Inmates clean up roadsides through NRA program

Ministers Tara Rivers and Joseph Hew meet with NRA and prison officials, as well as inmates during a small cermony to launch the initiative at Bodden Town Civic Centre. - Photo: Jewel Levy

For the inmates of Northward Prison, picking up trash to make Cayman communities more beautiful is a way to give back and grow.

“It’s a great opportunity for the inmates at Northward to be able to come out to show that we are people that are coming back into society and we can be productive members of the community although we made mistakes,” said inmate Leighton Rankine Jr. during a supervised, roadside cleanup last week.

“It’s also a good thing someone stepped forward. It’s showing us we are not lost and there are some good people that go to prison.”

He said it has been almost a month since they started the cleanup program with the National Roads Authority. Since that time, the inmates in the program have cleaned up the eastern parts of the island, from North Side to Kaibo, along Queens Highway and through Bodden Town as they work their way west.

“This was an opportunity for some of the inmates to volunteer their services to join the NRA to do something good in the community that may help to enable them to repay some of the damage that their behavior has caused,” said Prisons Director Steven Barrett. “Having a nice clean environment in the Cayman Islands is extremely important to everybody. Although we have prisoners who are incarcerated at the moment, they all come from communities that have litter problems as well.”

Mr. Barrett said the project came about after the Prison Service was approached by the National Roads Authority for assistance. The NRA wanted helpremoving litter, which can become trapped in landscaping equipment. “When they were cutting bush and grass at the side of road in various parts of the community, there was an awful lot of trash and rubbish. When the cutting equipment shredded it, it made the litter issue much worse,” he said.

The collaborative efforts between the Prison Service and the NRA aim to effectively and efficiently keep local roadways clean and safe for all members of the public.

Several government officials attended a launch event for the partnership at Bodden Town Civic Centre.

“The project is working well with the Prison Service to provide these rehabilitation opportunities to the prisoners and at the same time provide a new approach for them to help clean up the roadside to make the island beautiful,” said MLA Joseph Hew.

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