Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service is marking its 35th anniversary this month with the first formal Cayman Islands Corrections Week, to be held April 24-30.
Before the prison was opened on June 5, 1981, convicted offenders were kept in the “lock-up” in George Town and those who committed serious offenses served their sentences in Kingston, Jamaica.
HMP Northward was originally built to house 50 or so prisoners, including women.
It expanded over the years, adding a number of wings, the Children’s Unit, a farm, gym, chapel and vocational workshops.
The prison service includes the women’s facility at HMP Fairbanks, which opened in 1999, and the service also oversees the Immigration Detention Centre.
“Often the forgotten partners in law enforcement and community safety, the employees of the prison service work tirelessly to ensure that those remanded and sentenced to prison are held safely and securely, maintaining good order and discipline,” Director of Prisons Neil Lavis said in a press release.
According to the release, the prison service has also strived to focus on the rehabilitation of prisoners by investing in resources that “provide prisoners with the tools they need to change their lives and prevent re-offending when they return to the community.”
“Corrections Week is an avenue through which we want to spotlight the work being done by the prisoners and staff, and address public misconceptions,” Mr. Lavis said. “A positive regard and participation from the community is vital to the success of any rehabilitation programme.”
The week will include a number of events, beginning with a thanksgiving service at the Church of God Chapel on Walkers Road on Sunday, April 24, and ending with a staff community project on Saturday, April 30.