Youth centre under review

| 21/02/2013

Cayman Islands Youth Centre (290x300)_0.jpg(CNS): The planned new young offenders and remand facility is facing delays as a result of budgetary constraints. Despite the need for the centre to be finished by 6 November of this year to meet the government's constitutional and human rights obligations, the new minister responsible, Dwayne Seymour, said that the project is under review in an effort to find possible cost reductions or get approval from the UK. Although the foundations have already been completed at the site and a tender process on the main building started,  the development is on hold until the government can either cut the costs or get permission to spend the more than $10million that the centre will cost to complete.

The project is being managed by the community affairs ministry and was started by the former minister, Mike Adam. However, speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing on Thursday morning, Seymour, who is now the new minister in charge, said that while the project was not being stopped, it was under review because of the costs and the requirements of the Framework  for Fiscal Responsibility (FFR) agreement with the UK, which is now part of the Public Management and Finance Law.

Sources had advised CNS that tenders had been sought and submitted at significant cost to the contractors involved but they were not being informed about the current situation, leading to fears that the project may have been shelved indefinitely.

However, government has an obligation as a result of the implementation of the bill of rights to ensure the separation of young offenders from adult prisoners and to providea secure safe place for young people held on remand when accused of a crime. The youth centre was supposed to be open by 6 November, a date which is now very unlikely to be met.

Seymour said the project was still on-going but government was seeking legal opinions on the ramifications of the centre not being ready on time in relations to its obligations. But in the face of the FFR and budget restrains, Seymour said, the centre needed to get approval from the FCO and the governor was looking into the relevant issues which had come up and the cost. Seymour said the ministry had to demonstrate value for money with the project and all angles were being examined to justify the need for the centre to the UK's officials.

Chief Officer Dorine Whittaker said the ministry was meeting with public works to examine where cuts could be made but she confirmed that the centre would still follow the Missouri Model and the costs issues would not impact the goals to introduce the modern and much lauded system for dealing with young offenders.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Shove them all, old or young, in solitiary confinement and it does not matter who else is in the prison with them at the same time, because they won't meet them.  Make the threat of prison hell.  Have all crimes of violence and dishonesty a minimum of six months, or better a year in jail.  Stop making excuses for these scum bags. 

    We can provide rehabilitation services for those that want it, when they get out, not while they are inside.  Everyone wants rehabilitation on the inside because it is a way of reducing their jail time.  That means we waste money on wastes of space.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Too bad no one in the government has realised that you don't need a fancy expensive facility to rehabilitate 'troubled' youth… Give them hard labour. Force them to work on improving the infrastructure of the island for a 'prisoner's salary (cents to a dollar or so a day). Hard labour can teach someone wonderful lessons. The government gets cheap labour, these miscreants learn what it means to work, it can be supervised labour, and at the end of the day, if done correctly they can have a sense of national pride in having contributed to the improvement and betterment of our island.

  3. St Peter says:

    That new 4 million dollar 'nation building' church up in Bodden Town would make a good remand center. The Weslyan church might have some additional space where we can lock those degenerates from West Bay up too…

  4. Anon says:

    Although I may not agree with the cost, I do believe a different locale is needed for the young light offenders. I stress light. Do we want a 16 year old that was caught with a stick of ganja being housed among murderers and rapists?

  5. Anonymous says:

    What kind of building experence does Mr. Seymour have !… what does he know about budget costs, who is the contractor in charge ; and who are the sub-contractors. 

  6. Richard Wadd says:

    CI$10 million to build another "Hotel" for reprobates?

    Has anyone else seen the plans for this "Remand facility"?

    Prison is supposed to be a DETERANT from persuing a criminal life-style, not a Luxury Vacation  Resort.  

    Private rooms and bathrooms? Air conditioning?

    What is wrong with us? 

    We can build a facility to accomplish the same purpose for less than 1/3 of that amount.

    This is BS, plain and simple.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How about the parents step up and take control and accually do some parenting!!!

    Or charge the parents for not being responsible for the kids……..

  8. Anonymous says:

    If I were any of these contractors i would be cautious taking on work from government as you never know when you are going to get paid or if you ever will…Take it from someone who has been on the receiving end.

    • Anonymous says:

      08.35- that is what the courts are for and even government is not immune to courts.

      • Anonymous says:

        you have to have money to go to court to and with the type of judicial system we have Lord knows how costly that will be and in the end they work for the government as well..

  9. Anonymous says:

    That's the ten million McKeeva wasted on his nation building (aka vote buying) fund right there.

  10. Shame says:

    Ready to spend so much money on a facility to put young kids in prison but i na see nuttin in place to support young toruble kids only to be against them ‘system really design for young people to fail cayman future really look away naw lie

  11. Anonymous says:

    yea man, put it pan hold and stick the vunerable young caymanians who are the future of cayman in eagle house where they can get street wise and learn all kind of bad manners and habbits mixing with old men and child sex offenders etc. then blame the prison some more for it. what cayman does to their youth is disgusting and you all need to be ashamed of yourselves over the years putting them in this position. save our youth? child week? etc etc???? oh please stop the crap.

  12. Anonymous says:

    They’re only too willing to find cost savings with a project like this. After all it’s only going to benefit future generations and they can’t vote. But ask them to give up their slush funds, travel funds or perks or introduce any measure of accountability and you hit a brick wall. Priorities.

    • Anon says:

      Agreed a dollar spent on rehabilitating a teenager is worth much more than 50000 spent on a postal conference in my books.

  13. Anonymous says:

    How about the financial institutions and "well to do" people who spend millions on protecting Iguanas put their money towards this instead. This is something that should have been done a long long time ago!

    • Anonymous says:

      How about the 'Government' people who spend millions on themselves put 'your' money towards this instead.  This is something that should have been done a long long time ago!

    • Anonymous says:

      You still don't get it do you?  Your government should be paying for this, long long time ago!

    • Anonymass says:

      If you use 'all that money' you wouldn't build much. The iguana work has been done on sweat and a string. A few pieces of lumber and a couple of rolls of chicken wire dont' cost that much. Especially when its nailed together by volunteers. Works for iguanas who like the sun but puting kids in cages might not go over well. Probably better to build them something good But that will cost a bit more. Oh, say, $10million. Which the iguana programem doesn't have. (Thats why they keep getting trun over in the Brac. No money even for signs. Much less 'trafick calming measures'.)

    • Anonymous says:

      How about the government doingits job?

  14. Anonymous says:

    I would warn contractors to stay away from anything government does? My company is still owed thousands of dollars from the schools project and still getting the run around to get paid.

    You do all the work and then there are excuses after excuses. I'm about to take their a$$ to court !

  15. Anonymous says:

    Get the private sector to build and lease it back over a number of years. No borrowing, no upfront costs…