Director confirmed for Dept of Community Rehabilitation

| 25/06/2019
CNS Local Life
Lisa Malice, director of DCR

(CNS Local Life): Lisa Malice, who has been acting director of the Department of Community Rehabilitation (DCR) since September 2017, has been confirmed as the head of the unit. DCR’s mission is to provide community-based supervision and rehabilitative services to adult offenders, primarily upon the instruction of the courts and the Conditional Release Board.

While studying at the University of South Florida to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in sociology, Malice, who is Caymanian, said it was an internship opportunity with a local jail that sparked her passion to work with offenders, according to a press release.

“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 said.

Immediately upon finishing her degree, Malice was presented with the opportunity to work with DCR, which she says 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 has spent almost 15 years at the department. “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 explained. “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, she has helped establish a road map for the development of prison and community-based rehabilitation programmes that aim not only to reduce recidivism, but also to support the social reintegration of prisoners into the community, the release said.

She credits the advancement of the department to the passion and determination of Teresa Echenique, its former director, who now serves as the chief officer for the Ministry of Community Affairs. Malice said the DCR’s “rapid growth” is due to 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.”

Malice said she will continue to drive that message forward as the department’s new director.

She added that 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 said. “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.”

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Category: Civil Service, Community, Local News

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