The Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs is pleased to announce the appointment of Ms. Lisa Malice as the Director for the Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR).
Ms. Malice, a Caymanian, is the former Deputy Director of DCR, and has served as Acting Director since September 2017.
The mission of DCR is to provide community based supervision and rehabilitative services to adult offenders, primarily upon the instruction of the Courts and Conditional Release Board.
While studying at the University of South Florida to earn a bachelor’s in social work and a minor in sociology, Ms. Malice said it was an internship opportunity with a local jail that sparked her passion to work with offenders.
“I wanted to better understand offending behaviour, why people make some of the choices that they make and be a part of helping them make positive changes in their lives,” she explained.
Immediately upon finishing her degree, Ms. Malice was presented with the opportunity to work with DCR.
“DCR has further cemented my passion to be an agent of change in the lives of vulnerable individuals, and has provided me with the opportunity to truly make a difference in my community,” she said.
Ms. Malice began her quest to reduce re-offending and contribute to the public safety of the Cayman Islands almost 15 years ago.
“When I joined DCR in 2004, we had not long become our own unit within Government, having been separated from the Department of Children and Family Services to focus on the delivery of services for adult offenders,” she said. “At that time we were a small team of Probation Officers and Community Service Coordinators, and within a few years the unit became a department and has since grown significantly to a team of almost 50 staff members.”
Throughout her time with DCR, Ms. Malice has helped establish a roadmap for the development of prison and community-based rehabilitation programmes that aim not only to reduce recidivism, but also support the social reintegration of prisoners into the community.
She credits the advancement of the department to the passion and determination of its former director, who now serves as the Chief Officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs.
“The rapid growth of the department must be credited to Ms. Teresa Echenique, and her vision for DCR to play a critical role in public safety by providing effective services to offenders that help them live a productive and crime free lifestyle. Oftentimes the work of probation officers within the criminal justice system is taken for granted or misunderstood, but her leadership paved the way for DCR to be recognised for the primary role that it plays in offender management and public safety.”
Ms. Malice said she will continue to drive that message forward as the department’s new director.
“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to work under Ms. Echenique who believed in succession planning and talent development. The existing management team at DCR is truly an intentional product of this, and I am committed to the continuation and further strengthening of what is clearly a strong and successful strategy.”
Ms. Malice said in the role which DCR plays, it is never easy to establish and sustain constructive, purposeful relationships with clients; at the same time it is an unique opportunity to add value to people’s lives.
“The Department of Community Rehabilitation consists of an entire staff of unsung heroes,” she explained. “The work that the team is doing with adult offenders is intensive and invaluable. Each person within the organisation is passionate about our mission and purpose and we share the common belief that we can be instruments of change in the lives of offenders, victims, families, and our community.”
In closing she added: “I am extremely humbled to be appointed as the Director of DCR. Our team has some of the most professional, talented, committed and passionate individuals in the Civil Service, and I am extremely blessed to be their leader. I look forward to working with our key stakeholders with the continued support of the Chief Officer Dr. Basdeo and his team in the Ministry of Financial Services and Home Affairs.”
In commenting on the appointment, Chief Officer for Financial Services and Home Affairs, Dr. Dax Basdeo, said: “Ms. Malice’s passion and dedication is an inspiration, and supported by a team of like-minded individuals. The department is well-poised to pursue its mission to influence positive behavioural change in adult offenders, and the Ministry will continue to support Ms. Malice and her staff as they deliver on its critical mandate for the country.”