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Second Chances: Civil Service programme for Caymanians with criminal records launches

In the coming month, five Caymanians with criminal convictions will become the first cohort to take part in the Civil Service’s “Second Chances” programme.

The scheme gives former prisoners an opportunity for a fresh start in the public sector, under a project piloted by the Deputy Governor Hon. Franz Manderson.

“These people are our families, our friends, our neighbours. They’re not leaving the Cayman Islands. They’re not going anywhere, so why not give them every opportunity to be productive citizens?” Mr. Manderson proffered on Friday (1 February.)

Reducing recidivism and providing employment, the Deputy Governor’s Second Chances pilot programme will offer five Caymanians who have served their sentence employment within the Civil Service.

With the private sector having already stepped up to give those in need a second chance, the question remains… why is the public sector now playing catch-up.

“We have rules that say if you have a conviction, you’re unable to join,” Mr. Manderson explained.

He went on: “now we have in the past taken on people with criminal convictions… we thought we needed a structured programme to invite more people, to say: come and let us give you an opportunity.”

Mr. Manderson said a second chance was something everyone can get behind.

“All of us know someone who has made a mistake in the past who’s now trying to turn their life around, but who is struggling to get employment,” he stated.

And he added the Civil Service was leading the charge within the public sector:

“We want to be able to give those persons a real opportunity to come into the civil service family, support their families and become a successful member of the community again,” Mr. Manderson declared.

But he said suitable candidates must meet certain requirements, like the ability to provide character references to support their applications.

“We want to see that you have really tried to turn yourself around. We want to be that beacon of hope for our people,” he revealed.

The Deputy Governor said a serious offence would not necessarily preclude an applicant, as long as the chances of re-offending were small.

“Some have committed serious traffic offences, [like] causing death by dangerous driving, things that led them to have a conviction, but are really not a serious threat in the work place,” Mr. Manderson explained.

Those eligible should register with National Workforce Development Agency or WORC.

About the author

Caroline James

Caroline James

Caroline joined Cayman 27 in September 2018 after seven years working for Sky News in London, both as a Producer on the World News programme and, latterly, as News Editor on the Foreign Desk, where she led coverage on the ground of stories as diverse as the 2016 US Election, corruption allegations surrounding FIFA and The Oscars. Before this, she worked as a Producer for Associated Press Television News (APTN) for two years, based in their London headquarters. Caroline graduated with a BA Hons degree in Arabic, French and German from Durham University, before gaining an MA in Television Journalism with distinction at City University, London. When not hunting down stories in Cayman, she can be found playing tennis, practicing Bikram yoga or enjoying a beer on Seven Mile Beach. You can reach Caroline at carolinejames@hurleysmedia.ky or 326-2243.

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