HMP Northward shapes up on rehabilitation

| 03/12/2014

(CNS): After many years of acting like a warehouse for criminals waiting to get out to commit more crime than a place of real change, HMP Northward appears to be making some advances in rehabilitation of prisoners. Officials said that this year 15 different educational and rehabilitation programmes were offered to over one hundred inmates. Speaking at a special event marking their achievements, recently, the prison director Neil Lavis said he was proud to be a part of a prison “changing its approach to rehabilitation,” as he urged the private sector to continue partnering with the facility.

The deputy chief officer in the ministry of home affairs, Kathryn Dinspel-Powell said her office was dedicated to continuing the programmes underway at the prison and to expanding on the “good work” that has been carried out so far.

Over 110 inmates at Northward received commendations during the fourth Annual Prisoner Recognition Day, on Friday, 28 November. The prisoners recognised had taken part in vocational training, work activities, chaplaincy, and individual and group intervention programmes.  Ten of the prisoners received special awards for outstanding achievement, having successfully completed four or more of these programmes. Gifts certificates were donated by Book Nook and Foster’s Food Fair.

Officials said IT, maths, English, parenting education and drug abuse prevention, employability skills and anger management are just some of the programmes now on offer along with several crafts and vocational pursuits. Community service has also become an integral part of the rehabilitation and work-preparation process.  Inmates who qualified, based on risk level, behaviour and skills were allowed to undertake work within the prison compounds, or to go outside the prison for community work – with some undertaking paid employment.

Joanne Vaughan, Policy Officer with the Governor’s Office, congratulated those involved as noted that everyone needs to be involved in meaningful activities in order to have self-worth and pride, but it also facilitated future employment.

Deputy Director, Rehabilitation, Aduke Joseph-Caesar said prisoners may be anxious over the process of changing but noted the importance of learning new skills to address their thoughts, beliefs and the attitudes which had led to their offending behaviour. She pointed out that recognising the need to change and that they had created victims along the way by what they had done they might not like the picture in the mirror. But urging inmates to look inward, to recognise their duty to society, and to accept responsibility, she said they should appreciate the opportunity to change.

Supporting agencies, non-profit organisations and volunteers also received  acknowledgement at the event including The National Drug Council, Department of Community Rehabilitation, Government Information Services, Family Resource Centre , National Workforce Development Agency, Department of Children & Family Services, National Gallery, Rehoboth Ministries, Cayman 1,000 Man March,  Feed Our Future, Cayman Islands Red Cross, Cayman Islands Reading Aides, Rotary Sunrise, Savannah United Church Girls Brigade and the Parole Commissioners Board.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I find it amazing that when something negative is said about the prison there are a huge amount of comments but when something positive is said there are only a very few.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Maybe he should take on the schools too!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Studies have shown that inmate participation in education, vocational and job training, prison work skills development, drug abuse, mental health and other treatment programs, all reduce recidivism, significantly.

  4. Anonymous says:

    well done Mr Lavis its good to see someone steering the ship from the rocks at long last. keep uo the good work you and your team.