Youth centre scrapped

| 15/05/2013

youth centre.jpg(CNS): The plans to build a young offender facility to ensure that the Cayman government is compliant with the bill of rights and separates its younger criminals from adults, have been scrapped. The government does not have the cash to either build the centre or run it once it is built, the minister for community affairs announced Tuesday. Dwayne Seymour stated that the Missouri Model was being dropped in favour of a Cayman model because of costs. The minister, who took over the ministry in December, pointed to concerns that had been raised by the governor regarding the cost of the project, which officials broke ground on in 2012, and which had been allocated some $8 million in this year's budget. However, Seymour said that the estimates had been as much as $11 million and government did not have the money.

However, strapped for cash or not, government is under obligation to separate young offenders from adult criminals, as per the bill of rights, which came into force in November 2012, and had already extended its obligation to do so until November of this year.

The project was also designed to make a greater impact on turning around the lives of young people who were making early steps on the road to a life of crime with speciality programmes. The former minister, Mike Adam, had identified the Missouri Model as a solution for the problems Cayman is facing with its young offenders and had designed the young offenders’ facility around that model.

Seymour said Tuesday, however, that the project would likely have to go back to the beginning as the costs were too high and the country could not afford another ten or eleven million on a building to house just ten or fifteen children.

“It will need to be dealt with by new the administration,” Seymour stated. “I wasn't able to get Cabinet approval because of the cost,” he said, adding that it was possible it would need to go back to the drawing board with a change to the scope of the plan to one that suits Cayman.

The community affairs minister said that if it was the Missouri Model that was driving costs so high it would have to be scrapped for a Cayman model.

Cayman’s young offenders are currently mixed with prisoners at HMP Northward, and although Eagle House was designed as a separate facility for juveniles, overcrowding at the prison has led to adults being housed there and younger more difficult prisoners being housed in the main jail. A recent report about HMP Northward carried out by the UK’s prison inspectorate noted that the prison was barely fit for human habitation. There have been endless reports of bullying and neglect of younger offenders inside the prison walls and some have been accommodated alongside sex offenders.

“We evidenced juveniles and young adults put atrisk of sexual predation and recruitment into gang crime. One adult prisoner on C wing (Eagle House) had been convicted of sexual offences against children, and another was suspected of being involved in recruiting young people into gang crime on release,” the report revealed. “We had very serious concerns for the safety of a small number of children and young adults held at Northward," the inspectors said. “There were no systems to protect them from predatory behaviour, and it says much that those who seemed most concerned for their safety were other prisoners.”

The regime at HMP Northward does not meet the specific needs of juveniles and young adult prisoners and staff are not trained to work with young offenders or in child protection. With plans for the youth centre now scrapped, hopes of a new dawn for those trapped into the criminal justice system early in life have faded and it is clear that the next government will be facing the very real possibility of law suits without some interim measure to remove young offenders from HMP Northward before the year end.

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  1. Anonymous says:


    CAN't We as a Society see what is BREATHING this mentallity in our YOuth?


    We will AL WAYS have these Dilguent issues  if we adults dont block out bout ( ALL or most of the channels) on our Tvs that is  Mentoring our Youth  how  to have aMind of  Voilence

    Rebellion, Ignorance, baby mama/daddy Syndrome" Gangster


    Simply look on your Television on your Screens at home and use a little Wisdom and see the Messages coming on the Screen to your children


    Then is their a wonder why there is a need for  a Youth Remand Facility?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Does Cayman not see that this is a grave disservice to the youth of these Islands! What will continue to happen is that these youth offenders will continue to reoffend because they cannot receive the rehabilitative services that they need in order NOT to be career criminals and have a permanent address at HMP!

    When are we going to make our children a priority?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Cayman can easily afford complaince.  It simply chooses not to raise tax revenue to pay for it.  Therefore there is no excuse for non-complaince with rights obligations.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Big fat waste of time!

  5. Slowpoke says:

    Yep, suspend Bill of Rights, FOI, OCC and why not the AUD. G. for good measure.  A sure fire measure, to get Cayman on a solid social footing.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Great photo, CNS…….the stuff that the politicians are shovelling looks brown to me. 🙂

  7. Rorschach says:

    hmmm…seems to me Cayman can pay a "little" now, or get ready to pay a LOT later on…this was not something that someone just woke up one day and decided needed building..this facility was REQUIRED for Cayman to be compliant with the Human Rights Law..when lawyers start suing the government on behalf of juveniles and their families for breach of Human rights, and make no misake, it's already happening, then $11M is going to seem like a pittance…this is just the tip of the iceberg…when the public become more aware of all that the Government is supposed to be doing to protect and uphold their rights and realise how much money was wasted that could have gone to putting those things into place and when the UK steps in and FORCES Cayman to become compliant and how much money THAT is going to cost, then you gonna see something…

    • Just Commentin' says:

      Good points!  If we do not become compliant, regardless of the reason, lawsuits over human rights abuses are bound to arise.


      If we do not become compliant, regardless of the excuse, the UK has the right and certainly the responsibility to force compliance. If our excuse is that we cannot afford to become compliant to the provisions of our own Constitution because of cash flow problems, I can envision the UK "forcing" us to afford it by ordering us to implement direct  taxation.


      We are continuing down a very slippery slope indeed!  Caymanians can either wake up now and make government do what is right, or one day wake up to the Tax Man knocking at the door.

  8. Sam Putt Putt says:

    Government couldn't afford it? Yet it can afford boondoggles like the Turtle Farm, Cayman Airways, Mac's "Nation Building" slush fund, and paving in the Brac. No one beleives your worn out old excuse Minister Seymour.

    Let us pray an international civil liberties organization gets wind of these such abuses of human rights perpetrated by the Cayman Islands Government and holds this sort of governance and these people to account for thier offenses.

    Perhaps some right minded organization will sue the government on behalf of the young, abused offenders now improperly held in custody and force it to allocate the necessary resources away from its wasteful white elephants and carry out its basic obligations. It is shamefully clear government will not do the right thing unless it is forced to do so.

    We will eventually have to answer for our sins and pay the piper Cayman Islands. And there is no way around that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Plus, why does every Government Building have to be so darn expensive?

      If it houses only 10-15 offenders, it means we would spend approx CI$ 700,000 per offender to build this facility? Surely there must be a way to build this at a much lower cost!

      • Anonymous says:

        You cant blame the politicians for the cost. It was PWD, whose Director is Max Jones, that designed the facility. The politicians had little input in the design of this one.


        But having little input is a two edged sword. Either Mike Adam and Dwayne Seymour didnt know any better, or just didnt care about the design of this.

        • Anonymous says:

          I agree with you, and whilst they are not to blame for the design, they are to blame for probably having failed to put down a good solid scope for the design and let someone just go crazy with it, rather than remaining on planet earth

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why can't we just shove them all, regardless of age, into solitary confinement with no social interaction?  They only learn bad habits and the vast majority of them offend again whatever is offered to them.  I am tired of money being wasted on the vague hope of redemption for criminal scum. 

  10. Anonymous says:

    The UDP trend continues….. break ground on projects but don't start actually paying for them. When another government does build them, tell everyone they spend too much money. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    yep, i guess the youth dont really matter right? disgrace, 

    • Anonymous says:

      What about all that money that went to the churches, going towards the youth my a@@

  12. Anonymous says:

     Can we sentence them to church? I think we have enough of them to hold every juvenile in Cayman, and McKeeva has already given them our money.

  13. Anonymous says:

    $11m is about what McKeeva gave away via the Nation Building Fund. I guess the country's most troubled youth aren't worthy of assistance if they can't vote.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Did John John make the trip to Missouri before deciding he couldn't afford it? Or did Minister of Travel JuJu Banton go there for him?

  15. Anonymous says:

    Something strange is going on here. This job was bid not once, but TWICE over the past 6 months and the price reduced from $11 mil to $8 mil, as a result of a reduction in the scope of works and value engineering exercises performed by both PWD and the contractors. So why is it not going ahead especially as the government/PWD guaranteed to many of the bidders that the funds had been provided by the UK and WERE IN PLACE for this project? Without that guarantee, the contractors would not have wasted their time and money to prepare bids as they were well aware that the government was broke. Where did that money go?  To the churches or to the casinos?                                                                                                                                          This is another clear case of misrepresentation by the UDP government probably hoping this would not have come to light until after the election and would have won them some votes.   What a disgrace. The contractors who, in good faith, spent many thousands of dollars bidding this job not once, but TWICE, should sue to get their money back. If government keeps this up no sensible Caymanian contractor will be tendering on government projects in the future without a guarantee of payment for preparing the tender, and who would blame them. TIME FOR A CHANGE people, time to get someone in there with some kind of business acumen! 

  16. Anonymous says:

    At least you all still have your gas cards.

  17. Anonymous says:

    If McKeeva would pay back the $1M he spent on carousing around the world, we could have our youth centre.  Those who still support him, look at this and remember how much of YOUR money he wasted on travel, unecessary law suits and other waste.  Do what is right for Cayman and do not vote UDP or PNA and do not splut the vote.  If UDP get back in, things are going to ge even worse around here.  

    • Anonymous says:

      What are some of the specific things that you think will happen if the UDP "get back in"?

      • Anonymous says:

        well let's see – more corruption, law suits because of incompetence, more gas, duty, work permit, financial services fee increases leading to more unemployment because more businesses cannot survive.  Increased crime and an even greater abundance of drugs on the street and in the prison because we have had no accountability for anything over the past years.  Probably a lot more things as well. 

  18. Anonymous says:

    yep the country is broke….and yet we have constant campaigns by backward caymanians against huge development opportunities by our only investor…dart…..

    caymanians deserve everything they get…….

    • Anonymous says:

      Did the recent report indicate that the country was getting value for money? Also, to you think it si good for the country to have any one developer in control of a large section of the economy?

  19. michel says:

    This is very sad. All the money wasted on travels, lawsuits inherited from Mac and his UDP gang against the Govt. Really our youths don’t count ? This is unaceptable and they talk about re- electing them. Please bury the UDP so deep that they can’t come back ever. My votes will definatly make sure of that. I will vote straight for the Progressives in my district of BT. I stongly suggest you do the same in your district. There are many Real Independants3( excluding( c4c) and other alliances) out there that are worth looking at if you choose otherwise. Vote wisely and remenber the future belongs to Our Caymanian Cihildren and Granchildren. UDP and Mac is not a good option. God Bless, Michel Lemay for a better future for Caymanians. Please vote intelligently.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. What do you think of the money that was wasted during the last PPM administration?

      • Anonymous says:

        Technically it wasn't wasted right? Bet you have a child who goes to one of the schools or a family member who works in the new Gov Admin bldg (instead of that mold infested place)? Now shut up! At least PPM's money was put into Assets, that appreciate in value and also saves Govt payout to landlords. Try getting something back off of lawsuits, casinos or KX tickets will u?

      • Anonymous says:

        I think the UDP AND the PPM are the same circus with different clowns.  By the way,  What do they both have in common?  Besides the obvious incompetence, corruption, and Lazyness?

        • Anonymous says:

          Not even the UDP have accused the PPM of corruption. You are a liar. 

        • Anonymous says:

          Can you name the corruption of the PPM, please?  I've never heard of their members being named in any corruption or lawsuits.  I saw that they had vision for the long term during their term as Govt. The school in Frank Sound is being highly praised now, by the students and everyone else related to it.  And it was intended to serve, not just as a school, but also a Community Centre and a Hurricane Shelter.  Does that sound like vision?  Or waste? Can you define the difference?  And the new Govt. Admin building…every occupant loves it and the old Glass House pales in comparison.  All of the critics also appreciate its amenities.  At least we can see where the PPM put the money.  It didn't disappear into some "never never land" where we will never see it again! Or to casinos and travel constantly around the globe to "bring inward investment" while taking millions OUTWARD. 

      • Michel says:

        At least we have something to show and not ome includiing Alden our Leader was NEVER in breach of Law or guilty. Not One. XXXX

  20. Anonymous says:

    I guess one of there buddies were not the successful bidder. If it had been this would have been built. More wasted money on a design other consultants fees. We have to get rid of these clowns.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Where is the money that was approved for this project?  Did they use part of it to buy land for a cemetery?  Is this why we have a $50m surplus?

  22. J J the Jet plane says:

    Churches are definitely a more cost effective way to buy votes

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly 21.58-priorites priorities priorities…Churches first (then we get free advertising in their yard, regardless if morally correct or not), Brac roads next, CIG corporate credit cards for use as we see fit, Gasboy cards for same, contracts for our friends at inflated prices…God Government is a good business!! Unless of course you have nothing to eat or cannot vote..and even then food will miraculously appear every 4 years at this time of year!!

  23. Anonymous says:

    And yet we have $9 million for the Hurricane Hilton. One more example of how politicians care for votes more than they care for the vulnerable in our society.

  24. Anonymous says:

    So once again the UDP is too busy spending money on Shxx (travel, roads to minons properties) and doesn't have any money left over to build compliance infrastructure.  Why can't those voters that will vote them back in see that they wouldn't pick you off the street after the election if you where bleeding to death. They won't even acknowledge you exist after May 24th. Please West Bay and George Town vote smart this election.

    • Anonymous says:

      Can you expand of the roads that were constructed for the "minons"? I would like to take this information to the police if it can be verified.

      • Rorschach says:

        take a trip to Cayman Brac..go up on the bluff…see where the new road is…go to the end and ask who owns the houses you find there…THAT should be a start for you…

  25. Rrp says:

    Not to worry. Dart will build it. How did these politicians get us to this point where we can’t even build a youth centre for 10mil. Cut spending people.

    In the meantime a party is promising to roll back 200m of taxes without cutting civil service. If that’s the case, Dart will have to buy toilet paper for our government bathrooms.

    People, vote for intelligent people who can get us out of this mess before we implode. We don’t even have money to uphold our own constitution. We need the best 18 people working for us.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with most of your comment but would like you to expand on the specific cuts that need to be made and what impact they will have on overall expenditure.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Cayman model- grab a spear and a spliff and post on FBy. The comedy gets better everyday. I forgot there will be more than likely a CCTV watching ove them as they leave the premises that does not work.

  27. Otherview says:

    $11 Million Dollars……………. If everyone gets their “negotiated” cut.
    Let us remember “The Schools”, a story that will live in financial infamy !!
    This project should be reviewed and redesigned. Cayman needs this completed for a
    variety of reasons. Mostly for the future of many of our youth.
    Just leave out the $400,000.00 kitchen.

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is happens to EVERY govt. project because it is handled by civil servants who do not have a client looking over their shoulder to control their willy nilly spending.

    Get some private practice QUALIFIED,( really qualified with real world qualifications,) professionals to bring some construction  and budget controls.We should not let civil servants PWD orotherwise mke decisions with our money.

    • Anonymous says:

      I get the impression you don't have much faith in civil servants, yet there are multiple examples of PWD organised projects having been successfully completed, for example the Lighthouse School and the Prospect Primary, to name but two. It is when glory-seeking politicians get over-involved in projects (for example, a past minister for education intent on "making a name for himself", the irresponsible fellow) that things go belly up. With all due respect, please do some research before making such outlandish (and factually inaccurate) assertions.

      • fred sanford says:

        Yes many good projects  The immigrant detention centre, the empty govt homes, the vendor stands in boddentown, the heritage tower, the unfinished school, What did i miss? The vendor pavillion in north side,

      • Anonymous says:

        OOOOOoooo…methinks the writer hit a PWD sensitivity nerve….Take a close look at yourselves PWD and see if you would survive as a business in the real world.