Inmates’ project wins Pirates Week float prize

Northward prisoners’ wagon wins best district float award

Prison Service Custodial Manager Richard Barton and Prison Officer Marlon Watson with members of the prison workshop who worked on the wagon.

One of the winning floats at Saturday’s Pirates Week parade was built by inmates of Northward Prison who put their carpentry skills to work by building a prize-winning wagon.

Members of the prison workshop built the wagon at the request of the Cayman Islands Civil Service Association Co-operative Credit Union, around the Pirates Week theme of “Age of Romance.” The float won first place for the corporate float competition.

During the parade, the wagon was used to portray an old Caymanian wedding scene with a bride and groom in a horse-drawn carriage.

Prison Service Human Resource Manager Raquel Solomon said the inmates worked on the project for three weeks.

The Credit Union won first place in the corporate float competition at Saturday's Pirates Week parade. The wagon was built by inmates of Northward Prison.
The Credit Union won first place in the corporate float competition at Saturday’s Pirates Week parade. The wagon was built by inmates of Northward Prison.

“This project was a great challenge for the inmates because it was something different from the products they normally produce,” Ms. Solomon said. “This project included extensive woodwork and metal work, as the arches for the canopy were manufactured on site as were the axle and wheels.”

She said the prison workshop is an outlet for the inmates that allows them to collaborate with others and demonstrate their skills.

Prison Service Custodial Manager Richard Barton, who is responsible for the vocational technical program, said he was pleased that the team of inmates and an officer could help the Credit Union pull off their vision.

“This project showcased the ingenuity and creativity of the inmates,” he said.

“I believe with guidance, great things are possible. Not only do the inmates earn wages, but it’s a creative outlet for them, and plays a part in the rehabilitative process.”

Officer Marlon Watson and Prison Service Custodial Manager Richard Barton try out the wagon.
Officer Marlon Watson and Prison Service Custodial Manager Richard Barton try out the wagon.
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