Adults and juveniles still mixed in local jails

| 20/09/2012

Prison gate (232x300).jpg(CNS): Despite the obvious human rights implications, older men are still being house with young offenders at Eagle House and teenagers are still being housed inside the adult prison at Northward. Although the originally prescribed age limit on inmates at Eagle House, the centre deigned for the country’s youngest offenders, an FOI request by a CNS reader has revealed it is still holding 25 men over the age of 22, fifteen of which are aged over 30.  Meanwhile, there are twenty young men aged 21 or under being incarcerated in HMP Northward, the men’s adult prison, two of whom are boys under the age of 17.

The issue of housing young offenders alongside male adult inmates has been an ongoing issue for the prison service but it continues to present human rights violations against prisoners.

The government has begun the development of a youth offenders centre, which will follow the innovative Missouri model for treating young people who have been caughtup in the criminal justice system. The ministry has confirmed that unless there are unexpected delays, it is scheduled to open in September next year, even though the Bill of Rights will come into force in Cayman in just six weeks.

At the time the 2009 constitution was drawn up, government was given an extra year after the Bill of Rights came into force to complete the facility that will eventually address the problem of where to put those convicted of a custodial sentence by the courts who are under 21.

Currently, the Bonaventure Boys home in West Bay is already following the Missouri system, which takes an entirely modern approach to dealing with both convicted offenders and troubled youth. CNS has been unable to ascertain if any of the residents at that facility, described as a rehabilitation school and a detention facility for juveniles (minors under the age of 18), are serving custodial sentences handed down by the courts.

However, the FOI request has revealed that teens are serving time in an adult prison and those in the young offenders facility are also being housed alongside adults. In addition, the inmates at Eagle House are serving a diverse range of sentences for a wide range of crimes, from serious offences such as rape and murder to minor infringements such as possession of ganja.

The issue of overcrowding in prison systems has led to youngsters serving jail terms being increasingly housed alongside adults in the UK as well. A report published by the Prison Reform Trust earlier this month found that two thirds of adult prisons in England and Wales are overcrowded, with youngsters being inappropriately housed with adult offenders.

As young people who commit crimes are seen as a distinct group, experts say they should be housed and dealt with separately from older prisoners with prison staff that has specialist training for dealing with young offenders. Prison reformers also point to the problems young offenders face in the adult system. The experts say teen prisoners in adult jails face a higher risk of being assaulted, are more prone to suicide and are 34 percent more likely to commit crimes once released than offenders who serve time in juvenile facilities.

See details of inmate ages and crimes committed below.

Category: FOI

Comments (14)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Perhaps our esteemed honorable leader Premier ruler can spare some travel petty cash from his community building fund to rebuild some of our disenfranchised youth.

    There has to be rehabilitation…. or revolving door.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Third world leadership (if that), third world police in the force, Third world courts =incompetenc at all levels.  Demand good governing or get used to it and most important don't be a criminal here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Poster 15:59

      What is third world? because every time i hear this word third world i hear of corruption, bad govn,t and such, tell me something what was Gorden Brown,Tony Blair,George Bush and also don,t forget Jimmy Carter was they good leaders? i think not,i say that was bad govn,t.

      And while we are at it, it seem according to some people USA,Canada,Germany,England and the rest of the light skined Countries do not have Corruption,poor people or crime or anything bad its only those dark skinned poor Countries that have these things so we call them third world, that word is offensive, you are corrupted just like everyone else.

      Leave peoples Countries alone fix yours first, yours is not perfect and i am only commenting on your third world comment, you are makeing enemies every where you go,can,t you see that for arrogance?.

      A lot of people love the USA,England and such ,but the arrogance is killing you,wake up you are no better than anyone else,let our World live in peace.

       

  3. Anonymous says:

    OK  McKeeva….here's a real place to spend some of your Nation building fund to help rehabilitate young Caymanians .

  4. Anonymous says:

    Age doesn't seem to be a factor when they are committing the crimes they commit, does it?!  There may be a number of social or other factors influencing these boys why they feel they have to do certain things but we all have the ability to make choices and if they choose the "easy" route, then I'm sorry, man up and serve the time!

  5. Anonymous9 says:

    This is really gross.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don't know, aren't most of them already living with adult criminals at home?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Funny how its fine to mix outside, I suggest you keep out of trouble. End of problem.

    Send them to a Mexican jail for a year, Shock factor will work every time.

  7. Anonymous says:

    If the jet setting all over the globe stopped, the funds would have been available to rectify this problem; "day late and a dollar short". Whats new with really what these Islands need.

  8. Slowpoke says:

    This, as well as the mental health patient issue, will become a necessary but very expensive, Human Rights issue in a couple of months.  I have not seen anything in the budget that addresses these problems effectively.  Are we going to delay/suspend the HR provisions?

    • SSM345 says:

      Bingo, add it to the listwith the Conservation Law etc etc.

      Govt. mantra, ignore things and they go away or become someone elses problem.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Alittle extra space could be found if people like , Steve Manderson, Blanford, Lindsel, Powell, Roper and Powell are released. One cannot understand why our Governors havent looked into their situation.

    • Anonymous says:

      Any British Judge would release Manderson And Roper if they looked at the evidence and investigated how that evidence was gathered and the evidence that did not come out.

      In any case, both Manderson and Roper should have at the most been charged with manslaughter.

       

    • Anonymous says:

       Wed 20:58, do you mean there should be no such concept as "life means life" for premeditated murder and not 12, 15, 20 years or whatever?