work to former inmates.

While serving prisoners have been involved in volunteer clean-up projects with the NRA and the Public Works Department, once released, they find it extremely difficult to get full-time work, which has been one of the major drivers of Cayman’s high rate of recidivism.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson pointed out that, as one of the largest employers in the Cayman Islands, the civil service has a part to play alongside the private sector in offering Caymanians a second chance.

“We hope this programme will help those who have rehabilitated put their skills to good use and enable successful reintegration into society,” he said. “To maximise the potential for candidates to succeed, the programme will offer meaningful, structured work and an environment conducive to the candidates’ continued rehabilitation and reintegration as positively contributing members of society.”

Outlining how the programme will work, PoCS Chief Officer Gloria McField-Nixon said the portfolio will use the funding earmarked for the programme to help five Caymanians who have served out their sentence to obtain employment within the civil service. The NWDA is conducting the screening process for eligible candidates who are registered with them to seek employment and the portfolio has identified requirements for ideal candidates to be included in this first cohort.

The former inmates will need to have demonstrated efforts towards their own rehabilitation by actively engaging in rehabilitation programmes and making productive use of their time while incarcerated; they must be able to provide character references from people within the rehabilitation programmes or those they have worked with in the community who can attest to their reliability and work ethic.

In addition, they must have been identified as being at low-risk of re-offending, and have skillsets that align with the workforce needs of the civil service, with the goal of allowing them to demonstrate those abilities and eventually lead to long-term employment prospects within either government or the private sector.

Officials explained that allowing the former prisoners to demonstrate their abilities will eventually lead to long-term employment prospects within either government or the private sector.

Eligible ex-inmates can now register with the NWDA, which will become WORC by next Friday, to be considered for employment opportunities through the Second Chances programme.

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Category: Crime, Crime Prevention, Jobs, Local News, Prison

Comments (66)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I think it is long overdue that the CIG take a lead by example and not have a “do as I say, but not as I do” attitude toward all initiatives and laws in this country. For instance they want private sector to hire locals, while CIG is one of the largest employers of Caymanians, they certainly could do better. After all if they are not going to see to it that their citizens are properly educated then they should be the ones to hire and train them after the fact.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Given that the MLA has convicted drug pushers and women beaters, one can expect a soft touch on crime and criminals.

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  3. TRON says:

    I am sorry, but all criminals are entitled to some respect. In fact, even the name “criminals” is completely inappropriate, as it labels them for life. May as well brand them with a tattoo on their foreheads.

    As for jail, jail will damage their self esteem, and will only harden them. Taking their freedom away is cruel and unusual treatment. “Criminals” need to feel loved and supported, and allowed to roam free, to ply their craft whenever and wherever possible. Just like your job, their craft gives them purpose and a reason for being. You can always tell a great criminal from the common criminal, by the way that they approach their job. They really don’t mean to hurt anyone and, usually, the only time that they do that, is when you happen to get in their way of doing the thing that they love most.

    I wish people were not so judgmental when it comes to criminals. They serve a purpose, to employ fat, lazy people. So please stop being judgmental and throwing rocks at glass houses. Imagine how high unemployment would be were it not for the criminals.

    The suggestion to lash and/or hang criminals is so passé and so unfashionable. To think that we’d want to hurt someone who murdered someone else in cold blood, is revolting. These days we do not murder cold-blooded murderers, we feed them steak, caviar and hors d’oeuvres, with a slight spritz of the occasional champagne. Criminals deserve a bit of comfort, and to live out the rest of their lives in style. Sticking them in a dark, wet, miserable hole would only serve to hurt their feelings. If anyone should be behind bars, it’s society at large – how else would one protect themselves from these industrious opportunists.

    So let’s please drop the labels, and let’s celebrate the diversity, including criminals, amongst us. It makes us stronger. Even though we are all quite significantly different, we are all the same. So hug a criminal and wish him or her a happy day!

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    • Anonymous says:

      What we going to call them “morally challenged”? FFS. Criminals are criminals. You are an apologist for these low lives. What is most important is that good, moral, law abiding people are protecting from these dregs of society.

      • TRON says:

        I would call them “justice-involved clients”, or criminals for short. Au contraire, I am not an apologist… I was simply testing people’s reading comprehension skills.

    • Anonymous says:

      You’ve got to be kidding. The fear they put in their victims lives. The exponential negative reputation it causes to the Cayman Islands when something happens to a tourist.

      The lack of remorse and high rates of recidivism. Most of them have no hope and should be shipped off to other countries and do real hard labor and experience what real jails and hard work is all about.

      Maybe then our society would be better and so would they. Isn’t that what the UK did and created Australia?

      Only when the UK started to keep their criminals and allow unlimited immigration without restriction is when the UK started to fail again.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The only true way to prevent recidivism is the death penalty. Now that should be brought back for paedophiles, rapists, murders, drug dealers and three strike burglars.

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    • Slacker says:

      Boy, you must be a sucker for punishment to think that you can post something like that in Cayman. I actually agree with you and applaud your courage. However, in these matters, Cayman is like some backwoods county in the Southern US. We talk mighty good about us being great Christians but, we sure love us some punishment. The more the better. Those rehab ideas are only for wimpy socialists (even though they work and are far less expensive)

    • Anonymous says:

      That was funny to a point, but then you went too far. For the future: When you ride an ironic humourous point, try not to lash it too hard.

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      • TRON says:

        Lol. Thanks for the pointer. What I found funnier is that most people did not get it. I was not as clear as I could have been….

        • Anonymous says:

          Funny or not, I believe that there should be no prisons. Just a morgue for criminals no matter the crime. White collar, blue collar, violent or not. 30 days for court appeal following that straight to execution. There would be no more criminals, they would all be dead. Plus once word got around, criminals would not want to visit the island for fear of execution. Crime problem solved.

  4. Beachbay Lookout says:

    The last time they ran this program at the HM Prison it was rife with fraud and theft and little has changed because the same persons are incharge of it with favoritism and nepotism running amuck and resources and govt material ending up at certain people private premises. Nah True! bigg up da boyz in C Block

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    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      You sound more than familiar with the process and program. Why not offer up positive suggestions. I get it, that sounds soft to you, but consider this: You’re in a unique position to evaluation the process from a perspective that NONE of the people in charge have.

      Maybe they don’t care about it, but some of us might. Talk about it if you want. Maybe you’ll make a difference. Maybe it’ll help your boyz.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    No such thing as an ex-con. Once convicted, always convicted.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Cayman’s biggest problem is that their crime prevention is non-existent. While I believe everyone is entitled to a second chance, when someone commits a serious crime he or she should spend some time in prison. If the individual commits another serious crime after they are released, they should be given 40 lashes on the courthouse lawn. In the unlikely event that he is found to have committed another serious crime, he should be publicly hanged. He will NOT commit another crime. Crime will decrease.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Great idea but how is government going to determine likelihood of re-offending when there are absolutely no current statistics kept on re-offending rates for each offence. The only valid statistic we have comes from the 2006 Forde Report that states that the re-offending rate for persons convicted of burglary is 100%.

  8. Say it like it is says:

    This is an excellent initiative, my only criticism is that it has taken so long. Truth is civil servants are not possessed of initiative, which is one reason why they have done nothing about the feral chickens that roam our streets making us look like a third world country.

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    • BeaumontZodecloun says:

      Agree with you, except the solution to the feral chickens belongs to all of us, not civil service. If we place a larger emphasis on placing blame than solutions, we tend to repeat the cycle. This is our country. We can’t depend upon CIG or anyone else to solve all our problems, nor is it right to do so.

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      • Say it like it is says:

        5.43 This problem needs a national initiative like the iguana cull which has been quite successful.Govt. needs to organise a similar programme which should be far more effective particularly as a lot of these chickens can be found in close proximity to the Govt Admin building.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Genuine question – are there not already some ex-cons IN government?

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Just don’t try to force these immoral selfish lazy losers on private employers.

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  11. Jacky Boatside From Oldbush says:

    Yes put their skills to use using drugs robbing burglarizing,raping and injuring and murdering innocent people. Well you heard it folks a free for all for criminals and sanctioned by those in society above the law, another gowerment program doomed to failure. This time it’s at the expense of our safety security and lives.

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  12. Burning Spear says:

    Those that let out Sean Scott should be put in prison with him.There are way too many criminal minded govt staff blaming law enforcement for their own bias and criminal behavior,who will find and excuse and reason not to do their jobs fairly and properly to protect our safety and security.who are both either deliberately naive or complicit with their criminal friends and siblings. We see this all the time here where these blatant mistakes and steps or omissions are committed which lead to innocent people getting hurt or in trouble for these persons.

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  13. Prisoner Zero 5 two 0 says:

    What a load of rubbish this should start at the prison where certain favorites not from here are given work opportunities over Locals who leave here wid the dosh$$$ all a cozy arrangement wid fellow countrymen who run da prison aaaaaaah the corruption continues unabated. Now govt steps in to save the repeat offenders who have graduate from petty crime to violent crime under the protection of their partners in crime or elected politicians. This is truly lost Cayman you ever wonder how govt thrives on failure

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  14. D Block wing says:

    Yes Sean Scott was one of their model inmates too there is one right now that was driving around the place in the director of this program at prison vehicle???? Please start investigate why prisoners are working by prison staff houses this level of collusion needs investigation not rewards. this is a small place with too many dangerous offenders on the loose . Wow!!! Now using government assets to commit and aid and abet crime who comes up with this $#!% only criminal unity government.whar we need are more supervised programs and deportations of foreign criminals before and after they commit crime is what is needed not this money wasting foolishness.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    How about hiring them as garbage men? We used to have reliable collection. Then came the Mckeeva status grants, and also a push to replace the reliable Jamaican workers with Caymanians, Now what have we got?

    “Da wah yu get”!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm, the Jamaicans are Caymanians now.

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    • Anonymous says:

      100%

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    • Ron Ebanks says:

      No this is really funny , we have two people that says that certain criminals should be let out prison and given a second chance , and everyone agree with those two people . Why should two people be able to make human safety decision like that .

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    • Anonymous says:

      World Class Civil Service. I am very pleased with the positive changes.

      Just read about the young Caymanian being sent off to train to become a helicopter pilot. Such an inspiration to other caymanians.

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      • Anonymous says:

        5:51pm, the young Caymanian being sent off to train to become a helicopter pilot isn’t a con!!! What does this article have to do with that????

  16. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know that I would want an ex-con flying my plane. What’s wrong with the ones KX has now?

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  17. SSM345 says:

    About f**king time; been saying this out loud before CNS was incorporated; thank you Wendy for allowing us to remind them. Bullet.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Those who with out sin cast the first stone every one deserves a second chance in life if that fail thenxxx

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    • Anonymous says:

      This is the sort of naive nonsense that means good law abiding people fall victim to crimes of repeat offenders. Criminality is largely hard-wired and very very few criminals are able to change their path. Drug addicts who enter recovery may change. Men do drop off in their rates of recidivism past 40 as their levels of testosterone reduce. But really, for the vast vast majority of criminals they really do no deserve a second chance because they are incapable of taking it. Brain scans are now better at predicting repeat offenders than parole officers, indeed significantly better – that is because criminality is a function of structural issues in the brain.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I have done some research and the evidence is there. However, research also shows that a majority of criminals are also addicts thus if more money goes to rehab we could be looking at a solution.

      • Anonymous says:

        You make this comment sound like it is science based, but it is total bullshit.

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        • Anonymous says:

          It truly is not. The evidence is piling up and the prediction gap of scans over human prediction is widening.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry 2:45pm, murderers and rapists don’t deserve a second chance!! FULL STOP, PERIOD!!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Great plan guys. Please also ensure the private sector plays its part.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That would need immigration to play its role. Stop giving basic construction jobs to expats, you are stopping many Caymanians from getting on the job ladder!

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    • Anonymous says:

      2:37pm, why should the private sector play its part? Let government give them jobs…plenty of work permit holders in CIG…example DOE, Public Works, Counter Clerks @Immigration (much needed), clerks@Licensing to name a few!!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Please don’t force the private sector to take these criminals. Some people may have pie in the sky dreams of redemption, but leopards and spots in my book.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm, because the law requires opportunities to be given to Caymanians first and in no country in the world is a criminal conviction ( other than for violence) able to operate as a barrier to employment for construction jobs. If you are unwilling to employ a Caymanian because they cannot produce a clean police clearance certificate then fine, just do not expect a permit.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Thieves steal from sites. Drunks and junkies don’t turn up or are a liability when they do. The violent cause trouble among workers wherever they go. Telling a criminal “no” is a rational and objective choice of employers, even if the criminal is a Caymanian. No-one forced these low lives to commit crime. Their job prospect are just a function of their own choices.

    • Anonymous says:

      No! Why should private businesses have to take the stupid risks of hiring criminals?

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      • Anonymous says:

        They don’t. Just do not expect free access to work permits if you refuse to employ a local person based on an irrelevant criminal conviction given the nature of the job concerned.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Finally we will start to see the long talked about improvements in the Civil Service.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed 1:50 the improvements in the past few years has been commendable.

      I congratulate the DG Premeir and McField for this programme. The PPM has for years talked about making it easier for ex offenders ( why call them ex cons?) to re-integrate into society. They passed the Conditional Release Law. The Spent Convictions Law and now this Programme.

      Regretfully soon to be ex MLA’s like Bernie and Kenneth continue to try and undermine the effective change in the civil service. They are still promoting political hirings and incompetence.

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  21. OLD Caymanian Captain says:

    I wonder what apoligies and remorseful things that these convicted criminals are showing the public so that the public feels like giving them a second chance.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And you……… who likely have nothing above them aside from the fortune to have not been caught.

      I hope someday I may be as pure of heart as you. So pure that unicorns gather around my feet in honour of the grace which I will enjoy.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    Ex-cons like Sean Scott?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Listen, we have to live with people like Sean. We might as well train them to be productive when they get out!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Is there a law against protecting yourself when someone trespasses your property and you try to remove them/defend yourself and it becomes quite violent/fatal? Or your dog inflicts serious damage?

        Or is it the trespasser has rights?

        I have guard dogs for a reason and I don’t want to put them down because they were doing what they were trained to do within the confines of my fenced property that has full signage. I also don’t feel it’s right that criminals may have more rights than law abiding citizens.

        What if I’m travelling and my dogs attack a robber inside my home? Or my sons ridiculous booby traps actually work and we don’t return for two weeks and the robber is trapped?

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      • Anonymous says:

        I prefer Suckoos solution of finding the root cause of crime so they don’t become criminals in the first place. Then there would be no need for these programs. Looks like 1 out of the 19 is actually thinking.

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        • TRON says:

          Stop being so naive man, or woman! Root cause????? Ha ha ha ha ha There would be no need for programs? Are you still in kindergarten for heaven’s sake? There will always be criminals you poor, unfortunate snowflake!

      • Anonymous says:

        Never going to happen.

      • Anonymous says:

        You can’t train a paedophile to not like children

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