Consultants invited to make case for new prison

| 08/01/2020 | 30 Comments
Cayman News Service
Prisoners at HMP Northward

(CNS): It’s no secret that Cayman’s prison facilities are not only horribly overcrowded but also unfit for human habitation, with conditions that Prison Director Steve Barrett has called “simply unacceptable”. But after many years of neglect, funding has now been secured to begin the redevelopment process of the current estate. An invitation to tender has been issued for consultants to prepare an outline business case to define what the future facility will be.

With over 200 men currently serving time or on remand at HMP Northward, around a dozen women at HMP Fairbanks and around nine young offenders in the juvenile wing, the Cayman Islands Prison Service is spending about $11 million per year keeping offenders in appalling conditions. This both undermines the progress of rehabilitating inmates and poses serious challenges to their safety, as well as the security of the facility.

The need for a new prison was identified decades ago and the prison estate has been condemned by the UK prison inspectorate, which oversees Northward and Cayman’s other secure facilities. But for years politicians have either been unwilling or unable to find the money needed to build a new prison, as is commonly perceived there are no votes in spending money on offenders.

Speaking at the recent Finance Committee meetings, Barrett explained the challenges faced by the prison and the need for the new facility. He said a broad strategic plan was almost complete and that the next step would be to find consultants to do the business case, as he explained the request for cash.

Barrett said that HMP Northward has a huge foot print and the buildings are taking up only a fraction of the site, so there are a number of options to build a brand new prison on the site, redevelop the existing property in stages or even move to a brand new location. But he said it would be the job of the consultants to outline the possibilities.

Barret told CNS this week that, given the size of the land owned by the government at the current site at HMP Northward, it seems logical that any new facility will be developed there but he was not ruling anything out. He said the hope was the business case will lay out the clear options and what the best of those will be.

While a new prison is still a long way off, Barrett said he was pleased that the proposal for the much needed redevelopment had got this far. He said he was doing all he could to ensure that any future project was designed around the services the prison needs to provide and that it will contribute to the future safety of Cayman and the rehabilitation of offenders.

The invitation to tender for the OBC asks the consultants to submit proposals that will cover the redevelopment of the entire estate, which includes HMP Northward and its junior wing, formerly known as Eagle House Rehabilitation Centre, as well as the women’s prison at Fairbanks.

The business case will need to consider the existing physical state of the accommodation and other service delivery buildings, prisoners privacy and appropriate ventilation given the high temperatures, supervision needs such as attaining unobstructed lines of sight, human rights considerations, facilities for providing purposeful activities including educational, recreational and vocational, as well as care facilities, the needs of young prisoners and public safety.

“The Outline Business Case will identify the investment option that optimises value for money, prepares the scheme for procurement and determines the necessary funding and management arrangements for the successful delivery of the project,” the tender invitation states.

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Category: Crime, Government Finance, Politics, Prison

Comments (30)

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  1. Cayman's Corrupt Cooking Opportunities. says:

    Yes 704pm its has become very sickening and outrageous of how these individuals continue to get away with.Yet not a single persons is sanctioned or punished or even removed from these politically appointed boards or committees that make these important decisions. Infact some very flagrant situations and incidences are seen where principals are seen colluding and clearly influencing by giving and providing $$$ or financial support and gifts to these persons involved or to their siblings and minions.Some instances even border on intimidation and nefarious tactics to remove competitors or any competition from even bidding on projects. Its is Mafia like in many instances and all the so call opposition in government can do is blab their mouths in the legislature for a few minutes highlighting their dissatisfaction about these terrible situations. Yet we see very little action taken by them or the authorities. Which only stands to embolden and encourage this misconduct or corruption to continue. Not even the UK step in on some of these blatant situations choosing to let the culprits “sort themselves out” which gives the appearance of immunity or bias or looking after their own interest thereby not upsetting Status quo with their subjects, Who always mysteriously stand or seem to be the benefactors in most instances from these “extra gravy” deals.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Get the inmates to build it!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Community service. Stop paying people who don’t want 9-5s to do what prisoner should be doing every single day, at a cheaper rate! Duh. Iguana cullers, beach cleanup, side of road clean ups, public parks and beach painters and clean ups….

  4. Anonymous says:

    Spend it on an electric chair instead.

  5. Cayman Contract Mafiya says:

    Why bother with foolishness when law abiding bidders give the best deal to govt their political cronies jack up bids and still get the contract anyway and the outrageous conflict of interest and corruption and kickbacks continue. When are these chief officers going stop slurping at the govt trough Cayman and giving all the contracts to one Security company because they have and interest in the company along with certain other businessmen who sit on procurement panels rubber stamping this obscene fleecing of Government .

    • Anonymous says:

      The public are the ones getting voluntarily fleeced. This is yet-another crony-glad-hand commission, posted to obscure CIG webpage, not advertised overseas (where prison-builders live and work). We need to enact SIPL. It’s not a joke unless voters quietly abide the joke, which we do. This is yet another symptom of us not addressing the problem, which is enacting basic standards of governance with consequences.
      Start the petition to enact SIPL, by orders in Council if necessary.

  6. Anonymous says:

    It would be interesting to know how much money over the years has been spent on consultants. I have little respect for big businesses that line their own pockets with public funds yet fail to offer constructive and workable solutions. How many times have reports been made and then rejected ?
    In the long run we pay for ‘fancy looking reports” compiled by people with no expertise, only expensive opinions.

    • Anonymous says:

      typical ignorant attitude…blaming indusrty experts….zzzzz
      what about your useless poorly educated elected leaders????

    • Anonymous says:

      The reports are authored by experts and almost universally ignored by the rank-amateur school-leavers occupying in the Ministerial thrones. Until we enact SIPL, ego will continue to supersede brains in the LA. It’s those maligned egos that cost us tens, if not, hundreds of millions in public funding waste, and the whole reason we have accumulated $500mln in debt in less than 15 years. Just look who’re still at it, thriving in the absence of basic governance criteria and consequence.

      • Anonymous says:

        9:45 Got no disagreements there but I think it goes a bit deeper than the reports simply being ignored.

        The consultants’ recommendations frequently don’t match the preconceived opinions of those in power so the NIH (not invented here) mentality kicks and it becomes a case of, ‘Interesting report but that’s not the way we do things here.’ In reality they never wanted an independent report, what they were looking for was someone prepared to rubber-stamp their plans – that’s probably why so many of these ‘consultation’ exercises get repeated.

        The other factor that often comes into play is the, ‘What’s in it for me, my friends and family,’ consideration. I can think of a number of instances over the past decade where that has clearly influenced decisions.

        Welcome to Third World decision making. The only consolation I’ll offer is that I’ve visited and worked in places where it’s much worse.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have always wondered why we don’t have a minimum security prison where we can send the non-violent prisoners. That would include drug users, but not the drug importers and drug pushers. Separating those type of business people from their customers makes sense to me. Northward would then be a good threat to hold over the head of anyone not obeying the rules at the minimum security prison.

    • Anonymous says:

      Build it on the Brac. Would help the local economy and geography add more distance between sellers and buyers.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve always wondered why we don’t have capital punishment. It is guaranteed to stop repeat offenders.

      • Anonymous says:

        As the US experience demonstrates, it has f/a deterrent effect amongst certain deprived social groups. No shortage of brain dead individuals ready to step forward to be the next trigger man. The problem is not solved by stringing up the soldiers. And has zero impact on the drugs trade directly unless you are down capital off news beyond violent crimes to drug dealing a labSingapore.

        Now if you were to actually catch and convict those running the criminal enterprises, and hang them, may be on to something. Not sure that concept would be desperately popular amongst the political class though.

      • Anonymous says:

        1:14 Because ECHR prohibits it. Even when the UK leaves the EU we”ll still be saddled with this because it’s embodied in our constitution.

        As demonstrated in London last month, there’s a much easier way to stop repeat offenders – it goes bang, bang, bang!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn’t HMCIPS, the Prison Director, and Parole Board be preparing the Outline Business Case, to seek local construction industry RFP Bidders? Why are the construction companies being asked to make their own recommendations on preparing and designing a criminal rehabilitation facility? Is this how they do it in Scotland?

    • Anon says:

      4.26pm Where do you get the idea that the consultants will be the construction companies?.

      • Anonymous says:

        Alright, who are the consultants with prison-building experience on island, cause if you Google “Cayman”, “Prison”, “OBC” or “Outline Business Case”, there are no hits outside of the territory? Posting a request on an obscure backpage of a Cayman government website doesn’t get the message where it needs to go if there is a credible interest in fielding external proposals that might have the experience and knowledge. It seems like (yet-another) lay-up for a local vendor already predetermined.

      • Anonymous says:

        Right! The construction companies have already been selected!

  9. JTB says:

    Nearly everyone in the prison is coming back out into our society at some point. Do we want them coming out even more brutalised than when they went in, or do we want to take the opportunity of their incarceration to try to educate and improve them?

    • William says:

      Like it or lump it these people will be living next to you one day, they are your people, we are trying to do our best for them with Northward offering skills and education, especially skills and jobs, please embrace

  10. Anonymous says:

    When Standards in Public Life Law is enacted, we are going to need a much bigger prison for new long term residents.

  11. Anonymous says:

    it’s easy to say ‘just lock them up’….but if you put someone in cage and treat them bad…you will produce an animal…

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