Approach to troubled youth begins transformation

| 08/03/2012

Cayman Islands Youth Centre (290x300).jpg(CNS): The way local authorities deal with young offenders and those with behavioural problems is beginning its transformation. With the ground breaking of a new young offenders institute in George Town next week and the official adoption of the Missouri Model at the Bonaventure Boys Home in West Bay, the community affairs ministry is leading the charge to switch from a punishment focus regime to one which encourages troubled youngster to confront their issues. This specialist model focuses on rehabilitation typically within a peer-group setting and since its recent adoption, the programme has seen significant improvements in the boys, officials have said.

The new youth centre which will also be based on the Missouri Model, is due to be finished by May next year and will serve as both a home and treatment centre for juvenile offenders and remanded young people.

“Missouri’s approach is not at all a ‘soft’ approach to delinquent behaviour, but instead, much harder, more demanding and more likely to bring about meaningful change as you must face and deal with your most difficult and traumatic issues and take responsibility for your actions and behaviour”,” said the Minister of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, Mike Adam.

“With these enhancements in youth rehabilitation, we all have an opportunity to help chart the way forward by empowering our children and youth, strengthening our community and securing the future of these Islands,” he added.

Along with the new programme the Bonaventure home as also recently been renovated to reflect the new philosophy. There is now an open dorm layout for staff observation and safety, classrooms, and a group meeting room. Residents have a daily schedule consisting of education, group counselling, individual counselling, meals, recreation, dorm cleaning, and check-ins.

The Chairman of the Children and Youth Services (CAYS) Foundation, Garth Arch, which runs the home said, “It is encouraging to witness the significant progress being made with the shift in youth rehabilitation from the traditional punitive approach towards a strength-based model focusing on group interaction and positive personal development.

The establishment of the new Therapeutic Community Programme is a meaningful advancement towards successfully rehabilitating at-risk youths to become positive and productive citizens.”

The Therapeutic Community Programme General Manager, Sydney Williams, is happy with the home’s new look. “With our remodelled home, we now have a full plan – one that includes more suitable accommodation, trained staff, new principles and higher standards for the boys to enjoy,” he said. “The new system has really put a positive spin on the way the boys interact, and I am confident that this new direction will help our youth become productive citizens of this country.”


The ground-breaking ceremony for Cayman’s first purpose-built youth rehabilitation facility, Cayman Islands Youth Centre, on Thursday 15 March at 4pm at 73 Fairbanks Road.

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  1. Legal Seagull says:

    Here is a model that I like the "Not Soft On Scum" Model.

    Six months or a year in solitary confinement and the promise of doubled sentences if they reoffend is the only "model" that might affect this type of pond life. 

    And yes, I have seen first hand the touchy feely rehab and hug-a-hoodie models tried by middle class sociologists who want to save the "troubled and misunderstood".  These very expensive programmes only work for a tiny tiny percentage and expose the good people in society to more crime risks in the future.

  2. Anonymous says:

     YES we  are working very hard to have more compassionate, responsible,  industrious,

     creative,  honest, hardworking,  Young people.But until we as the MEDIA  and PARENTS


    block out some of the Channels of  Sex, Exploitation of women, Voilence from coming into our childrens bedroom and our Family Living Room we will not the attributes just  described from our youth.


    Yu can only get Garbage, sex and voilence OUT  if that is what we are exposing our children and young people to right in our  homes( which  should  bethe safest  place for a child)

    • Anonymous says:

      "block out some of the Channels of  Sex, Exploitation of women, Voilence"


      some? which ones? Why not all? oh right, then there would be NO TV!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Is that a picture of Cayman Enterprise City?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Will be finished by May next year, eh? Lets wait and see!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I seem to remember we had an Alabama model for Canaan Land drug rehab which was touted by the Bible bashers here as the way to go and it failed miserably (is it even in use anymore?). Then we had some "maritime" program at Bonaventure -whatever happened to that? Now we have the Missouri Model. One day, we might even have the Cayman Model. What would that look like?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Cayman model is finding something that is working elsewhere and tweaking it to fit Cayman – that's what's being done here. Let's give it a chance and see…