Creative crimefighting

The head of the Cayman Islands police force recently broached the idea of allowing for information obtained as part of a plea bargain to be used as evidence in a criminal trial, following the U.S. precedent.

It is encouraging to hear Police Commissioner David Baines thinking creatively about relative advantages and disadvantages of local and foreign legal systems.

Recently it seems people in key government roles, as well as the private sector, have been willing to entertain nontraditional ways of addressing crime and its effects in Cayman. This is a positive trend.

For example, new prison boss Neil Lavis is instituting a plan to ease inmates back into the workforce, as the first step toward an ambitious goal of cutting Cayman’s astonishing re-offending rates of about 70 percent.

Additionally, Premier Alden McLaughlin has put his support behind a new Rehabilitation of Offenders Law allowing for the expunging of convictions for some first-time offenders, again to help former inmates secure jobs.

Meanwhile, Health City Cayman Islands developers are demonstrating the successes that can be had by adopting a more relaxed approach to pre-employment screenings, and offering opportunities to Caymanians seeking to prove themselves.

Our point here is not to champion or oppose any particular idea but to support exploration of methods and strategies to promote public safety.

Best practices in criminal justice evolve over time. Something lambasted yesterday as being “soft on crime” may actually prove to be “smart on crime.” Let’s keep the discussions going.