In response to inquiries by the Caymanian Compass, Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service has revealed that the cost per place per prisoner in the Territory from 2009 to 2010 is just over $56,000.
The methodology used to arrive at the cost per place per prisoner is the total recurrent budget, less insurance and depreciation.
There is no insurance for prisoners’ medical coverage; therefore, the full cost for this is borne by the service.
The majority of the costs included are fixed, in addition to personnel costs, which consist of pension and health care.
Some examples of what it costs to house a prisoner in 2009 to 2010 in the Cayman Islands are: Food costs for prisoners – $6 per day or $2 per meal; clothing – $227 per prisoner per year; and health care – $357,980.95.
According to the United Kingdom Parliament, 3 March 2010 House of Commons Hansard and Bromley’s Prison Fact File, December 2010, the average cost per place per prisoner in the UK from 2009 to 2010 was £45,000 for adults (roughly CI$59,500) and £60,000 (about CI$79,400) for juveniles or young prisoners and does not include health care or education.
On the Cayman Islands Government website’s Security and Rehabilitation page, the Chief Secretary of the Cayman Islands, George McCarthy, said, “Rehabilitation is costly. But the cost of not rehabilitating prisoners is actually far higher.”
A statement from the Prison Service said the service is continually searching for improved efficiencies to reduce cost.
One step toward reducing costs might be alternative sentencing, which lawmakers introduced recently in the form of ankle monitors.
While the cost of housing an inmate is $56,545, electronic tagging for “low risk” offenders and instituting a monitored curfew costs $5,000.
The Cayman Islands puts a much higher percentage of its population in prison than most other countries, according to the Government website, which cited Cayman as being in the top five countries in the world in this regard.
The Security and Rehabilitation page also says that most prisoners leaving prison do commit another crime, with the rate of recidivism in the Cayman Islands being over 70 per cent.
According to the Economic and Statistics Office, the per capita gross domestic product for the Cayman Islands in 2009 was roughly $46,000.
There was $10,743,181 allocated in the Government’s 2009/2010 budget for the Prison Service, while $10,982,961 has been allocated for the service in the 2010/2011 budget.