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DCR Conducts Training Exercise

DCR held a training exercise to further enhance the skills of all staff members when dealing with offenders.

The Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) recently held a training exercise to further enhance the skills of all staff members when dealing with offenders.

It was the third training exercise in the use of the Level of Service/Case Management Inventory (LSCMI), which is used for the assessment of offenders and development of case management protocols to guide supervision.

The department was first trained in this evidenced-based assessment tool in 2011 and throughout the years maintained staff certification through continued internal and external training exercises.

Master Trainer Dr. Stephan Haas conducted the five-day certification and recertification training for all Probation Officers and Community Service Coordinators. He also met with the DCR’s management team to review and contextualise the implementation of the tool.

“The general aim was to ensure that staff members have the necessary skills and competencies needed to carry out the rehabilitative mandate in the Cayman Islands,” Acting Chief Officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs, Teresa Echenique, who is seconded from her substantive position as Director of DCR explains. “Specifically, staff members were trained to use the tool accurately in order to assess offenders’ levels of risk to reoffend and need for intervention services.

Acting Director for DCR, Lisa Malice says the team was also trained in how to best apply risk and need principles, and cognitive behavioural strategies to reduce the probability of recidivism.

“The training re-emphasised current scientifically proven practices that have come to be known as evidence based practices in offender management,” Ms. Malice says. “At the forefront of such practices is the use of a validated Risk/Need assessment instrument (LSCMI). The department has therefore ensured that its work with offenders is being continually enhanced in line with approaches that actually work by reducing recidivism.”

Senior Probation Officer Sonia Wallace, who was instrumental in organising the training session for the entire department, says the Risk/Need instrument identifies the required level of supervision based on an offender’s risk. She explains, in addition, the tool enables available interventions to be matched to offenders’ identified criminogenic needs, or what would trigger their criminal behaviour.

“Varying the level of service to the level of risk further enables the department to use resources where they are greatly needed and can have the biggest impact on public safety,” Ms. Wallace says.

DCR will continue to conduct training courses to equip staff to utilise evidenced based practices.

“The aim is to enhance the supervision of offenders, and internally expand intervention opportunities that can be offered for coaching clients in prosocial thinking and behaviours in order to reduce recidivism and keep this country safe,” Ms. Echenique concludes.

For further information contact: Jamie Hicks