Today’s Editorial, July 21: Support probation unit, staff

For most of us the work of the Cayman Islands Government Probation Aftercare Unit is an afterthought, even if that.

What staff members of that unit do is unknown to the public in general.

Their top clients include the courts and the offenders who are charged with crimes.

But in reality we’re all clients of the probation unit.

The Probation Aftercare Unit, starting Sunday, will focus on community rehabilitation and get its message out the public exactly what the unit does.

It will also show the community how much we all need to take stock in probation work and play our part in helping to stop criminal offences.

One aspect of probation is community rehabilitation, which allows offenders to remain in family relationships, pursue productive lifestyles and participate in programmes of rehabilitation that are often more available in the community.

Without the help of the community, community rehabilitation would be ineffective.

A close relationship with a parolee’s family and the community increases the chances of his or her success significantly.

It takes the entire community to help rehabilitate someone who has committed an offence, been tried and convicted, but who is willing to make a change for the better.

Another area of expertise that falls under the probation unit is community service.

Community service is a constructive form of punishment. It is a benefit to the offender and to the community.

It’s a way an offender can make amends by giving something back to the community through personal efforts.

It can also be viewed as an alternative to prison and as a balance of punishment and rehabilitation.

Again, it takes the cooperation of the community at large to make community service work.

There are many things probation staff does and many agencies they work with.

It is important that they know they have the full support of the community.

Staff from the Probation Aftercare Unit will take to the airwaves and hold special meetings next week, beginning with a church service at 10am Sunday at the First Assembly of God on Crewe Road, to better inform the public what the unit and its workers do.

There will also be informative articles about the unit in the Caymanian Compass daily.

Take some time to learn what the unit staff does and how they benefit you.