Cayman: Female Empowerment Services

The Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) established a Female Empowerment Services Project to expand the gender-specific services they offer to female offenders in the Cayman Islands.

As part of this project, the DCR launched a workshop series entitled “Inspire: Women Empowered” in the Fall of 2017. The series consists of quarterly presentations using an inter-agency approach to deliver information on various topics linked to gender-specific risks and needs.

The first two workshops entitled “Women and Anger” and “Depression: A Woman’s Perspective” were offered to female offenders in the community and featured Dr. Arline McGill as a guest presenter/speaker.

In keeping with international standards, the project has been guided by the Level of Service/ Case Management Instrument (LS/CMI), which is used for the assessment of offenders, as well as the development of case management protocols.

On Monday, (23 April 2018) the third workshop in the series: “Independence through Self-Sufficiency: Starting a Small Business” was offered to female offenders at Her Majesty’s Prison, Fairbanks by DCR staff and guest presenters from the Royal Bank of Canada and the Ministry of Education. During the event, Minister for Home Affairs, Hon. Tara Rivers, encouraged participants to continue to seize every opportunity available for personal growth and development.

“The Government is committed to supporting your rehabilitation efforts. With the support of DCR and the Prison Service staff, in collaboration with professionals from public and private partner agencies, we will continue to work to provide you with the resources you need to tap into your full potential,” she said.

Minister Rivers also commended the team at the Department of Community Rehabilitation for implementing this project to address the unique needs of female offenders and pointed out that “these opportunities help them to look at their experiences with the criminal justice system and realize that they have other options. This is empowering; and in gaining new insights and coping skills, they will be better prepared to reintegrate into the community when they are released from prison and hopefully this will help them not to re-offend.”

“Acting DCR Director Lisa Malice explained that this particular workshop was designed to assist female offenders in understanding the basic steps to create a small local business, developing opportunities for personal growth through educational pursuits, and increasing awareness of educational training offered through various educational institutions online and in the community.

“The response to this workshop was very positive and all female inmates expressed an interest,” Ms. Malice said. “The DCR staff were excited to offer the workshop in the female prison for the first time and as we continue to work collaboratively with Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service and other stakeholders to provide rehabilitative services to all prisoners we will expand on this programme and look for opportunities for new ones.”

In conclusion, Ms. Malice said: “The DCR is devoted to continuing these quarterly workshops to empower our female offenders to rise above their circumstances and learn new skills based on their unique needs so that they can become successful and law-abiding citizens of the Cayman Islands.“

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