Prison programme faces

Governor Stuart Jack announced Tuesday that there would be an independent policy review at Northward prison following the March killing of 21-year-old Sabrina Schirn.

A prison inmate, 38-year-old Randy Martin, was charged last week in connection with Ms Schirn’s death. Prison officials have said that Martin was on a prison work detail at an East End farm around the time when Ms Schirn was believed to have been killed.

The 21-year-old’s body was found less than a mile away from the prison-owned farm.

“The murder of Sabrina Schirn was both a tragic and appalling act,” Governor Jack said in a prepared statement. “The safety and security of the residents of the Cayman Islands are of paramount importance to me.”

Ms Schirn’s decomposing body was found in a remote area of East End near the rock quarry on 17 March. Police said it appeared she had suffered numerous sharp force injuries, some that had possibly been made by a machete.

She had disappeared after leaving work the morning of 11 March. Her last known telephone communication was traced to East End at around 10.30 that morning. Police have declined to comment on why she would have been in that area or whether she even knew Martin.

Mr. Jack said the review would include the policies and procedures in place at the prison service for inmates who were released to the outside for work programmes. Local attorney Orren Merren was named to undertake the review.

“The aim will be to ensure that the arrangements for prisoners outside the prison adequately protect the public while balancing…the important efforts of (Commissioner of Corrections William) Rattray and the management and staff of the prison have been making towards the rehabilitation of prisoners,” Governor Jack said.

Martin is currently serving a sentence on an unrelated conviction at Northward and was considered a “lower risk” prisoner suitable for the work release programme, according to Mr. Rattray.

Following news of Martin’s arrest, Mr. Rattray ordered the prisoner’s work programme suspended pending the completion of an internal review.

No further arrests have been made in connection with Sabrina’s killing. Her father and other family members have speculated that other individuals may have been involved in her demise. Police have not commented on those claims.