Categorized | National News

Bahamas Signs MOU With Canada

The government has made another step in its efforts to transform the Bahamas Department of Corrections (BDC) from a penal institution to a correctional organisation as the Ministry of National Security signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Correctional Services Canada (CSC).

The Correctional Services Act 2014,  according to National Security Minister Marvin Dames was a milestone as it turned the BDC into a leader of treatment programmes.

Minister Dames said the partnership between the BDC and Correctional Services Canada is one way that transition will being to be realized.

He said, “already, collaborative exchanges between CSC and the BDC have resulted in the development of an automate system to ensure that our application of resources in the treatment of inmates are effective and efficient and the extensive training of case management staff for assessments of new inmates.” 

The National Security Minister added that under this new partnership, a parole system will be established. Training for parole officers began in fall of 2018. 

“The Inter- American Development Bank through its Citizens Security and Justice Programme (CSJP) conducted a training seminar for representatives of all branches of law enforcement stakeholders.

“During the seminar, the parole legislation as expressed in 2016 Conditional Release of Offenders Bill was analysed and recommendations for adjustments were made. 

“CSJP is currently funding research on parole and recidivism through the University of The Bahamas,” he said.

Canada Correctional Services Commissioner Anne Kelly noted that the CSC has hosted a number of BDC staff in an effort to ensure that correctional services Risk- Needs- Responsivity Model could be adopted to the realities experienced in The Bahamas.

Commissioner Kelly outlined what the next steps in this partnership will entail which she said will include training to address issues relating to sex offenders.

“Specific training for a small group of staff to address the criminogenic factors of sex offenders.

“Specific training and program delivery for women offenders, and training to develop the BDC’s staff who will train other staff to be case management officers and program officers.

“This will ensure that the BDC will become self-sufficient. Co- development of an automated case management system that will support all of the activities noted previously,” she said.

Minister Dames said significant strides are being made to refine the corrections model being used to drive the corrections process in the BDC.


Written by Jones Bahamas

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