New centre to focus on rehab not punishment

| 16/03/2012

IMG-20120315-00052.jpg(CNS): The minister with responsibility for community affairs said that the new youth centre being developed by his ministry will be a place of protection and support that will set a high benchmark for the entire region for dealing with young offenders and troubled youth. At the ground breaking ceremony at Fairbanks in George Town on Thursday evening Adam called for support from the community for the resolve to “move beyond a punitive approach” and embrace the new programme based on the now famous Missouri model which calls on young people to confront their behaviour and account for their mistakes.

Officials revealed that Lalev Construction had been awarded the contract via the central tenders committee, to begin the foundations for the youth centre which Adam said would be finished by May 2013.

The development of the centre was fuelled bya requirement in the new Cayman Islands Constitution to separate young offenders from adult prisoners. Instead of building a new facility at the Northward Prison site, the ministry decided to adopt a new approach and build a different type of centre. The new centreincludes a secure unit for the young people who have committed very serious crimes but it still will allow government to introduce an adapted version of the Missouri model which has had resounding success in giving young people in trouble a chance to get out of the criminal justice system and start a new life.

The premier, who delivered a message at the opening ceremony via the health minister Mark Scotland, said the programme was not a “soft touch” as research shows the model works. He said the young people are monitored constantly and the programme works by getting young offenders to confront their own behaviour and recognise their own mistakes. The premier said that the opening of the centre demonstrated that government was not giving up on the country’s troubled youth.

Adam said that juvenile offending is always a symptom of other problems from poor parenting drug and alcohol addiction in families, emotional, sexual and physical abuse among other which he said had to be addressed and the centre would be about addressing family problems as well as the behaviour of the young people ordered to attend the facility.

The centre will be a step towards opportunity rather than just punishment and instead of always reacting to the problems of youth crime the centre would provide interventionist programmes too in an effort to prevent young people ending up in a life of crime.
Justice Richard Williams also spoke on behalf of the chief justice who was unable to attend but wanted to record the judiciary’s support for the centre, which was first brought to the attention of the ministry by former chief magistrate Margaret Ramsey-Hale who is currently in TCI.

“The judiciary has good reason to be optimistic about the centre,’ Williams said on behalf of CJ Anthony Smellie as he pointed to the Missouri model as generating deep change.

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Category: Crime

Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    it seem that only Cayman has these problems, and everywhere else is heaven with no criminals,robbers or murderers.

    I still feel safe here i dont know where you come from but you must be from somewhere on mars ,good luck lier.

    For the people who has all the answers you should let the country where you come from in on this great secret, and maybe you will stop all the murders,robberies and such, i have traveled to many places and know better.

    Dont stick around if we are so crime infested.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't see anywhere in this artcile stating cayman is the only place that has crime.  Yes there is crime all over the world, but cayman is so small and everyone was in DENIAL about our problems until it got to big that they couldn't DENY it anymore.  Remember over 10 years ago, no gangs, but they were here, but of course the politicians stated there are no gangs in the cayman islands, remember all the armed robberies then and the ATM Machines being broken into…why didn't we take control of it then…so don't come with this you are safer here, unfortunately you are not safer here, the criminals have taken over and you legally cannot defend yourself against them (only with your hands and that is questionable), where as in other places in the world you have a right. 


      For an Islands 27 x 7 (or so) our crime is very very high, so I suggest you re-read what is happening in the cayman islands. 

  2. Beach Bhoy says:

    Can't we just ship them to the Brac?

  3. Anonymous says:

    This facility in no way justifies the speding of $3,000,000. Have you seen the simulated picture of this building. The design is out of this worl looking at the picture from outside. If a new facility is needed I do not see why a simple biulding can't do with basic finishes, or is this one of those state of the art buildings that will look like it belongs to NASA as well!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      We had a facility for the youths that were troublesome….and what happened to it?????? Now we are spending 3,000,000 for a luxury center for them….why are we spending this type of money.  If it didn't work before what makes them think it will work now??? Oh yeah cause election day is coming up….

      • Anonymous says:

        Seems to me the UDP government is doing the same thing here that they've criticized the past PPM government for doing elsewhere.


  4. Dr. Crab says:

    Past and present governments of the Cayman Islands should be commended for the resourses made available to solve the issue of youth at-risk. Let me point out that these youths were not born at-risk. Any suggestions??? We should focus on the pre and post natal care, followed by pre-primary and primary care for our children especially those who are in an environment  which would facilitate at-risk behaviour.

    Any comments ???

    • Dick Shaugneary says:

      My main comment is that the use of multiple question marks is inane and completely undermines a reader's view of your credibility.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Must be election season, UDP is buying up all the shovels again, breaking ground on everything in sight and when they lose the next election, they will blame the next government for how much it costs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I have been waiting for this story to come out.

    Why?  The answer is simple… Mr. Adam is trying to solvean impossible problem.  
    The answer is to not create the problem.
    How do we do that? We pay teachers properly and have them trained at something more than a junior college and then put even more incentives in place for Caymanians to be teachers.

    Once you have a child engaged in their learning environment, they will not need rehab.

    Sorry, but this simply shows how Mr. Anglin has failed to deliver and positive change in our school system.


  7. Miami shopper says:

    If minister Adams ministry would deal with the Carib Haven issue/ problem instead of protecting and covering for certain persons who are not doing their jobs.We wouldn't be in this mess a facility doing absolutely nothing but yet  sitting up in Dart's prime waterfront building in G/Town. What a great gig and getting big dosh$$$$$$. See you guys at Royal Palms 4 drinks later. I need some counselling?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Criminals feel entitled to take what is not theirs. Especially here where they are raised to think everyone else is here for thier purpose and think labor jobs are beneath them. When they have grown up thinking that way, thanks to their parent(s) and the CI gowerment how are you going to take that out of them?