Two years into its existence and the Second Chance initiative hits a snag, today (24 January) the programme’s remaining participants are appealing for the public’s help to keep it going, Cayman 27’s Philipp Richter explains.
“Just over two years ago, a second chance program was created to help those released from prison earn an honest living from fishing, now two of the three boats donated to the program are down and the last one has a failing engine, not only putting lives in jeopardy, but the initiative as well.
“Now it’s only me that remains, who not gone back to prison, abandoned it for engine problems, going adrift, nobody wants to lose their life, I don’t care how hard their life is, they are not going on a boat that is always breaking down,” said fisherman Sherlock Bodden.
Mr. Bodden served 12 years in prison for attempted murder and was released February last year and he says the programme and fishing has helped him get back on his feet.
“Two days ago I caught a big wahoo, 31lbs, I made a $195 and as fast as I made that money, it’s like you need 3 more hundred to go to that because the bills is backing up, kids needs money, I’m a grandfather now,” said Mr. Bodden.
Mr. Bodden believes the current wave of crime is attributable to people not being able to find employment and he wants help to keep the boat and the program going to keep away from crime.
“Robberies are going on, pedophiles, stealing, break-ins, breaking into cars, for the same reason, for the same reason, nobody has no jobs, it’s harsh, imagine 14 people were in the program and now it’s only me, for the same reason, we just need help,” said Mr. Bodden.
The program started with three boats donated by the RCIPS. Programme facilitator George Roper said the boats are in disrepair and he is hoping government entities can help.
“The government will spend 80-thousand dollars to keep every criminal in prison for the year, but if they just spent half of that, they can keep at least 10-15 prisoners out and that’s just the math, it’s just straight and simple,” said George Roper.
Mr. Roper said to fix the engines on all three boats, will cost around $30,000.
Mr. Roper saidthe boats were donated by the RCIPS but shortly after, the engines were stolen and the group has done what they can to make it work ever since for the past two years.
To help you can reach George Roper at 325-8984 / 938-2704.