July 29, 2021

Cayman Islands Ministry of Community Affairs, Youth & Sports to expand its Youth Facilities

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Minister for Community Affairs, Youth and Sports, Hon. Osbourne Bodden has commenced with a project to construct a much-needed secure building for high-risk boys and girls from his Ministry’s 2016/17 budget.

The proposed facility will accommodate approximately 10-12 children, between the ages of 13 to 18 years old, who have been placed on youth rehabilitation orders (YRO’s) or on remand by the Court. The number of rooms for girls and boys is based on the approximate number of children who are committed to the prison system over the course of a year.

The new secure building will be located at the existing Bonaventure Boys Home site in West Bay. The CAYS Foundation has also received donations towards the project.

While the existing Bonaventure Boys Home (“Bonaventure”) provides therapeutic treatment for boys on YRO’s, due to the limitations in security of the existing buildings only moderate to medium-risk boys are appropriate placements. In the absence of a purpose-built, secure facility for convicted children, the CAYS Foundation continues to see a need for services for boys and girls who are placed on YRO’s and display high-risk behaviours.

Currently, the only facilities that provide the level of security required for high-risk children are Eagle House at Northward Prison and Fairbanks Prison. Once the new secure building is appropriately staffed and fully operational, it will allow higher risk youth on remand or custodial sentences, who are currently required to be held at the prison, to be accommodated at Bonaventure.

This will ensure that youth prisoners can be treated appropriately for their age and remain separate from adult prisoners, as required by sections 6(3) and 17(1)(g) of the Bill of Rights.

With the new secure building, the CAYS Foundation will be able to extend their approach of positive youth reinforcement, and offer high-risk youth hope and the incentive to improve and change their behaviour. At the same time the service will provide for their social and educational needs.

With the construction of the new secure building, the CAYS Foundation will be able to remain flexible in its ability to accommodate children who have a range of needs.

Minister Bodden stated “This project is critical and I am honoured to be a part of it. The ability to adequately address the needs of this population is a great milestone for the Cayman Islands Government in its continued efforts to strengthen the continuum of care for children”.

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