Senate passes rehabilitation of offenders bill

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 2:28 PM - George's, Grenada

Offenders with minor sentences are being given an opportunity to move forward with a clean slate, now that both Houses of Parliament have passed the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill 2017.

This bill seeks to redress certain impediments, which are experienced by many offenders, particularly those who committed criminal offences when they were juveniles.

Having passed the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill 2017, it means that Grenada now has legislation equivalent to that of the US, UK, Canada, Jamaica, Barbados and St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Government Senator, Peter David, who brought the bill before the House, said convictions for serious crimes like Murder and Manslaughter, Rape, Robbery with Violence and Arson will remain on record.

“If you’ve been sentenced in a case to a fine, or a non-custodial sentence, and it’s not one of these serious cases and you are an adult, after four years your record will be clean; if you are a child – a juvenile – two years,” said Senator David.

“In a case where you have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment not exceeding six months, it will take you six years of good behavior to prove that you deserve to be treated with a spent conviction; in the case of a child, three years. If you’ve been sentenced to a term of imprisonment for six months or more, but less than 5 years, it will take you ten years to be given a second chance and that is what this is about Mr. President. It is about giving our young people a second chance”.

Giving his support to the bill, Private Sector Representative, Sen. Chris De Allie, said the subject of second chances must be embraced as a serious commitment to rehabilitation.       

“We must give people a second chance and, as is rightfully said, a lot of business places now ask for a criminal record and if a person has one small infraction, we can’t punish them for life for that and some of them go on to get Masters and Degrees and so on and they get punished,” said Sen. De Allie.

“So, I am in support – fully – of us introducing this rehabilitation bill.”            




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