AG To Meet With Group To Discuss Concerns

March 2, 2019 | 3 Comments

Following a gathering of concerned citizens at the House of Assembly, Attorney-General Senator Kathy Lynn Simmons said the “well-being of our children is of paramount importance” and she “will be meeting with representatives of this group next week to discuss their concerns.

This follows after the Advocates for Change invited people to gather outside of the House of Assembly to “speak with their Member of Parliament about the inadequate punishment for sex offenders.”

“In light of this week’s five-year sentence imposed on an admitted child sex offender – David Minors – in conjunction with our local history of inadequate sentencing and rehabilitation for sex offenders, concerned members of the public have decided to lobby our elected officials for change,” the group said.

Noting it was not a political protest as there was “no intention to politicise this critical issue,” the group explained the goal was to bring awareness to the problem and work together for a “solution that protects and provides justice for our children and the community as a whole.”

Following the gathering, Senator Simmons stated: “Bermuda can be assured that the well-being of our children is of paramount importance to our Government. In particular, we recognize the damage that sex offences cause our children, individuals, families and the wider community.

“As parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, neighbours and friends, this Government is acutely aware of the anxiety that exists in our community, and we are committed to evaluating existing systems. In light of the gathering of concerned citizens, I will be meeting with representatives of this group next week to discuss their concerns.

“The community will be reminded that last year, this Government introduced the Criminal Code Amendment Act 2018 to ensure that sex offenders are afforded treatment and other interventions both while in custody and upon release from custody.

“The 2018 Amendment included provisions for sex offenders not be released on parole or on their earliest release date, if they do not complete the required rehabilitation programmes. This is being enforced.

“This Government was the first to enforce the provision for Notification, as the Minister of Legal Affairs disclosed information to the public in relation to sex offenders who are considered to present a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of the public, an affected group of people, or an individual. That occurred last year, and again last month.

“The public is reminded that offenders are placed on the sex offender register upon conviction. This also requires them to register of annually registration and notifications to the proper authorities of changes in the offender’s circumstances etc.

“Also, a rigorous management and monitoring regime is in place for these offenders released from custody. Further, the Offender Risk Management Team plays a major role in offender management.

“In addition, the Department of Court Services utilizes tools and assessments, such as has electronic monitoring devices, urinalysis testing, and treatment programmes, to reduce re-offending risks of offenders in the community. Curfew checks and regular home visits are also conducted.

“As policy makers, this Government’s decisions cannot be based on emotions alone. Our decisions must be level-headed, based on evidence and facts. We hear the concerns from the community and we are committed to reviewing and enhancing existing systems. Education of the community also remains vital.

“The Ministry of Legal Affairs will continue to monitor the implementation of the sex offender regime to ensure that it achieves the intended outcome of protecting the community from sexual offenders through effective rehabilitation and treatment programmes, and successful management practices.”

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Comments (3)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    The AG can’t do ANYTHING

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    Will this be anything like the consulting a couple weeks before the budget or 10 days to consult on the demise of the Corporations?

    In other words, here you go, let off some steam, but we really don’t care what you think. Is that the way it works?

  3. Red rose says:

    Will she also explain the lack of a prope investigation into dcfs?

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