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Youth Rehabilitation Changes Gears

His Excellency the Governor Duncan Taylor, CBE cuts the ribbon to symbolize official opening of programme at BBH.

Two events this month have brought renewed optimism to the issue of youth rehabilitation in the Cayman Islands.

On Thursday (16 March), the Ministry of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing held a groundbreaking ceremony for a purpose-built youth rehabilitation facility - the Cayman Islands Youth Centre.

This was preceded by the Ministry's launch of a new Therapeutic Community Programme at the Bonaventure Boys Home (BBH), in partnership with the Children and Youth Services (CAYS) Foundation, on Wednesday (14 March).

Minister Mike Adam, MBE, JP and other government officials break ground for the Cayman Islands Youth Centre.

Both facilities will follow the Therapeutic Community Programme -- based on the renowned Missouri Model which focuses on rehabilitation and resolving issues in peer-group settings.

Acknowledging the importance of these developments, Hon. Mark Scotland, JP presented remarks on behalf of Premier McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP and said, "With these steps, we meet the constitutional requirement to separate juveniles from adult prisoners, and, in so doing, enhance the opportunity for delinquent youths to become productive members of our country."

The BBH facility was also renovated, with enhancements to the classrooms and living areas, as well as a new meeting room. BBH Programme General Manager Sydney Williams said, "This new setting and programming have enhanced treatment services in an effort to get these young people back into the mainstream of society."

"Youth rehabilitation has always been at the forefront of my priorities, for I believe that all young persons deserve second chances," said Minister of Community Affairs, Gender and Housing, the Hon. Mike Adam, MBE, JP.

The Cayman Islands Youth Centre is located in George Town. When completed, it will be the residential treatment centre for juvenile offenders and youths ages 12-18 who are held on court remand. It will offer therapeutic, educational and aftercare services.

The Ministry's Chief Officer, Ms.Dorine Whittaker congratulated the BBH staff, and all those involved with the renovations of the West Bay facility. "Staff members have reported significant improvements amongst the young men, especially with their inter-personal interactions," she said.


For further information contact: Yvette Cacho