Construction of young offenders centre to start March

| 27/02/2012

mike adam_1.jpg(CNS): The country’s first specially designed young people’s centre to help rehabilitate young offenders and young people at risk will break ground on 15 March, Community Affairs Minister Mike Adam has announced. The facility will be known as the Cayman Islands Youth Centre and is part of a new approach to address the problems and risks faced by young offenders aged between 13 and 17 and is based on the specialist Missouri Model, which has a proven track record of success with young offenders. The  Bonaventure Boys home has already been renovated and ten boys are currently resident there in a pilot programme.

Mike Adam told a public meeting last week that the construction of the centre, which will finally see young people under 18 who have committed an offence serving time in secureaccommodation separated from adult offenders, is a requirement of the Bill of Rights which comes into effect in November. Anticipating that construction will take around one year he said the target date for completion of the young offenders facility is next April.

In the interim renovation work has paved the way for a pilot project to start at the Bonaventure home in West Bay, where ten young people are now under 24-hour 'eyes-on' supervision under the Missouri Model, as the department transitions towards what is an award winning youth rehabilitation system. Some of the boys are educated on site following an approved curriculum but some also go to mainstream school.

Adam said that specialist staff have now been recruited to help implement the model and existing staff have also been trained in the system, which includes structure, accountability and internalized change in a safe home-like environment.

“We now have the opportunity at our fingertips to chart the way forward for empowering our children and young people and securing the future of our islands,” he said, noting that there would be a learning curve as it is the first facility of its kind.

“I am convinced it is the right direction to holistically address the needs of our youth who may be at risk or disadvantaged because of social, economic, environmental or family factors in order to avert destructive behaviour, promote their strengths and resilience so they can reach their full potential,” Adam told the crowd gathered behind the court house.

Going forward, the ministry’s goal is to address the issue of young people with behavioural problems as well as those who have already entered the criminal justice system under the proven Missouri Model, which has shown to have exceptionally high success rates in rehabilitating young people and preventing them growing into an adult life of crime.

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Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Well, Mike's team / ministry seems to be doing something good for us: Gender Equality Law, Renovating Bonaventure Home, and now a Youth Centre for troubled youth. You are taking care of business Mike.


    Keep it up.

    • Anonymous says:

      No only business, he is also taking care of 8,000 people by way of handouts.

      • Anonymous says:

        8,000 which is up from 6,000 or so before the global financial crisis – dont blame Mike for that

  2. Anonymous says:

    And the costs of this facility will be???????????????  I don't recall seeing the figures, either for construction, staffing or maintenance in this article or elsewhere.  Obviously something is needed to help these troubled youth, but transparancy in this project, as well as in all others being planned, should be forefront in this time of political dissatisfaction with the leadership of the Caymans.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why not use the Brac Hilton hurricane shelter?
    Already there, easy security.

    Sounds great, but who is going to run this place????

  4. Anonymous says:

    Couldn't we put it on the Brac?  It would create some jobs there.  It would isolate these troublemakers from their connections.  It would mean the Brac contributed something more to the wellbeing of the nation as a whole.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This government has a spending problem !!

  6. Anonymous says:

    please fill it with qualified experienced staff.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Didn't we have a facility for young offenders? and they had to close it down???? Dont' we have a girl's home which horrible things happen in, but go unnoticed?   Another wasted project….

  8. My2Sense says:

    This had better be a pretty big facility from what I can see!  I don't think it's enough to think that the 'system' should be responsible for the rehabilitation of these individuals (but good on you Mr. Adams for making an effort).  At some point, all the finger pointers out there whose kids are running around shooting and stealing need to be held accountable for parenting.  People need to drop the 'blame the government, expats taking jobs, lack of education or whatever' excuse and take it upon themselves to raise children that aren't compelled to be such menaces to society.

  9. Anonymous says:

    How about March 2013? let's use the available money to complete the school and let's see in 2013 how it goes.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Great work Mr. Mike.

    • Anonymous says:

      Election is just around the corner, we will see new projects starting here there and everywhere.

    • been there done that says:

      Great work my  aqz they should be building a damn trade school.these politicksons are just there for the money sucking every ounce of blood from thepeople.we have been hearing about a trade school before Tru Tru days and it still soon come in 2012.