AG On Sex Offender Management Amendment

November 26, 2018

In the past, a sex offender could refuse to participate in any rehabilitative or therapeutic programs and a new Bill will require sex offenders to complete programs before being permitted to apply for parole or being released from prison on their early release date, Attorney General Kathy Simmons said today.

The Attorney General said, “The tabling of the Criminal Code [Sex Offender Management] Amendment Bill 2018 represents a leap forward for Bermuda in better protecting our children and the public from sex offenders. The Bill sets up a structure to supervise, rehabilitate and monitor sex offenders during and upon release from prison.

Extract from the information sheet:

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“In the past, a sex offender could refuse to participate in any rehabilitative or therapeutic programs designed to address the behavior that led to them being incarcerated. When this Bill becomes law, sex offenders will be required to complete rehabilitative or therapeutic programs as mandated by the Court before being permitted to apply for parole, or being released from prison on their early release date.

“Two months before a sex offender being released, The Minister of Legal Affairs will be notified of the pending release and provided with a current risk assessment, by the Department of Corrections, and the public will be alerted, if determined to be appropriate. Their names will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register for at least 10 years.”

“A sex offender requiring supervision shall be supervised by a probation officer according to the level of risk posed by the offender and the need for the community’s protection,

“Furthermore, the Offender Risk Management Team [ORMT] with representatives from the Bermuda Police Service, Court Services and the Department of Corrections will conduct regular risk assessments of the offender and recommend psychological evaluations or updated risk assessments as needed.

“The team will meet regularly and will consult regularly with partner agencies to mitigate risks to children as deemed necessary. An offender may apply to the Court to reduce his time on the register on the grounds that they no longer present a risk of re-offending, and must prove their case in Court. Offenders who fail to comply with requirements of the team will face a fine of $3000, six months imprisonment or both.

“The Criminal Code [Sex Offender Management] Amendment Bill 2018 ensures the community is better protected from the harm posed by individuals who prey on children, by mandating sex offenders get the treatment and programmes that they need, and managing them through the Offender Risk Management Team.

“This represents the fulfillment of this Government Platform Promise to revise and strengthen The Criminal Code legislation in regard to sex offenders who target children.”

The Information Sheet follows below [PDF here]:

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Comments (3)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    This is a pathetic system! It protects the convicted criminal, not the public.

  2. Hey says:

    Another PLP failure

  3. New Bermudian says:

    So let me offer a perspective you might not have considered. If an eighteen-year-old male is convicted of statutory rape (having sex with someone under the age of 16), then he’s convicted of being a sex offender, who had sex with a minor- in other words, a child molester. The particulars won’t be made public, but he will be forever stained with the stigma of being a child molester. Not quite the same thing- if a mature-looking fifteen year old sneaks out to a club, and comes onto some ‘boy’, and he doesn’t know how young she is…you see where I’m going. No, it shouldn’t happen, no I am not blaming the victim- but even if she did consent, if her mom found out and wanted to press charges, then that young man’s life is ruined. There needs to be some compassion there, IMO.

    Here’s another scenario- the sleazy uncle who has been molesting girls in the family for years finally gets caught and sentenced. Now all the other girls at school knows it’s Susie’s uncle that just got caught- and the teasing and bullying now escalates because of how ‘gross’ Susie’s family is, how he probably touched Susie, etc.- how is that helping the victim?

    We are nowhere near enlightened enough as a society to respond with sensitivity to the victim, let alone the perpetrator’s family or friends. So yes, I believe in a register, but I have serious misgivings about whether it should be made public in an easily accessible fashion. And as far as sex offenders…it rarely happens stranger to stranger. It’s almost always people you know or people in your family. Child molesters rarely lurk in the bushes waiting for a hapless kid to come strolling past. In cases of adult-on-adult, I agree completely with the register. In cases of child molestation, I think we need to ensure that the victims and the families are protected- and I’m not sure that’s best done right now with a register. And to take the shame out of being victimized.