by Linda Straker
- Peter David piloted Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill
- Since Rehabilitation Board was established almost 100 records have been expunged
- All records expunged are for petty crimes
Several young people whose criminal records for petty crimes have been expunged have had the opportunity to participate in the Canada Farm Labour Programme through the assistance of the Ministry of Labour.
“As a minister of government, it gives me pleasure to see several offenders find relief in the legislation. Many of them have been able to take advantage of job opportunities locally while some have gone abroad in programmes such as the Canadian Farm Labour Programme. It has also made it possible for some to get visas to migrate,” said Peter David who serves as Labour Minister.
“As a senator, I piloted the Rehabilitation of Offenders Bill. For many years I had advocated for this form of relief for offenders who had turned their lives around. I was therefore proud to see its passage and the overwhelming support it received,” he said. David is an attorney by profession who provided legal counsel to many before becoming a government minister.
Grenada in May 2018 announced the establishment of the Rehabilitation Board which is in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation that came into effect as of 1 November 2017. The board which is chaired by former attorney general Dr Lawrence Joseph, is appointed for a three-year period.
The five-member board which meets monthly falls under the Ministry of National Security. It includes a representative from the Ministry of Social Development, the police, youth and the Office of the Prime Minister.
Dr Joseph said that the process for expunging requires the person to pay an application fee of EC$50 to the treasury then apply to the board for consideration to have the record expunged. All applicants will undergo a social enquiry report. Since the board was established almost 100 records have been expunged while more than 100 applications have been processed.
Matters which are excluded from the rehabilitation process are murder, voluntary manslaughter, robbery with violence, arson, and any indictable offence carrying a penalty including imprisonment for a term of fifteen years or more.
It will also not be offered for convictions where a sentence of imprisonment for life and a sentence of imprisonment for a term exceeding five years are imposed by the court.
Joseph said that all the records expunged are for petty crimes.