by Donella Hosten
The controversial topic of rehabilitated offenders reinstated into society has been one of deep concern and interest to the Grenadian public.
Hon Elvin Nimrod presented the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill during last Friday’s sitting of Parliament. According to Nimrod, there are some criminal acts including rape and murder which can deter an offender from being eligible for rehabilitation.
“We want to give people a second chance,” therefore, young persons who may have committed a crime and may not have understood the ‘gravity’ of their actions can regain certain rights after rehabilitation. These rights include an expunged record, no obligation to reveal prior convictions when seeking employment or opportunities to travel. He also stated that this information should not be coerced by a potential employer.
Depending on the severity of the crime, the duration of the rehabilitation differs with a minimum of 2 months for a child and 4 months for an adult, and a maximum of 5 months for a child and 10 for an adult.
Hon Clarice Modeste-Curwen echoed similar sentiments. She noted that the behaviour of the individuals would definitely be monitored and they must be seen to be truly rehabilitated and committed to being on the right track. They ought to be committed to changing and becoming a better person within their communities.
Hon Roland Bhola also recognised the need for the approval of such a bill and stated that the government must take necessary measures to assist rehabilitated persons to resettle into society, which can be done through several organisations, including the churches. He said society must understand that they have a role to play in the continued rehabilitation of individuals.