Prison partners with UWI to tackle ‘revolving door’

| 17/08/2021 | 12 Comments
Cayman News Service
At the MOU signing (L-R) Prison Director Steve Barrett, Dr Beverly Shirley of the UWI Open Campus and Governor Martyn Roper

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) has signed a deal with the University of the West Indies (UWI) Open Campus to deliver education and skills training to inmates and tackle Cayman’s revolving prison door. The agreement is a first of its kind in the region, in which a recognised university has formalised a partnership with a prison aimed at preventing recidivism.

A memorandum of understanding was signed at the Government Administration Building last week stating that the UWI will also help build the capacity of education officers in the local prison system to ensure robust support of the training initiatives within the facilities.

Home Affairs Minister Bernie Bush said that since 2017, some 90% of the prison population had registered to learn educational and vocational skills, with 200 inmates successfully gaining certification.

“From earning qualifications in computer literacy and small business management to gaining doctoral degrees, this initiative offers our inmates and prison officers a wide range of courses. This extended programme is strongly endorsed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the PACT Government as a shining example of what innovation, education and partnership can achieve,” Bush said.

The goal is to develop a sense of entrepreneurship in the inmates, and the educational programmes will seek to empower, inspire hope and create the kind of resilience required to overcome the social and economic challenges experienced by many leaving the prison, officials said in a press release.

The principal of the UWI Open Campus, Dr Francis O. Severin, said the initiative would ultimately benefit all of society.

“Such educational interventions that engage and empower ‘ordinary’ people and those who have sometimes unfortunately found themselves on the periphery of society, are a fundamental part of what drive us as an educational institution. This is authentic activism and we commend the HMCIPS for partnering with us,” he added.

Director of Prisons Steve Barrett said he was very pleased the service had managed to arrange the formal agreement.

“This collaboration will significantly modernise and extend the portfolio of educational programmes on offer to those in our custody. The government has made a commitment through its Broad Outcomes to improve education to promote lifelong learning and greater economic mobility. This partnership is a tangible step along this journey,” he said.

Dr Phyllis Fleming-Banks, manager of the UWI Open Campus British Overseas Territories (BOTs), and Dr Beverly Shirley, located here in the Cayman Islands and responsible for the design, development and delivery of academic programmes across the BOTs, said it had the capacity to raise the skills and abilities of inmates, increase their employability and improve social integration

“We intend to partner with the prisons across the BOTs to implement a similar initiative,” they added.


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

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How about first training all those displaced tourism persons first?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Typical nonsense posts.

    Locking people up forever does not reduce crime. You means you all don’t understand that.

    This is an amazing project by our prison service.

    Wake up people we are in 2021 not in 1901

  3. W says:

    The answer to the “revolving door” is not to let criminals out the door so easily in the first place. Longer sentences for young male offenders is the way to go. Testosterone levels and reoffending are directly linked. Criminal justice has been to infested with do-goosed leftists and religious types who think they can deliver salvation. Statistically both groups are deluded when it comes to outcomes.

    • W says:

      Michael, the link between repeat offending and testosterone levels has been established beyond debate by hundreds of studies. Unless you are suggesting castration, what “medical support” are you suggesting? And to answer “how does rehabilitating someone harm anyone”, easy – most reoffend and the idealism of rehabilitation leads to more crime inflicted on good honest citizens.

      PS Men are responsible for about 85-90% of violent crime, and an even higher percentage of serious non-domestic violent crime. Hardly sexist is it?

    • Robert Mugabe IV says:

      Correct! Many Caymanians have showed they do not value Human Rights, most of whom are in Northward. Many others are religious freaks.
      It has been proven time and again rehabilitation does not work for the huge majority of criminals. They prefer to be recidivist burdens to any decent society.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And here I am thinking that most of them couldn’t read or write.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only thing better than a dumb criminal is a smart criminal.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps the first step could be to lock the door. Consider the law-abiding first.

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