(CMR) Under the Community Payback Programme, the Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) recently partnered with the Barbados Consulate of the Cayman Islands to provide some much-needed renovations to Pedro Park.
The six-week renovation project consisted of repainting and refurbishing the performance area, tuck shop, bathroom, and basketball court and landscaping the entire park area.
The Department of Community Rehabilitation was able to assist by utilizing the skills of some of the Community Service (CS) clients who have skills in plumbing, electrical skills, painting, and carpentry.
In a reopening ceremony at Pedro Park on Monday, 4 July 2022, the Barbados Consulate awarded DCR’s Community Service Officers and its clients with appreciation certificates recognizing the work done.
During the presentations, Barbados Honorary Consul, Ms. Juliette Gooding, commented: “As part of our community efforts, our committee raises funds and identifies initiatives each year as a way to give back to our wider community. We solicited permission from the Savannah Committee to refurbish the Park, and they approved. We then reached out to DCR to assist as a community service initiative for their clients, and they were happy to spearhead the project.”
“In fact, some of the clients offered to come back and assist even though they had completed their time. As such, we wanted to show our appreciation for their hard work with the certificate presentations,” Ms. Gooding added.
The Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) Cayman Islands is an arm of the Criminal Justice System whose focus is community-based supervision and rehabilitative services to adult offenders in an effort to reduce reoffending, contribute to public safety, and provide opportunities for restorative justice.
Under the Community Payback Programme, Community Service Officers spearhead projects across all three islands through their offices in Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac by identifying community service (CS) placements and supervising the completion of community service hours for clients sentenced by the Courts for various offenses while balancing risk and public safety.
Acting DCR Director Melisa Rivas explained: “Our Community Payback Programme aims to assist our clients in using their skills and experience to give back to our community through Community Service.”
“As a community, we share in the rehabilitation of the offender to help them build pro-social skills. As Community Service Officers, they also work with offenders as change agents to address their thinking errors and support them in being law-abiding residents. The Community Payback Programme benefits some of the most vulnerable populations in our community through a restorative justice model. We continue to be grateful for the partnerships with various entities as we strive to reduce reoffending.”
The Pedro Park Community service initiative is one of many continuing projects undertaken by the DCR. They have also conducted projects island-wide with agencies such as UCCI, Meals on Wheels, CI Humane Society, Public Library, and Department of Environmental Health.
In addition to ongoing projects with Pedro St. James, other entities involved in the CS program are the Anglican Church, Church of God, National Trust, Golden Age Nursing Home, Pedro Park, and Department of Children and Family Services.
DCR’s Community Payback Programme also recently partnered with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to assist an elderly couple in Bodden Town with landscaping and renovating their home and property.
Speaking to the benefits of the services provided by DCR, Director of DCFS, Ms. Paulinda Williams-Mendoza, said, “partnering with DCR allows DCFS the opportunity to access personnel resources, skills, and talents to assist with the realization of community projects and initiatives.”
DCR encourages all entities and non-profit organizations interested in seeking help from the DCR with their Community Service initiatives to contact 949-1693.