Let’s support our local criminals

| 19/06/2014

This seems to be the agenda of our CI government officials and the HM Prison Budget. I highly doubt I am the only one appalled by the fact that an inmate who would typically live on less that CI$20,000 per year is commanding in excess of CI$60,000 peryear from the public piggy bank. Let’s compare this figure to the annual salaries of a few important government posts: teachers typically make under CI$38,000 per year, whilst police and customs officers get about the same.

Why is it that our government feels that after they lock up a criminal they are to provide them with all the necessary amenities to keep them happy and comfortable? Most countries find many ways of making a fantastic income from prison labor.

Why are we HIRING people to repair, maintain and rebuild dilapidated prison buildings when we have 100+ capable male hands rolling spliffs and playing dominos until lights-out each evening!? These same men could be put to work and taught to do things like service government vehicles (under supervision obviously). Or better yet, put a block factory at Northward. Since everyone is chewing at Flowers recently, why not have prisoners build the blocks? That would seriously lower the cost of living for the free and give the incarcerated something constructive (literally!) to do on a daily basis and they could work-off this immense expense.

This is crazy! And so many are locked-up for stealing less than CI$1,000 worth of cash or valuables; now they are able to “legally rob” the tax-payers pockets of over CI$60,000 a year because of a backwards government system.

I’m appalled; this is horrible! Every year there is a scream in the air about the education budget and here we are with prisoners living off more than the free. How in the name of the world can one criminal cost more than a middle-class family? There are families living on CI$36,000 per year with two children, mortgages, bills, vehicles to maintain, groceries to buy, school lunches to pay for … and the list keeps growing, I’m just appalled.

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  1. Anonymous says:

                     Look people;contrary to the impression created by this viewpoint,prisoners are not being paid $60,000  per annum,while in prison.What Eli should have said is that it costs Government that amount to keep a prisoner at Northward.This is made up of staffing costs,building repair and maintenance costs,vehicle repair and maintenance costs,electricity and water costs,as well as medical expenses.So please do not let yourself get confused by the writer,prisoners are not "commanding" any sort of payments while in Northward.

    • MEM says:

      I think anyone who read this viewpoint and thought the prisoners were on Government payroll have bigger problems than the prison system does… everyone is simply agreeing that there must be some way to offset these ridiculous costs if educating a child in the Government system is costing about 20,000 per year per child!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let's truly support them with proper rehabilitation programs. If it is drug use a drug rehabilitation. If it is mental illness then treat them accordingly. Resocialization into society. What about the basics here? Some of these criminals just didn't have the correct upbringing. Teach them basic manners, table manners. Please and thank you etc The correct socialization procedures the correct way to speak and interact in different social settings. What to wear. teach basic English grammar. Some may not know how to read and write. Giving the opportunity to improve could do wonders for the self esteem. Make ladies and gentleman out of them by the time they leave. Maybe the most they can do are customer service jobs. However they will know how to do it effectively. Or are they too busy doing something else? 

  3. Anonymous says:

    It seems none of the commentators have ever been in a prison . . . 

    You can't blame prisoners for the inefficient way the government deals with the prison.

    Most of them are in jail because of smoking a joint, something that is not a problem in more and more countries.

    Average cost for a us prisoner is 47k US a year, but they have double the percentage of their population in jail.

    In Europe on average 71k CI a year. The difference here is that most prisoners in Europe are more involved in day to day society and most of them never return.

    You all have to realize, that prisons and prisoners are a part of the society. The same society that sets the rules, has to pay the bill.

    The more rediculous (smoking a joint) the rules, the higher the bill.

    • Anonymous says:

      The public need not experience life in prison to be outraged at the inefficiencies. 

      A prison is meant to segregate the criminalsfrom the rest of society on order to protect the greater society from harm. It is also for punishment for a crime commited. A prison is not a holiday. It is for confinement. It  is not for rehabilitation. 

      "Smoking a joint" as you called it makes it sound so laissez faire and meaningless. It is not just smoking a joint that is the problem. It is the entire process and the proliferation. 

      For those that really do not understand what is wrong with "smoking a joint" here are some of the issues:

      1. It is antisocial behaviour. Individuals that engage in this activity on average do not have high IQs, ambition/drive and tend towards the lower socioeconomic classes. 

      2. It affects the chemicals in the brain and destroys brain cells. 

      3. The funds made from the small joint has been used for terrorism, murders, prostitution, human trafficking etc

      4. It has been the source of families dissolving. 

      5. The same harmful effects of smoking a cigarette is the same as smoking a joint. It is the same as being inside a house with smoke and fire and the damage to the lungs. It isn't the type of smoke. It is just smoke. It shouldn't been inside your lungs. 

      6. The smoke travels far and children tend to be exposed unwillingly. 

      7. Drug wars over territory of where they can distribute. 

      8. Breeds shootings, gangs etc. 


      Legalizing it wont prevent any of the above. 


      I personally really like the way Singapore takes care of users and distributors.  I wish Cayman would adopt that approach.  The unemployed emy rate would drastically drop! 


      • Anonymous says:

        Go to Portugal or Holland for a while and see with your own eyes what effect legalizing weed  has on society.

        None of the above issues you will find there related to drug use.


      • Anonymous says:

        Points 3, 7 and 8 are not the result of smoking a joint.  They are a result of the fact the drug is illegal thereby alowing criminals to profit from production.  The real target for your criticism should therefore be the failed policy of prohibition.  Legalising would be the best thing anyone could do to address the problems you raise at 3, 7 and 8.

        Points 5 and 6  applies with more force to cigarettes than joints, so you are advocating a total ban on them are you?

        Points 1, 2 and 4 apply to alcohol which is abused on a far larger scale to much higher societal cost.  Again are you wanting a prohibition on alcohol?



      • Anonymous says:

        You poor, poor thing.  If you honestly believe the nonsense you have posed in that comment then I, along with many people feel very sorry for you.

        Many socialites in the Cayman Islands smoke marijuana as a relaxant and often do it in large groups. Anti-social behavior cannot be linked to marijuana as anti-social behavior is a personality disorder. It depend on the person using the drug. Yes it makes you tired/relaxed but once you have fallen from your high you will return to your normal personality.  Lower social class individuals are lucky if they can afford it.

        Points 2,3,5,6 = please further your research on these topics because you are wrong. I would provide sources but I have already wasted my time enough.

        Points 7 & 8 = In the grand scheme of the criminal issues in Cayman, this isn't something that worries many criminals. Most of them probably share a joint if the opportunity presents itself anyways.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just because you are a socialite eith daddy or your husbands money doesn't make you any less a low life criminal.  

          • Anonymous says:

            On the contrary, many highly educated accountants, lawyers and official business members also partake in such activities.  Everyone's a "Low life" criminal at least once in their life.

            • Anonymous says:

              Are you saying that white collar crime is any less criminal than the petty street criminal? Rich or poor, educated or not, a crime is a crime. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    First offence crucifiction

    nail them up I say



  5. Anonymous says:

    And the lawyers for the Crown who have to prosecute make less than the $64000 per prisoner. It should be obvious something is radically wrong here!

  6. Anonymous says:

    At the very least these guys should be on a chain gang cutting weeds and picking up garbage along the roads.  

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like a geat idea. At least they will be ready for when they come out of jail. "The Devil finds work for idle hands."

    We also could solve the problem before they get sent to jail by giving them work at $10 per hour to maintain gov't buildings and roads also cutting bush. If one understands that we already give most drug addicts or rehab addicts $700 per month . If you give them $1600 per month and subtract $700 you really are only paying them $900. The difference is that society is finally getting return ,less crime and turning felons into useful members of society. Society is not winning the war on crime because of greediness. If we look at the real cost of crime you will see we are still paying. We pay through dept of family and social service, more police ,police cars, police helicopter , security guards ,heightened insurances, iron bars ,security alarms ,cameras etc. The list goes on and on. We make more people into criminals everyday because no minimum wage. How long before it hits our tourist trade ? Just look at George town watch the buildings going empty? If the middle class keeps going down so will the rich merchant class.

    • Anonymous says:

      They should not get paid anything whatsoever. I am appalled that they receive money now.  That makes the prison system worse than I thought. Not only do they get room and board free.  They get three square meals a day at set times. Don't have to cook. Don't have to clean. Don't work. They get cable and internet. Access to drugs. Do they get gym facilities too? What is the incentive for a lazy bum to stay away?  They get paid to sit around and do nothing but play cards, dominoes and watch tv. What a life they have!!!! 

  8. Anonymous says:

    One young man I know commented yesterday that while he was at court  they gave him snacks and drinks He was quite happy being in court and felt the prison system was good and nice to him. His next court date is sometime in july and for sure he wont miss it.

    I just dont understand

    • Anonymous says:

      If snacks and drinks are the highlight of your day, then yes something is wrong and it didnt just happen.  I happens when no better is expected of you. Grow up with no responsibilities, then you are unable to manage them when you are older.

      Underachieve much?

      I am no CEO or captain of industry but I do have some ambition. That whats lacking. Lord know opportunities are available and I do not mean a 9-5 office job.  Cut lawns, grow plants, catch fish, walk dogs, sell fruits.

      I am a born Caymanian, mother was Caymanian, father from Jamaica.  Lived here all my life but when I took a trip to visit family in Jamaica, I could not go anywhere without seeing some young people hustling, no not illegal drugs, bammie, fresh produce, cane, bag juices, sky water, coconuts etc..  I can almost hear the young vendors now.  Say what you want about Jamaicans but they know they value of honest labor, no matter how small the work is.

      Sad to see that some Caymanians would rather rot away in prison than work a day.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think the cost per Prisoner is arrived at by dividing the cost of operating the Prison by the number of inmates.

    Which means one of 2 things:

    1) The cost of running the Prison is too high, or,

    2) we need more Prisoners

    therefore if we had twice the amount of Prisoners for the same cost of operation it would only cost 30K per Prisoner!

    • MEM says:

      Yep but if the prisoner numbers doubled, believe me our wonderful Government would also double the expenses by hiring, expanding and whatever else.

    • Anonymous says:

      My vote is for number 1 but then again if the police would catch some it would not hurt.

  10. Henry says:

    I totally agree! We have a government and a society that protects the rights of a criminal when the victims have no say luckily if they are still alive.

    lets think the two guys that abducted, robbed, raped and murdered then mutilated the body of a young lady by fire will some day walk free! Where's the justice for the young lady who lost her life and for her family?

    I say let them hang!

    • Anonymous says:


      It was not our government that wanted to set those unwanted, low life criminals free.

      It is and still the European Union. The EU has set the laws for the UK and we are a dependency of the UK ( a child of the UK) we must follow.

      These EU law makers are deplomatic criminals, their minds are low as it gets. Why would they want to put criminals back on the streets to continue to murder inocent citizens?

      The EU deplomats are  the jerks that removed capital punishment. They will totally destroy the human values, and safety of inocent citizens of Europe and their colonys.

      The  UK citizens have  caught on to them and want their spinless leaders to get the hell out.

      At the moment they cant piss unless the EU tell them to. Can you imagine a nation that ruled the world less than 200 years ago, are now be brought to her kness by European's Bureaucracy.

       I pray to God that  the US dont go down that road

  11. Anonymous says:

    So you want to make Flowers and other construction businesses bankrupt in order to give prisoners work to do? Brilliant plan.

    • MEM says:

      I think the plan is to make them bankrupt and decrease the cost of living for the struggling middle class…

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe it's not that bad. How may caymanians work for flowers?

      we not the personal assistant isn't one.

    • MEM says:

      Actually, when you really consider it, the construction companies would benefit very well by being able to purchase the blocks cheaper too, greater profit for them! The only true sufferers would be the Flowers Sea Swim participants….

  12. Anonymous says:

    Er, has it occured to you that the cost may not be spent on "all the necessary amenities to keep them happy and comfortable" but all the necessary facilities to keep them securely locked up?

    Putting them on the chain gang is all well and good but prison is about public protection and prevention of reoffending (as well as retribution) – it was never supposed to be cost-neutral. 

    I agree with you though – the better idea may be spending the $60k a year on appropriate community/education/training services before people offend.

  13. Caymanian/ g.t. says:

    I am living 35,000 a year and I am struggling, getting by … I know many in Cayman that are making less than me. I have a cousin making 18,000 for the year and its very hard. I wish I could help her, but I can't because I make little too. Every month whats left in my pocket is about 300 dollars thank God to spend.  Now 60,000 is what alot of high-up civil servants are making. A 60,000 means that this person is making 5000 dollars a month. Wow… Imagine if I was making 5000 dollars a month the same a prisoner is making!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Making them work is a brilliant idea. I am 100% on board with that one. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Do not pay them.  Just make them work. Clean the streets. Build furniture. The university I attended in the dormitories, the furniture was built by prisoners. The proceeds of the sale went to the prison to pay for light/water/food/salaries etc. That way the prisoners are working to support themselves. Just as everyone else. Prison is not a vacation. It should be hard labour. 

      • Anonymous says:

        You to university in China or Iran then?

        • Anonymous says:

          Try Canada and the USA. Canada for undergrad and USA for masters.

          The furniture had red stamped markings on the underside showing the origin. 



          • Anonymous says:

            Sorry I forgot the USA, when it comes to human rights abuse issues the US is usually in the same category as Iran, China and Saudi.