Report: Close prison work farm

An independent review has recommended that Northward Prison shut down its work farm on the eastern end of Grand Cayman, following the killing of a young woman near that property.

21-year-old Sabrina Schirn was killed in March, allegedly by a Northward prisoner who was working at the Wilderness Farm site and managed to escape the notice of prison officers. That inmate, Randy Lebert Martin, has since been charged with Ms Schirn’s murder.

A 23-page report, written following the review by local attorney Orren Merren and Stephen Fradley, an advisor from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, said leaving that site open for prisoner work release programmes was simply too risky.

‘The farm is too far from (Her Majesty’s Prison) Northward in the event of any incident needing a prompt response,’ the report stated. ‘Moreover, the vast expanse (some 200 acres) with so many areas in which to hide, there are entirely too many opportunities for prisoners to abscond, cultivate illegal crops for use or sale, or worse.’

The report recommended that a work site closer to the prison be used to teach inmates farming skills, and suggested that the Wilderness Farm land be sold or leased to profit the Cayman Islands prison system.

Read more in Friday’s Caymanian Compass…