The Portfolio of the Civil Service is launching a program to hire people who have been previously been convicted in court.

The Second Chances pilot program will begin this month with a class of five people, according to a government press release.

“As one of the largest employers, the civil service is committed to playing its part alongside the private sector in offering Caymanians a second chance,” said Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, the head of the Civil Service, in the press release. “We hope this program will help those who have rehabilitated put their skills to good use and enable successful reintegration into society.”

The government says the initiative is meant to make a difference in two key areas: Achieving full employment and reducing crime and the fear of crime in Cayman.

The National Workforce Development Agency is screening candidates who have registered to find new employment.

According to the release, the ideal candidate will be someone who has demonstrated efforts toward their own rehabilitation by actively engaging in programs and making productive use of their time while incarcerated.

That candidate would also be a low risk of re-offending and would be able to provide character references, and finally, they would have a skill set that aligns with the present employment needs of the civil service.

“It is important to cut repeat offending by encouraging the rehabilitation of offenders and supporting them into employment on their release from prison,” said Premier Alden McLaughlin in the release. “Government wants to help eligible Caymanians who have served their time with a second chance to enter mainstream employment and to make a positive contribution to the Cayman Islands community.”

Mr. Manderson said that in an effort to maximize the potential for candidates to succeed, the program will offer “meaningful, structured work, and an environment conducive to the candidates’ continued rehabilitation and reintegration as positively contributing members of society.”