Ten former prison inmates attached to the Second Chances programme have been temporarily employed with the Department of Environmental Health, according to Health Minister Dwayne Seymour.
The former prisoners are assisting with an increase in garbage disposal across Grand Cayman as the island’s residents continue to remain at home under the current shelter-in-place provisions. Two ex-prisoners have also been employed full-time with the DEH.
The Second Chances programme was launched last year by the Portfolio of the Civil Service, as a means of offering employment to rehabilitated former inmates.
Seymour, addressing the daily COVID-19 briefing on Monday, said he was pleased by the reports he has received from the DEH about the impact the Second Chances workers had made.
“I have received positive reports from the Department of Environmental Health on the assistance given by workers through the Second Chances programme. That programme, which began just over a year ago, assists offenders with the re-integration into society by offering job placements within the community,” he said.
The DEH, he said, was utilising the workers to fill gaps with trash collection and disposal, and to assist with clean-up efforts of certain public spaces.
“These Second Chances workers have recently been deployed in West Bay engaging in the clean-up of the litter in a Barkers area. While checks on specific trash-prone areas take place regularly, the clean-up has been slowed recently. This is due to the added pressure DEH is experiencing,” Seymour said.
He said DEH has designated key staff to high-priority areas daily to manage trash collection.
The minister also pointed out that DEH has noted a new trend of indiscriminate disposal of COVID-19-related trash, similar to what is being reported internationally.
“There are more and more instances of personal protective equipment, like masks and gloves, being strewn about…. We are once again asking the public for its continued support and encourage everyone to familiarise themselves with the guidelines of disposing trash correctly and I ask you please do not litter; remember, we’re all in this together,” he said.