Convicted offenders will be spending more of their sentences behind bars, as the new law regarding parole provisions takes effect on 15 February.
The new conditional release law aims to reduce recidivism rates, which according to the Deputy Governor’s office are far higher than rates in the rest of the Caribbean and Europe.
Prisoners sentenced under the law will be required to serve 60% of their sentences before being eligible for conditional release, instead of just half.
All prisoners released will be placed on license until the end of their sentence.
For new lifers. The court will specify the period of incarceration before an inmate is eligible for conditional release. For murderers, this will be 30 years barring any extenuating or aggravating circumstances. For existing lifers, the courts will have two years to determine a period of incarceration, much as if sentencing a newly-convicted criminal.
A new board, appointed by the governor is already trained and in place to make decisions on license conditions, release of prisoners, and suspensions and revocations of licenses.