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Cayman Islands Government

Gov Asks for Prison Policy Review

HE the Governor Mr Stuart Jack

Statement from HE the Governor:

Policy Review at HMP Northward

The murder of Sabrina Schirn was both a tragic and appalling act and I would like to add my condolences to her family as they come to terms with what has happened.

The safety and security of the residents of the Cayman Islands are of paramount importance to me. This includes the public having the utmost confidence in the systems that have been put in place to ensure the safety of the public and in those who have been entrusted with operating those systems.

Since the beginning of this investigation, I have asked the Acting Commissioner of Police to ensure that the investigation received the highest priority and the necessary resources in order to bring it to a speedy, thorough and appropriate conclusion. The arrest of a suspect happened just as I was going off on overseas leave and I immediately asked officials to consider what steps should be taken at HM Prison Northward pending the outcome of the investigation. I welcome the steps that the Commissioner of Corrections and Rehabilitation has taken including suspending the farm operation.

The police have announced that an existing inmate of HMP Northward has been charged with Ms Schirn's murder. I have decided that there should be an independent review of the policies and procedures of the Prison Service in relation to the supervision of prisoners outside of the prison. The aim will be to ensure that the arrangements for prisoners outside the prison adequately protect the public while balancing in an appropriate way the important efforts that Dr Rattray and the management and staff of the prison have been making towards the rehabilitation of prisoners.

I am pleased to announce that Mr. Orren Merren, a local attorney has agreed to undertake this review and I will announce the terms of reference in due course. The FCO's Regional Overseas Territories Prison Adviser will provide technical advice. I envisage a thorough but quick review.