Her Majesty’s Cayman Islands Prison Service (HMCIPS) work with inmates to tackle all facets of rehabilitation using different approaches designed to address the many challenges which contribute to their offending behaviour.
One such technique employed at HMCIPS, and in other jurisdictions around the world, is the use of art as a form of therapy to foster positive mental health among prisoners.
“Art Mindfulness is a technique used at HMCIPS to help occupy prisoners in a calming and productive activity while listening to music or engaged in counselling. It is also an activity they can continue in their cells in the evenings and weekends to access the same sense of comfort outside of their formal session,” explains Correctional Counsellor, Rachel Whitlock.
“Art is a very therapeutic activity which helps prisoners to take their focus away from their problems and issues for a period of time. This helps them to cope with prison life in a pro-social manner and express themselves through art.”
The project began in 2018 and has since produced a large volume of art which has previously been bought by prison staff and sold to the public at the annual Agriculture Show.
“This project is mainly focused on helping prisoners regulate their emotions, talk more comfortably and provide them with a purposeful and creative activity. However, it is rewarding and encouraging for the prisoners to have people buying items they have produced,” said Ms Whitlock.
Members of the public wishing to show support for those in custody by purchasing their artwork can view the latest collection at www.gov.ky/news/press-release-details/inmates-find-therapy-through-art or by contacting Rachel Whitlock on 947-300 (ext. 4027) or Rachel.email@example.com.