HMCIPS Inmates Complete STP Programme
Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) leaders, chaplaincy volunteers and family members recently joined together to celebrate 10 inmates who had completed the Sycamore Tree Project (STP).
The rehabilitation programme is based on the principles of restorative justice and covers topics such as the effects of crime, responsibility, confession, repentance, forgiveness, making amends and reconciliation.
Programme facilitator, Prison Chaplain and Pastoral Counsellor Ms. Cathy Gomez said while STP is not graded or considered to be difficult, many participants have said the reflection and honesty which it entails has resulted in a huge emotional impact and instilled in them a desire for positive change.
“It has been an honour to journey with these men and women during the eight weeks of the programme,” Ms. Gomez explained. “They bring invaluable perspectives and, along the way, they recognise the power of forgiveness and God’s love. Ideally, we should have unrelated victims attending with the groups, but we are able to share victim stories instead.”
Ms. Gomez has facilitated six groups at Northward and three groups at Fairbanks Prison since the programme commenced in January 2016. She said to date a total of 83 prisoners have successfully completed STP.
“Often when a crime is being committed, the ‘adrenalin rush’ of the moment is present, rather than the thought of what the impact of that crime will be,” she explained. “This program raises awareness, promotes healing for both offenders and victims, as well as playing an integral role in the reduction of crime. I would encourage more people from the community to become involved.”
Deputy Director of Rehabilitation, Ms. Aduke Joseph-Caesar attended the recent celebration and explained the importance of STP within the prison service.
“We at HMCIPS believe that this programme will bring about awareness in participants that will allow for further self-exploration and the movement towards positive change,” she said. “HMCIPS is tasked to provide inmates with opportunities for a safe and meaningful rehabilitative journey, and the Sycamore Tree Programme is one such tool.”
The STP programme is a Prison Fellowship International programme, and is conducted in prisons around the world. For further information, visit www.pfi.org.
For further information contact: Jamie Hicks