Inmates at Northward Prison are exploring opportunities to start their own business once they are released, by utilising the free business guidance service offered by the Cayman Islands Investment Bureau. This is part of new initiatives prison officials are developing to address the difficulty prisoners have finding work after serving time.
The bureau conducted a workshop for Northward inmates at the Prison Chapel on Tuesday, 25 September on how to start a small business in Cayman. It was the first of its kind ever held at the prison.
‘We are pleased to be partnering with the CIIB on this new drive, which we anticipate will have a significant impact on the lives of Northward inmates and their families,’ said Natalie Joseph-Ceasar, education/development coordinator at Northward. ‘If the prisoners can be assisted in becoming self-employed, they may be able to sustain themselves and increase their chances of not returning to prison.’
Mrs. Joseph-Caesar notes that the philosophy of incarceration is to help offenders to rehabilitate themselves so that they can return to society as useful citizens. ‘Getting prisoners ready for constructive work whereby they can support themselves legally is most relevant in this process. With prisoners having hope for employment through entrepreneurship I do believe that this will encourage them to change their perception on life.’
CIIB Executive Director Mr. Dax Basdeo conducted the workshop, and commented: ‘Entrepreneurship is for anyone who has the passion and commitment to turn their skills and talent into productive enterprise and prison inmates are not exempt from that. We are encouraged by the talent and desire we’ve seen in some of those serving time at Northward, and stand ready to assist them when they’re released and ready to pursue useful businesses that will contribute to the growth of our economy.’
For details on the Bureau’s range of services visit www.investcayman.gov.ky