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International Women’s Day Celebrated by DCR Female Staff

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Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos Islands, 16th March 2023 – On March 8th, 2023, we celebrated International Women’s Day under the theme “Women forcing change through digital innovation and technology for gender equality and sustainable development.”. We see the female staff at the DCR treated to a brunch outside the Prison compound.

There are many other titles that are in a prison other them Prison Officers:  Hear from some of our female staff first-hand about their experiences and benefits as women working in Prison

MESHELLE JENNINGS – Our Assistant Superintendent

I am a single mother of three sons, and three grandchildren, two whom I personally raised by myself. My hobbies are traveling, playing dominoes and shopping.

My career in Law Enforcement began in 1991 as a police officer and in 2000 I transitioned as a prison officer where I’ve been for the past twenty-three years.

Joining the Prison service was not my first love for it was only a job ,  however as time passed I began to love and enjoy what I do and I decided to make a job my  career.Working in the prison service has afforded me the opportunity to acquire a wealth of experiences on the job and knowledge from attending training locally and overseas in areas of Offenders Sentenced management; Restorative Justice; Five Minutes Intervention (FMI); Protecting Society Challenges of delivering effective prison services, First Line Manager etc.

Some of the benefits of being a female prison officer are the training, teamwork and the support you need to succeed. You will be trained to handle every situation. Whatever the challenge, you’ll have the support you need from your team to make a difference every day. All of us are given the opportunities to be involved in area of our  interest and get valuable experiences as we pursue them.There are so many different roles open to a female prison officer and it is so much more than the locking and unlocking of gates at the end of the day.After joining the Prison service, I was determined to used my police training to be the best that I could be and one of my main aspirations was to work hard towards advancement in  my career.In 2010 I made history by being  promoted  as the first female Senior Officer and  in 2012, history was again made when I became the first  and only female Assistant Superintendent in the history of HM Prison TCI.

Prepping myself for a technology evolving world, I have moved from ASP of residential to ASP of Business Administration where I am trained in smart stream and troubleshooting.As a female prison officer it has given me opportunities to learn new things, and push myself in all the efforts to make advancement in leadership.

We wear many hats and encompass many skills and being a good role model is one of them. I am passionate, resilient and I enjoy my work. Achieving gender equality and being empowered as a female prison officer is my major objective, especially owing to the fact that I am employed in an institution formally dominated by males. I will leave behind a legacy of a job “Well Done.”

I love the feel of responsibility and I’m doing my best as a role model to Junior female prison officers and by passing on my experiences and knowledge to them through coaching, mentoring for their personal development and advancement in their career. There is not a day that goes by, that I am not willing to make a positive change in the lives of my colleagues and in the life of an inmate. My motto is Live life better today than yesterday for a brighter tomorrow.

LEEROSE LEWIS – Rehabilitation Unit

Working in male a dominated prison system for over seventeen years has proven to be very challenging but also very satisfying and rewarding. I have been exposed to working with individuals from different ethnicity and culture which brings on its fair share of complexities. Nonetheless, I have grown to appreciate diversity, and be more culturally aware and this assisted me to excel over the years. I joined the prison service in May 2005 when the population was an average of seventy inmates and while there were a few serious crimes, the majority were incarcerated for minor offenses. During those years, the five-minute intervention was the order of the day with inmates (I did not realize it at the time).

Over the years, I have worked in various areas of the prison and before demitting those areas, I have successfully trained officers to take up those positions. I acted as Senior Officer on several occasions from 2008 to 2013 and in 2014, I was appointed to the position of Senior Officer. For the last two years, I have overseen the newly formed Rehabilitation Department. I have been privileged to attend several training programs both locally and overseas sponsored by the department. These experiences enable me to expand my capabilities.

During my years in the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, I have seen so many inmates pass through the system forced me to realize and get a clearer understanding of the challenges faced by individuals in society. My role is not to judge them, but rather challenge their offending behavior and give them hope through rehabilitation. Changing everyone is impossible but changing one life represents success. I am committed to effecting change daily and will continue to give my best for this noble institution, the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation.

MARCELLA WILLIAMS – Custodial Probation Unit

Disciplined, Confident, Respectful, Reliable, Dedicated, Empathetic, Patient, Considerate, Courageous.

All the adjectives above were further strengthened thus far during my time working within the Prison service. The right motivation and determination have allowed me to complete my job not only effectively but also at a high standard.

My first job in government began in 2012 when I joined Her Majesty’s Prison Service, I must admit that in the beginning I was not sure if this institution was something I can see myself settling into as a career but that thought quickly diminished after I learned of all the great opportunities that was available within the prison service. After 2 years within the service, I was promoted to Senior Prison Officer I have had the opportunity to Manage the Reception area as well as Shift leader where I was able to prove to myself and others that woman can be small but mighty in all areas.

Make No mistake working within the prison service is no walk in the park by any means, but it has been a very rewarding experience thus far. There is so much I have learned within the past 10 years and to date I must say there is so many things I have yet to acquire. One of the rewards of being a Prison Officer is the experiences that we are privy to which includes meeting interesting individuals both prisoner and Officers who come through those gates from different walks of life, some of whom simply pass through never to return as well as those that are recidivist offenders who require more rehabilitation. One of our main duties are to protect the public by keeping such persons in safe keeping until their release with hopes that they leave here better than they came. Getting to know my colleagues who come from different cultural background have all became like family.

I have been privileged to take part in various local and overseas training which allowed me to develop other skills to transition into different roles within the prison service.

During my time working within the prison, I was giving the opportunity to work and pursue higher education, management along with my colleagues were very accommodating and supportive during that period. In 2021 I received my bachelor’s degree in social work and was able to use this degree in many different areas particularly within my work environment. In April 2022 I begin working as Probation Officer within the Rehabilitation Department. Thus far this experience has been highly rewarding and I would encourage others to take on the many opportunities that are available locally which can be useful within this profession.

Personally, no other job fully prepared me for such a role as a prison officer, I will leave here feeling Fulfilled that I had the opportunity to impact if few but at least one person’s lives even if the difference is minimal.

Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13: 3

 DR. CARLINE JACKSON – CAMPBELL Our Counsellor 

It is an honor to serve those who are most vulnerable, especially to be employed in this institution (DCR) where I am surrounded by collogues and administrative authorities collaborating in all rehabilitative efforts to get the prison’s work done. While working in the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, I am reminded of my need to be humble as those incarcerated could easily be us or our children or those we hold in high regards. Joseph was thrown into prison for maintaining God’s principles. Moses in a moment of anger and compassion for his fellow man who was subjected to suffrage committed murder. Hence Christ require us to be kind to those who are incarcerated.

I am grateful to God for giving me the opportunity to be working in this penal institute where I can use my counselling expertise to touch the lives of human beings. While it is not possible to motivate all to change their offending behaviors, I am passionate to do all that I can to motivate inmates to be better. I am aware that all things are possible with God and I trust him to do the impossible. Hence we work together in the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation despite our many challenges to create an atmosphere where inmates are encouraged and given the skills to change their undesirable behavior and to become law-abiding citizen worthy to be reintegrated in society.

SIMONE ROWE- Prison Officer

 I started my career as a Correctional officer in Jamaica year 2014, where I served five years as a trained change agent for Juvenile delinquents.  I was later given another opportunity to be a Prison Officer in the Turks and Caicos Islands at Her Majesty Prison in 2019, which was one of my most challenging years. Despite the negativity you may hear working within DCR, I am motivated by my code of ethics “I will regard myself as a member of an important and honorable profession…I will be exemplary in my conduct at all times.’’   My job isn’t about judgment – it’s about making sure the person has safe and peaceful incarceration. I also appreciate the various opportunities to work with management and the responsibilities and challenges entrusted to me by my supervisor who knows my capabilities and can help me obtain my personal career aspirations. Training opportunities for me are a plus, especially physical and mental training.  I genuinely like the people that I work with and the camaraderie. I appreciate the sense of humor that most of us develop to survive overwhelming days. I thrive on the unspoken bond developed between us, knowing that even though we may not always agree, when the need arises, we are “one team and we work together for the common good!”

Finally, there is the camaraderie that exists amongst my teammates of Prison Officers, which equals solidarity that springs from shared attitudes, values, and lifestyles demanded by a shared profession. Friendships that develop in corrections last a lifetime. There is a support system that you don’t find in many other areas of employment.

 

Press Release: TCIG

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TCI GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES JUDICIAL APPOINTMENT

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#TurksandCaicos, May 21, 2024 – Ms. Patricia Arana has been sworn in on13 May 2024 as Resident Magistrate, Grand Turk.  She first joined the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands as Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court in April 2022.

Prior to taking up the position of Registrar of the Magistrate’s Court, she was the Deputy Registrar General at the Supreme Court of her native Belize in Belize City. She started her judicial career as a Magistrate in 2010 and was promoted to the position of Senior Magistrate in 2015. As Senior Magistrate, she worked in several districts in Belize, and acted as Chief Magistrate on several occasions.  She was also within that period, seconded for two years as Legal Counsel to the Financial Intelligence Unit of Belize.

Ms. Arana is a graduate of the University of the West Indies where she obtained a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) Degree, and a graduate of the Norman Manley Law School, Jamaica, where she obtained her Legal Education Certificate. There she distinguished herself when she received the H.H. Dunn Memorial Prize for Legal Drafting and Interpretation.

Regionally, Ms. Arana currently serves as an Executive Member of the Caribbean Association of Judicial Officers (CAJO) on behalf of the Judiciary of the Turks and Caicos Islands. She is also an active member of the Caribbean Association of Women Judges (CAWJ), and the National Garifuna Council (NGC) Orange Walk Branch.

In the Turks and Caicos Islands, Ms. Arana has since her appointment in 2022, served in various capacities: ADR Administrator and lately a member of the Mediation Committee, a member of the Breach Process Rules Committee, Justice of the Peace Vetting Panel, Justice of the Peace Disciplinary Panel, and Election Adjudicator.

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US CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

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#TurksandCaicos, May 20, 2024 – The Governor’s Office can confirm that Her Excellency the Governor Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam and the Honourable Premier Charles Washington Misick will this morning receive a US Congressional delegation, who have requested a meeting to discuss the recent arrests of US nationals for possession of ammunition offences.

The US delegation, which arrived yesterday evening, was met by Protocol officials and is due to depart this afternoon.

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PDM 10 All-Island Candidates a Surprising Slate dubbed ‘the Avengers’

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Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 

The Turks and Caicos Islands need saving according to Edwin Astwood, Opposition Leader and he’s assembled his ‘Avengers’ to do it; a team of 10 district candidates who were unveiled on Monday, May 6 to contest the 2025 general elections. 

“We the PDM want to be those champions for you. We want to be your avenging team to lift the country back up,” said Astwood who is the incumbent for ED 2, Grand Turk South.

The Candidates in question were all allowed to speak:

ED 1 Grand Turk North candidate George Lightbourne, former PNP member and minister now stands ratified by the PDM and said “I am fully aware of the issues affecting our people and fully prepared to tackle them.”

ED 3 South Caicos candidate Hynetta ‘Karen’ Forbes made a vow, “To you the people of South Caicos I promise to be a positive change and an advocate for empowerment for all— to make up for the lack and neglect we have endured over the years.”

ED 4 candidate, contesting North and Middle Caicos, Denaz Williams said “I believe in good representation so try me and I guarantee you will love me.”

ED 5 Leeward and Long Bay hopeful Keith Cox said “I want to make sure my efforts go to the betterment of Leeward and Long Bay, it’s time for a change.”

ED 6 candidate for The Bight, Audric Skippings, who returns from his loss in 2021 said “I pledge to be the voice of the people, the driving force behind positive change, and the chairman of progress in our district.”

ED 7 candidate for Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill, is Rose Higgs who swore  “I am committed to serve as someone committed to changing politics and how some politicians behave after we elect them into power, I am your Beacon of Hope, I am going to parliament!”

ED 8 Blue Hills candidate Anthony Walkin maintained “The ideas I have for the constituency will change Blue Hills— no longer will you be suffering” he swore. 

ED 9 candidate for Five Cays, popular firebrand church pastor and businessman is how many know the energetic Bryant Cox, now approved on the PDM ticket he promised “ED9 it’s our time, I stand before you a man of action ready to work for you.”

Finally, ED 10 candidate for Wheeland Vaden Delroy Williams, who lost to newcomer Kyle  Knowles, now-Minister of Public Safety and Utilities by only a few votes in 2021, said “I am back because you have asked me to come back—because of the love I have for my people…”

They join the already announced all-island candidate team of Robert Been, Ruth Ariza, Karen Malcolm, Sean Astwood, and Ralph Higgs.

Sean Astwood, the former Five Cays members and deputy premier in the Sharlene Robinson administration, had missed the PDM’s all-island slate announcement on March 22; during the constituency candidates roll out had his say.

“Returning to politics was not an easy decision for me and I didn’t make it lightly— I came back because I believe we have a responsibility to stand up for what is right,” said Astwood.

Opposition Leader Edwin Astwood was especially excited to unveil the array of candidates having been the sole elected representative for the past four years. 

“Being in the fight alone these three and a half years wasn’t easy— I was in this battle alone but now you gave me 15 people, they had trouble when it was just me so imagine now with this team coming,” he exclaimed.

Astwood was the only PDM representative to be re-elected in February 2021 when the current PNP Administration gave them a historic walloping, storming their way to victory 14 to 1. Seven of those 2021 candidates including the party’s leader have returned to fight again in the upcoming elections which are constitutionally due in early 2025.

Ezra Taylor, National Party Chairman is convinced that the ‘rescue team’ will serve the Turks and Caicos to its fullest potential.

“Real representation, meritocracy, and honest engagement with our people will be the order of the day in the governance of the Turks and Caicos islands,” he continued “Our candidates embody the values that define us as a country, integrity, compassion, and a relentless dedication to the common good.”

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