Friday, April 19, 2024

Hundreds expected to have criminal records expunged


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ST GEORGE’S, Grenada – Hundreds of people are expected to have criminal records expunged from the system due to the establishment of a Rehabilitation Board in accordance with the Rehabilitation of Offenders legislation which came into effect in 2017.

Chaired by Attorney General Dr Lawrence Joseph the five-member board includes representatives from the Ministry of Social Development, the Police force and the Office of the Prime Minister.

During Wednesday’s weekly post cabinet press briefing, Joseph disclosed that the Board will receive applications from offenders who want their records be removed from the criminal records department.

However, this is only applicable to offences that fall within certain categories.

“This act will now be enabling people who committed offenses that can be removed after a certain period to have a clean slate,” said Joseph who explained that Grenada is not the first country within the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to approve such legislation.

He noted that Jamaica as well as St Vincent and the Grenadines have this legislation in place.

“There are lots of young people who are deprived of good opportunities because of minor crimes committed in their younger lives, the records of the crimes remain on the system and we realise that there are persons who lose out on good opportunities, so this law will provide for them to have it remove and never be referred to again,” he said.

Joseph said that the process will be simple one in which each person will have to make an application for the Board to consider the removal.

The applicants will pay a fee of EC$50, present the necessary documentation to the Ministry of Legal Affairs and await a decision from the Board which meets monthly.

According to Veronica Charles, Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, all applications will undergo a social enquiry report.

“That report will play an integral role in the outcome which will only be approved or not approved,” she said while confirming that once an application request is approved the Police will remove it from the criminal records.

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 of imprisonment.

Those not included are convictions of imprisonment for life and imprisonment for a term exceeding five years. (CMC)


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