Categorized | National News

Pastors Back Probation System

With a parole system soon to come on stream, Archdeacon James Palacious said such a system was needed for some time now and those who oppose it may not have a clear understanding of how it should work.

“This doesn’t say that a fellow gets off. What is says is that it serves some time after which, you know, you may have reduced time. Your time may be reduced, conditioned to your fulfilling certain parole requirements,” he said.

“One time I saw this young man in church. I asked him ‘what brought you here?’ He said, ‘Sharon Wilson’. That’s her own system of parole – unofficial, but instead of sending that young man to jail or making him pay a fine, she made him go to church,” he continued.

 The archdeacon said it is a Christian responsibility to not be overly punitive; adding that along with parole, there should be restitution.

“Some of these fellows steal people money, white collar and not so white collar. They invested in certain things, but they still go to jail. Their assets are still there waiting for them when they come out of prison. Now if you stole my things, you shouldn’t have any assets that have my money tied up in it,” he said.

“I think for example, if you offended somebody and you are now out, let’s say for child molestation, part of your parole should be to go and talk to young men about it; so that society can be better off from the parole system,” the archdeacon continued.

National Security Minister Dr. Bernard Nottage said earlier this year that the parole system is purposed to reduce the challenge of overcrowding at the Department of Correctional Services, and in the process, assist their transition into making a societal contribution.

He also previously noted that legislation for the parole system is expected by the end of the year.

 Former Police Commissioner, Paul Farquharson heads the recently formed Parole and Probation Steering Committee, whose task is to propose a policy framework for a parole system and interventions for the reintegration of past offenders.

Just last week, two teams of committee members visited Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica to engage in consultative discussions towards the establishment of a Parole and Probation System in The Bahamas.

The team to Trinidad & Tobago was comprised of Co-Deputy Chairman of the Parole and Probation Committee Dr. Patrick Paul, Deidre Hepburn, Tiffany Moss and Edison Sumner.

The team to Jamaica was comprised of Attorney Wayne Munroe, Q.C., Dr. Dave Burrows, Assistant Superintendent of Police Indirah Adderley and Zelrona Mackey.

The initiative is part of the government’s $20 million Citizens Security and Justice Programme launched back in May.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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