During 2012, the Parole Board reviewed more than 131 cases and chose to release 32 persons, according to the 2012 Parole Board Report.
Parole is defined in the report as, “The conditional release from imprisonment that entitles the person receiving it to serve the remainder of their term of incarceration under supervision in the community, if all terms and conditions connected with the person’s release are satisfactorily complied with.”
The report says, “To become eligible for release on parole, an incarcerated person must have served one-third of their court-imposed sentence of imprisonment.”
Those on parole are supposed to abide by certain restrictions including reporting to their Supervising Officer, not committing additional offences, to maintain regular employment, to reside at the agreed address, to refrain from association with persons/places that may lead to illegal activities, to undergo drug tests and to seek permission to travel.
The Board received eight travel petitions in 2012. Four petitions were granted – to one parolee to represent Bermuda in Chess; two for medical reasons; and one for a family funeral.
The report said, “The Parole Board continues to wait for an amendment to Section 12 of the Prisons Act, 2001, which will require that incarcerated persons must serve a minimum of 12 months before being eligible for parole.
“This measure will have the effect of affording the individual more time to participate in rehabilitative programmes as outlined in their Case Plans, and to be better prepared for the parole consideration hearing.
“The need for such an important amendment has been highlighted since the 2007 Annual Report. The Board cannot stress how important it is that these amendments be immediate considered to hopefully beginning to reduce the high rate of prison recidivism.”
The full 2012 Parole Board Annual Report is below [PDF here]: