The Spent Convictions Bill was passed today (Wednesday 12 October).
Fifteen MLAs voted for the bill, with two other MLAs absent, clearing the hurdle to streamline the process for ex-cons to clean up their record… if they’ve cleaned up their act.
But in today’s session, we learned about those who *don’t stay out of prison.
Premier Alden McLaughlin said that over the past three years, 16 percent of released prisoners re-offend to the point where they’re back behind bars. He says the average male prison population for that same period stood at 20o, that’s close to the prison’s maximum capacity of 205. The current population is 214 inmates, but he says HM Northward remains understaffed.
“We voted another half million dollars in the current budget to help address some of these needs, but there is no question that more staff is going to be required to get the prison up to strength,” Mr McLaughlin says.
The Premier says programmes and incentives are in place to reduce recidivism and he says the Spent Convictions Bill will help by addressing the challenges ex-con’s face when seeking employment.
If they can find a job, they’re less likely to re-offend.