Rehabilitation focus of future juvenile detention

| 03/11/2010

(CNS): The minister for community affairs says he wants to take a modern approach when it comes to the establishment of a young offender’s institution for the Cayman Islands. With no proper facility male juvenile offenders who are detained currently serve time in Eagle House at Northward prison where they come into daily contact with adult prisoners and female juveniles are housed at Fairbanks women’s prison alongside adult offenders with no specialist facility, trained staff or rehabilitative programmes. Mike Adam says government is looking at a model of institution which originated in Missouri, in the USA as a possible blueprint for Cayman’s facility that focuses on rehabilitation taking a treatment based approach to the troubled youngsters.

“This model is based on a community programme that emphasize rehabilitation, treatment and education, and is an interactive approach among youth, their families and staff,” Adam explained. “It is in essence a move away from the traditional correctional approach which has shown not to effectively rehabilitate young people.”

With no proper facility in Cayman government is under pressure to build a news centre for young offenders as a result of the constitutional requirement and the demands of the bill of rights that children convicted of crime cannot be imprisoned in adult institutions.

The minister admitted that the conditions of residential care for youth in Cayman are far from perfect for all at risk children convicted or not.

“Currently our children and youth in need of care and protection are being housed with those who exhibit delinquent and/or offending behaviour. To exacerbate the situation, overseas institutions are no longer an option due to international immigration restrictions and the closure of Tranquility Bay in Jamaica for economic reasons. However, even if providing overseas placements were still an option, the exorbitant cost and separation from family make this a less than ideal arrangement,” the Minister said.

He listed the government’s goals for young offenders saying it must support and empower those already on a positive path with education and their social, spiritual and physical development. “But we must also have effective intervention strategies in place, and we must have the programmes in place to correct and rehabilitate those showing delinquent behaviour,” Adam said.

He acknowledged that the plans to provide the proper rehabilitative programming and facilities for troubled children and youth is more urgent than ever, as a remand facility is now a Constitutional obligation. “The Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009, Section (6) (3) states that juvenile prisoners shall be segregated from adult prisoners, and this sectionhas effect from four days after the appointed day. By 6 November 2013, therefore, the Cayman Islands must have suitable facilities in place in order to uphold this provision,” the Minister noted.

With the US model being the preferred option the Ministry has solicited the assistance of Mark Steward director from the Missouri Youth Services Institute as an overseas consultant who was on the island early in October meeting with key stakeholders.

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  1. WAKE UP says:

     Wait a minute?  We are reliving the past….this based in USA program is the SAME as CCMI was 15 years ago!!!  Is Mr. Mike just repeating history?  Sooo, how didthat work for us??

    Tackle illiteracy NOW and fire the Principals and teachers that will not comply.  Oh yes, we have plenty of dead wood around our school system that is hampering any progress.  Sorry, start with ACCOUNTABILITY  ….GOODBYE to Mrs. H who has sat back and allowed this to happen for the past decade….shame on her, shame on her.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A recent long term study points out that 3/4 of young offenders never change their ways no matter what is done.


    • Thankful Again says:

      This is why rehabilitattion is so important.  The point of our article.

      Your posting is so Misleading!!!  I read your article and the issue of rehabilitation and it’s impact on recidivism does not play in the analysis.

      At the bottom of your article it reads: "Reoffending rates among short sentence prisoners remain unacceptably high. We will address this failure in the system by making prisons into places of hard work which prepare offenders more effectively for the outside world. This analysis will feed into our full assessment of sentencing and rehabilitation, which will be published for consultation in the Autumn.

      For the first time, we are publishing the reoffending rates associated with each prison. Whilst it will be invidious to make comparisons between different prisons with very different types of offenders, this is another important step in focusing our work on ending the cycle of reoffending.

      Prison remains the right place for the most serious, dangerous and persistent offenders. We must stop the revolving door of crime and reoffending. We will do this by targeting interventions that work for victims, offenders and the community.”

      Try read your own articles.  What you propose we do, kill um all?!  Good job Mr. Adam.  Rehab should have been our fcus from day one.  I say if we save one child we will doing the right thing.  Chances are we will reform many…which I believe averages around 15 in our system – very managable.

  3. flipper says:

    right.  let’s form a circle boys and girls, hold hands and sing kumbayah.  by the time that these juvies a.k.a. gangsta-wanna-bees enter the "system", it is far too late.  one can rarely, if ever undo 12-15 years of formative damage.  these kids have problems that are so deeply ingrained that not even 90 years of "feel-good" therapy will resolve.  let’s not kid ourselves that they’ll leave these centres and become model citizens – they won’t.  they’ll get out, hook up with their old mates and terrorize the neighbourhood once again – because guess what – they know that they’re going back to that nice place where nothing will happen to them, where they can act like jerks, and everyone will feel sorry for them.  does singapore have "feel-good" juvie centres – no, they have a much cheaper alternative.  it’s called a rattan cane.  it is applied at school, it is applied in the home, and should there be a need, it is applied by the justice system.  the crime rate and  rate of recidivism in singapore is extremely low.  much, much lower than in many places on this earth.  so go ahead and apply your modern methods to tackling these problems (hasn’t worked in the US, Canada, UK, Europe,etc.), won’t work in the Cayman Islands – don’t think it’ll be any different.

    • MER says:

      Discipline begins at home, so parents should be swatting their kids from a young age, spare the rod, spoil not the child. Forget the "time-out" stuff, that works only after respect for you and adult authority has been instilled in your child from a ‘no-nonsense’ approach to bad behaviour! Not sure about using a rattan cane 🙂 But I agree that a thorough spanking never killed my ancesters and most certainly will not kill kids these days either! (Unless there has been some signific change in human skin texture that I haven’t heard about!)

  4. Macman says:

    Am I the only person that thinks that prison should be more of a deterrent to stop people committing the crimes in the first place rather than a comfortable hotel to learn "new" skills and have a relaxing unstressed time?

    • anonymous says:

      I don’t see anywhere it says it will be a "relaxing and unstressed time". My expectation is just the opposite. If you’re taking someone and changing their behaviour patterns while also teaching them academically, in a stigmatised inistitution, without whatever few social supports (as rotten as they may be) that the person is used to, thats going to be pretty stressfull. The point, however, is not to make them uncomfortable for discomfort’s sake (prison) but to have a secure facility where childrend in need of support can receive it. – The kid who breaks in to your hosue because his friend said it would be ‘wicked’? That kid needs to be seperated from bad influences rather than have them reinforced. (Recidivism is the achiles heel of the penal system.) – The kid who needs a secure facility to stay at because (a) an adult family member wants to have sex with them, so they can’t stay at home, or (b) because they saw one of their neighbours, out on bail awaiting trial, commit murder. They dobviously on’t need to be chucked in to prison nor are the other juvenile homes suitable for their protection. – The kid who has no parents, or at least none you woudl want them to stay with, but who is otherwise ‘OK’? They don’t need to be behind barbed wire, which is why you can’t combine the facilites for those children with the secure remand facility.

      A secure remand facility is about a lo more than just ‘build a juvenile prison’.

  5. Thankful Again says:

    This is so long overdue.  It is positive and will yeild results.  I do have one issue though: why do we have to wait to get a new building before we start the work of strong programmes and rehabilitation for those now in eagle house or juvi prison?

    One more thing: while honorable and a positive step, much of this will be in vain if it’s not sustainable.  That said, we have some nation building to do. A country that is assured of it’s destiny and it’s own citizen and celebrate and use what they bring to the table. 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Any time I ever got to know a little bit about the workers that come around my house, the layman in general, conversation usually starts with "do you have any kids?". When I moved here 10 years ago I was always surprised to find out that most of these guys had a lot of kids. Some fully grown and some very young with multiple mothers. I know a guy with 15 kids all but two from differnt mothers. That is shocking to me but I guess not for Caribbean Nations . When I gew up in the USA the first thing that entered your mind was RESPONSIBILITY for the baby on the way. Infact when we had our first child it knocked me back in line right away. I have a succesful company and I attribute that to having children. It stopped being about me and all became about them and my responsibilty to them. I can’t and will never understand how some men can leave a trail of kids behind that they never really wanted and feel no responsibilty to them. It’s like the Daddies couldn’t be bothered to use a condom and don’t care what they result is because it’s not their problem. It is the worse thing for society and these are the worse kind of people becuase these kids are going grow up not knowing how it should be and doing the same thing. Women stay away from these guys. It is a matter of National Security.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow I agree with you 100% on that the USA have sperm donors hospital but here in the Caribbean we have walking sperm donors and we call them baby fathers all they want to do is  to  use the  youngsters inpregnate them and leave them to the mercy of god please dont get me wrong the  women is  just as  bad  if you start  talking to a young man the frist thing you should ask is do you have  any  kids  if he say yes  you should then walk away from him  that tells you he have a kid before.  ask your self the next question can he  take care  of  that  child  plus  mine also

  7. Anonymous says:

    The key to rehabilitation is instilling a system of core values which can help integrate these young people back into society and prevent re-offences.  Sadly, some of our islands’ youth lack parental or guardian role models and are doomed to follow the same misguided advice and leadership offered by their peer group.  The don’t know right from wrong, or don’t care.  Our court system and prison is clogged with kids from these backgrounds and this costs the country tens of millions of dollars each year in support and administrative expense. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It dosent make sense these youth no  where if they have to return to the same enviroment and the same bad living conditions with no jobs. We know that our dear Mr Mike wants the best for them but on their return they would have to have some better living conditions.

      • Anonymous says:

        There are thousands of years of research on this topic across every culture of humanity.  Essentially, it all boils down to this:  if a man possesses manners, charisma, an ethical code, and is willing to show up and work, he will never need handouts from anyone.  Humility is part of the manners package and would restrict this man from blaming others for his own life choices. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Quite agree.  Ah, ‘humility’….if only.  Unfortunately, too many do not view humility as an asset.

        • Long story says:

           The only answer is early literacy and making our schools world class instead of a world joke!  Literacy and vocational skills will keep our youth from turning to crime.

          Stop building the expensive buildings to appease the local fat cat contractors and start FIRING the Education Administration from the top.  

          Start getting decent teachers and teachers aides.  I say "status" for teachers who can show results within 5 years….a small reward to recruit the best and get RID OF the rest!!!