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HMCIPS Fresh Start Programme

HMCIPS celebrated the success of the Fresh Start Programme, as phase one of the pilot project is complete.

Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service celebrated the success of the Fresh Start Vocational Training Programme on Wednesday (28 June 2017), as phase one of the pilot project is complete.

During the past eight weeks, a group of inmates worked in tandem with local leaders of various construction companies to learn the trade of the business, and the skills required to obtain a job in the industry.

Prison Director Neil Lavis said the overall goal of the Fresh Start Programme is to reduce inmates’ risk of reoffending by teaching them marketable skills, and providing them with knowledge they can use to find employment as they reintegrate into society.

The programme’s instructors included Mr. Brent McComb with The Phoenix Group, Mr. Neil Armstrong with Clan Construction Ltd. and Mr. Eric Kline with Encompass Cayman.

“This is a programme that has been in the works for more than a year,” Mr. Lavis explained. “The partnerships that were made with all of the construction companies and businesses were critical to the overall success of this project.”

Other local businesses such as Supermix Cayman, A.L. Thompson’s, Cox Lumber Ltd., Flowers Group and Kirk Home Centre donated various materials and supplies to the cause.

During the ceremony the inmates revealed the brand-new maintenance storage facility they built on the Northward grounds.

Minister for Financial Services and Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, was unable to attend the ceremony, but expressed her full support for the initiative.

“I strongly believe in the overall goal of this rehabilitation programme, and the avenue it paves for inmates to have a better chance at a new life after prison,” she said.

The Prison Service Deputy Director of Rehabilitation, Ms. Aduke Joseph-Caesar, said the prison worked in conjunction with the Cayman Contractors Association to create the pilot programme.

“The Fresh Start Programme also aims to reduce any behavior problems within the prison by replacing inmates’ idle time with constructive work and providing them with the opportunity to meet real life employers,” she said.

Mr. Lavis stated phase two of the project will include electrical and plumbing work, in addition to finishing touches on exterior and interior of the building.

“We can’t thank our sponsors enough for all the help, equipment and time they so generously gave to this initiative,” he added. “We are also extremely proud of the inmates and their hard work to make this programme a success.”

The graduates of the Fresh Start Programme received a certificate of completion, approved by the Cayman Contractors Association, during the ceremony.

For further information contact: Jamie Hicks