New Parole System To Come?

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sildenafil times;”>The Bahamas- Minister of National Security, Dr. Bernard Nottage, has appointed a new parole and reentry steering committee tasked with creating the policy framework for a parole system and inmate rehabilitation, said Attorney-General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Allyson Maynard-Gibson, during her contribution to the 2015/16 Mid-Year Budget Debate in the Senate today. The appointment of the committee comes after the Government of the Bahamas signed a US$345,907 technical cooperation with Inter-American Development Bank at the bank’s Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors, along with the US$20 million Citizen Security and Justice Loan.

Currently, the rate of incarceration in The Bahamas is 379 per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 37% higher than the average rate of incarceration for the Caribbean region. The Bahamas Department of Correctional Services currently holds approximately 1,506 inmates and each inmate costs the Bahamian people $14,000 per year. Forty-two percent of these inmates are awaiting trial. While, 95% of our current inmates will rejoin Bahamian society over the next 10 years.

The parole and reentry grant from the IDB will lay the foundation for the rehabilitation and reintegration of offenders, reduce the rate of incarceration and aims to improve the effectiveness of Bahamian correctional services in reducing re-offenders. Correctional services reform has been identified by the IDB as a necessary step in reducing crime in the Bahamas.

The steering committee will:

? Work in partnership with the IDB to gather information on prisoner reentry needs and challenges

? Design a parole supervision strategy

? Create an evaluation method for reentry programs that will become a standard in the region.

The Parole and Reentry Steering Committee is chaired by retired Commissioner of Police, Mr. Paul Farquharson, along with Deputy Chairs, The Most Reverend, Archbishop Drexel Gomez and Rev. Patrick Paul. The committee is comprised of members from all relevant government agencies, and a cross-section of community leaders with local experience in the challenges of rehabilitation and reintegration.

“The committee will lead efforts to engage and educate the public, build partnerships with regional and international experts, incorporate the participation of the inmate population, and pilot new ways to evaluate the work of rehabilitation,” said Min. Nottage.

The committee is expected to present the new parole and reentry policy framework to the government by November 2016.

Other committee members include:

? Mr. Doan Cleare, Parole Coordinator

? Mrs. Eddamae Weech, Retired Human Resources Manager

? Dr. David Allen, Clinical Psychiatrist

? Mr. Shane Miller, Assistant Director from the Office of the Attorney General

? Dr. Zelrona Mackey, Correctional Oversight Committee (Scheme)

? Mrs. Deidre Hepburn, Chief Welfare Officer, Department of Rehabilitation Services

? Mr. Kermit Harris – Smith,Chief Welfare Officer, Department of Rehabilitation Services

? Dr. Rosetta Clare, Rhema International Family Development Center (RIFDC)

? Dr. Dave Burrows, Bahamas Faith Ministries International

? Mr. Troy Clarke, President of National LEAD Institute

? Ms. Tinesha Lightbourne-Taylor, Corrections Officer

? Ms. Keva Sherman, Corrections Officer

? Ms. E’Thegra Symonette, College of the Bahamas

? Mr. Terry Miller, President of Civil Society Bahamas

? Attorney Wayne Munroe, Q.C.

? Mr. Eddison Sumner, Chief Executive Officer of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce

? Mrs. Jewel Major, Chief Council of the Office of the Attorney General

? Mrs. Tiffany Moss, Counsel, Office of the Attorney-General & Ministry of Legal Affairs

? Mr. Andre Chappell, Administrative Director, The Renascence Center

For more information or to schedule an interview with committee members please contact Joey Gaskins Jr. at jgaskinsjr@gmail.com or by calling 1 (242) 434-2789.