Prisoner back in Northward

| 12/05/2009

(CNS): Update Tuesday 12 May 12:45pm: James Orville Ebanks, who escaped from HMP Northward on Friday, is now back in custody. He was apprehended at approximately 8:15pm Monday evening, 11 May, by a search team of prison officers, operating in conjunction with the RCIPS, just a few miles from the prison in Bodden Town. He was returned to HMP Northward and subsequently handed over to the police. He is currently being questioned by police officers at the Central Police Station.

Ebanks was found to be missing during the 11:30 am lunch break head count on Friday. When his escape was announced, prison officials said he apparently used an instrument to cut through the bars of his cell window, and then cut through the prison fence, making his escape. One prison officer has been suspended in connection with the incident.

Commissioner of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Dr. William Rattray and Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ennis thanked all police and prison officers for their diligent work over the past three days.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    what a disgusting idea, send them to the BRAC. I betcha when them Spot Bayas finish with them they wont need worry bout crime in the Cayman Islands. First of all, Cayman Brac might have it’s crime but they surely dont need prisoners over there. The Cayman Islands is made up of 3 islands and the only time u hear about Little Cayman or Cayman Brac is when unny want throw unny dutty things on them. Glad that Jamaica nah want them either.


  2. yaadie says:

    Richard Wadd, u bright and outa order. you Caymanians would never accept money from US to dispose of their Trash in your region so why do you think Jamaica would? Even yuh own Brackers nuh want dem!! Things might be bad in JA but surely wi wouldnt want oonu prisoners, nuh fi love nar money. Wi have enuff a wi own. Why it happened in the "earlier days" was a bad and misguided decision by those (JA Govt.) who were in power. prison is a place for reformation and not hotel suite like oonu hav here- A/C and di works! If a PRIVATELY owned facility is being built in JA, Im sure its to deal with overcrowding there and not your fair islands to offload.

    Oonu need to sort out oonu owna s*** and get a system that works HERE.

    • Collin Mc says:

      Clearly Mr. Wadd needs to go back to, "JA" as he calls it … We, "Caymanians"  as he calls us don’t need his  kind of rhetoric.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is wrong with correction officer jobs??? With all the unemployment in the country these correction office jobs are civil service jobs that don’t require a college education and pay a fair salery.

    You have a job that will last and not be effected by the economy and it is important work that needs to be done for the good of the country.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Use the Brac?! That is the most ridiculous proposition I have heard in a LONG time. (And that’s saying something.)

    The problem is not that there are too many places to "hide" in Grand Cayman. There are prisons around the world in places Grand Cayman can fit into hundreds of times over. The problem is poor management. Ignoring problems – whether they lay within the prison system or elsewhere – does not make them any less severe.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Prison Officers must get nuff respect now. Them wouldn’t stop serach till them find the man. Police didn’t even help them.

    Thank God them find him

  6. "Concerned" says:

    These matters need to be addressed not only by the Prison Service, but by our Politicians.  Too many "mishaps" are taking place within Northward and it’s inmates.  What  messages are we sending to the rest of the world, who read about us?

    Our Islands are built mainly off Tourism and Banking.  Persons who may have the Islands interest at heart, wanting to invest in our economy, after reading that we have no control within our country may take a second look at us.

    This back and forth messaging about re-patriating our prisoners to other destinations need to be stopped.  These men seem to take incarceration for a big joke, and not wanting to do better for themselves.  The entire Prison Service needs to be looked into and ruled by and "iron-fist"!

    What was his excuse for escaping or did "someone" help him out?

  7. Anonymous says:

    If we’re sending the prisoners to the Brac, maybe we can more the dump there too and let the prisoners sort the trash into recycling, organic waste, the truely disgusting sludge, etc., and save a few dollars on the cost while saving the environment.  It’ll also move the dump away from the tourists on Grand Cayman (we’ll have to plant trees and stuff on Trashmore).  It would be easier to find the prisoners if they escape tht way as well.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Easy answer PPM allowed him to escape and the UDP helped with his recapture. If you don’t believe me ask Mac

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why do you think Jamaica wants your prisoners? We have enough to deal with!

  10. Richard Wadd says:

    Further to the First Post:

    My suggestion with regards ‘sending / boarding’ Prisoners in Jamaica is not without basis.

    It is my understanding that there is a new PRIVATELY Owned and Operated Prison Facility under development in Jamaica, that, similar to several now in operation in the US, will operated under Contract. The reason for this? Solves the ‘Over-crowding problem’, while saving the Government Millions per year!

    I see no reason why there would be ANY problem for us to re-visit a similar arrangement if we are no direct burden on the Jamaican ‘PUBLIC Penal system. I am sure that the Jamaican Private sector would be only too glad to be paid in either CI or US dollars for such a service.

    But of course, our ‘Prisoners’ would then be faced with no Air Conditioning, no ‘Lobster and steak dinners’, and an end to Private Suites …… oh what a ‘Cruel and Inhumane’ Sentence that would be…!


  11. The only person to blame here is the DIRECTOR and the way he runs the prison, if they had officers walking around the outside of the facility i am sure one of them would have spotted him.

    You mean to tell me they dont even have up secruity camera’s?

    You guys are right if a caymanian was the director he would have been FIRED from the first incident took place ( sabrina’s murder).

    You see being that the governor is english and the director of the prison is english and the acting police commisioner is english its not much we caymanians can do to get him out of there. 

    We young caymanians have to step up to the plate and get a good education, thats the only way to take back the sweet little island.

    Cns Please post this. thanks

    • Anonymous says:

      Please…this chip on the shoulder is getting very tedious…"oh woe is me, I am a Caymanian…poor me, nobody lets me play…blah de blah de blah" …when are you going to stop and listen to yourselves???? You pride yourselves in not being prejudiced? really! it is soooo tiresome!  Instead, why not think along the lines that people from overseas are hired because no Caymanian is willing to do the work? Why not volunteer sir? why not find some strong Caymanian friends willing to do these jobs?  Stop crying, be nice and do something positive!! It is always easier to criticize and blame the other man.

  12. Seeking Clarification says:

    Could someone please let us all know if it was the PPM, UDP or an Independent candidate who was responsible for the recapture of this man?

  13. Anonymous says:

    So then Cayman Brac is only good enough for the criminals from Grand Cayman? I don’t think that idea is going to fly.

    • Anonymous says:

      Prison on Cayman Brac!

      If this was pre-school I would say that that poster needs a "time out" – that is absolutely hilarious.

  14. Braca says:


    Use the Brac? Your ignorance is obnoxious. I am sick to my stomach with the unintelligent idea of putting a prison or correctional facility or any other unintelligent ideas you would like to propose throwing on the Brac. This is a NO!
    As a 100% Certified Braca now living on Grand Cayman, I am saddened to see the lack of responsibility you show when devising these solutions to a problem that starts right here on Grand Cayman. When you’re finish dumping all your issues on the Brac and Little Cayman, then where will you go? That’s it! This is all we have….3 islands to make the BEST of! If you can’t use the largest of the three properly the first time around why not go ahead and destroy the other two while you’re at it that still hold their innocence for the most part. Tell me what’s left after that?
    Excuse my patriotism to my country the Cayman Islands, but I would like to see her flourish, and at the rate we are going now, she will fall to her knees at the mercy of our gracious Lord above. Cayman needs to stop sweeping all our problems under the carpet and start grabbing the bull by the horns! We ignore critical issues for example “Mt. Trashmoore”, and for how long? I pray to God that he will guide and direct the Leaders of this country into being a PROACTIVE people. I pray that my people will come together and rise above all the trials we have faced in the last years and the trials we are facing now.  
    My Dear Verdant Cayman Islands set in Blue Caribbean Seas I Love you, God Bless!
  15. Anonymous says:

    How about an underwater prison close to the Brac’s dive sites?  Get some gass windows and maybe it will grow into a tourist attraction.  Hard to excape too.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The Governor is as wrong about instinctively protecting the back of a the failed Prison Director this early, as wrong as the Bridger team hurredly claimed that earth deity, Desmond Seals was Gabriel, the Chosen One, even as he foul egg of Tempura was broken hatching. 

    This selective culpability, sellective and seperate treatment ( Dixon, Berman v.s Jones , Kernahon (D,B)  villifying locals while giving other participants a pass (J,K,) is wickedly glaring.

    The disparity is not lost on us.


    I am not alone in being forced to feel that were he, the Director were Caymanian, he would have been suspended and the vilification process commenced. It has happpended twice before concerning matters of mere prison breaks. 

    Now there is a murder and a prison break.  This has continued to go wrong with the polishing of the Prison Directors halo at a time when the truth should not now go into hiding as James O has.

    There is no assurance that the right thing is happening. 

    We not stupid.

    There is no perception that a clinical 

  17. noname says:

    James orville Ebanks was recapture a short time ago

  18. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the Brac would be an idea, there would be corrections officer jobs for local people. Often areas with high unenployment want correctional facilities for the jobs and income brought into their areas.

    To discount this idea out of hand would be a mistake. You could have say the most serious offenders placed on the brac in a new high security facility.

    • Anonymous says:

      That would be an excellent idea. The Brac needs jobs just as Grand Cayman does. But I think the people of the Brac may feel a bit uneasy about this because of the sense of safety they have enjoyed for many years. But good points and by considering this only means we have other options other than Grand Cayman.

      On the other side, offenders that originally were taken from the Brac can be transported back there so that they can have their families visit them and not have to travel to Grand Cayman once in a blue moon. Visitation of families members most times helps with the rehabilitation process of prisoners.

  19. Anonymous says:

    To the person who submitted the comment by Use the Brac? (not verified) on Mon, 05/11/2009 – 10:00. WHY DON’T YOU LET THEM PUT THE PRISON IN YOUR HOUSE OR YOUR BACKYARD! WE DON’T NEED THE FILTH FROM DOWN HERE UP THERE!!!!!!!! Get prison officers that are NOT corrupt! They are the ones letting this foolishness happen! We dont want or need a prison in Cayman Brac! Keep the filth off of our shores! Look at who is up Northward Prison!!! The majority of them are not Cayman Brackers therefore keep your filth down here!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I would not support the prison being moved to the Brac…haveing said that let me say this, the CAYMAN ISLANDS are made up of Grand Cayman,Cayman Brac,& Little Cayman…when are we going to stopp talking about these Islands as if they are a nation each of thier own…come on CAYMANIANS wakeup…we are one!!!. No wonder the rest of the world on our shores are taking over.

  20. Use the Brac? says:

    There would be less places to hide/escape to in there was a prison on the Brac.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Mr Ebanks received help in making his prison escape and all those who were involved need to to join him back in Northward when he is recaptured.

    People need to know that aiding an inmate to escape means going to prison, be it a man, woman, mother or whoever.

    People in the country need to learn that Northward is not just some hotel where you can eat, sleep and regain your health and then check out at will.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Why cant we get one of those real hard and serious prison directors I seen on TV who will run the place like a prison not as a resting  place with all the comforts .You may see many wont go back if it was a prison. Some times i feel like going and spend a day in there it sounds like fun .


  23. Anonymous says:

    hold onto your boats…..

  24. Whatever! says:

    What makes you think Jamaica wants them?

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hope red sail had their Cats firmly secured this time or  this man is probably half da way 2 Honduras again.

  26. Richard Wadd says:

     It seems to me that when we used to send our Prisoners to Jamaica for incarceration (BEFORE the Northward Hotel), we had far less crime, and even less Violent Crime. Also, Judging on WHAT it Costs to keep one (1) prisoner in Northward per year, would it not be much more cost effective to re-visit that past arrangement?

    With the Govt. looking to cut down on expenditure, we could save Millions per year !! While still helping out the Jamaican Economy….. and in the end, we wouldn’t have to spend any extra money to ‘Deport’ the few Jamaicans that we already have in Northward!

    We would also save on the saleries of ‘Useless’ Prisonofficials, ‘Escape-proof fences (that OBVIOUSLY don’t work), and the Air-conditioning Bill ….. Imagine that !


    • Anonymous says:

      "With the Govt. looking to cut down on expenditure, we could save Millions per year !! While still helping out the Jamaican Economy….. and in the end, we wouldn’t have to spend any extra money to ‘Deport’ the few Jamaicans that we already have in Northward!".

      I believe this is well intended but the last time someone (I believe it was John Jefferson Jr. as an MLA) suggested this, Ja. parliamentarians were greatly insulted. They felt it was a slight to Jamaica, perhaps that we were thinking of Jamaica rather like England thought of Australia.  

      But of course everything has changed dramatically since those days, especially the size and composition of our population, so it is difficult to draw any lessons about the crime rate from this.   

  27. Anonymous says:

    it is possible that he escape from early in the morning , but they were too ashame to report it until late in the day. lets wait and hear the result in the enquire ( merren you may have two )

  28. CaymanianFirst says:

    As Dr. Rattray seems to believe that HMP Northward is akin to a school, I am surprised this was reported as a prisoner escape. I am sure it would be more palatable if the missing prisoner was reported as being "absent from his cell" as opposed to "escaped from prison".  Perhaps HMP Northward will release a statement advising the public to stay calm since the prisoner is "non-violent level 1 or 2". We know all too well how that turned out for Ms. Sabrina Schirn.

    Questions to be asked may include:

    How did the prisoner get the cutting tools?

    Did he have help from the inside/outside?

    How come he was only discovered at 11:30am?

    Is that the first check for the day?

    Did he escape from the night before?

    What time was the previous roll call?

     When serious security breaches continually take place someone must be held accountable. Without accountability there is really no need for a legal system or a prison at all. Come on Cayman, it’s time to take crime/incarceration serious. Since Estella’sdeath we have been hearing about proposed CCTV’s. Where are they?? I would suggest that we get these installed post haste. It sure seems that the first cameras need to be erected around the perimeter of our prison and their work areas.


    • Anonymous says:

      How can you blame one prison officer for this escape? Where was everybody else? Usually there are two officers on duty for each shift plus prison security should always be around.  The problems at Northward stem from the very top and the buck should stop with them.  Hope this poor prison officer really  spills the beans and let the public know what kind of slackness goes on at the prison.  He is being used as a scapegoat and to take the spotlight from those who are truly to be blamed, the director and his deputy.  It’s a wonder more have not escaped, although some probably find it more economical to just reside at the prison where they get battery operated toothbrushes and all the dope the want without having to be paranoid over some cop arresting them. There is absolutely no control at the prison, the prisoners pretty much do what they want to do.  Wonder how Ratty will translate this latest news into some silly analogy? Perhaps he will say that : the hotel staff  ( prison officers) can’t be expected to know the every whereabout of its guest ( prisoners).

      Let’s see some heads roll with this one and I don’t mean some low ranking officer who does what he is told to do.  Hope the next government makes the prison one of its priorities when they take office on May 20.


  29. Anonymous says:

    There must be a solution to the Northward problem. But I sure don’t know what it is. Everyone taking the head job there seems to be faced with the same entrenched system that defies change almost like RCIP, it doesn’t matter if you are local or expat if the system refuses to change then the problems remain.

    How did he cut through that fence anyway? Not with a nail file.

  30. Twyla M Vargas says:


    Something is not right with Her Magesty,s Resort at Northward.   The writing is on the wall, it is time for THE CHANGING OF GUARDS.

  31. Anonymous says:

    Another failure for mr. Rattray,Where are we going with this northward resort,only thing lacking is the beach.

  32. What?!! says:

    Will any heads role for this now?!!

    We know in the past that when the prison was being run by Caymanians, their heads rolled right away!! So wha happen now?!!!

    Again we will hear some "wish wash" reason why it won’t happen.

    Hmmm…maybe he absconded, and didn’t escape as the heading suggest.

    Oh well, it could be worst…not like a prisoner got out and committed murder or anything!!!

  33. Marvin Secolovin says:

    Uh Oh trouble in the camp