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Quarter of parolees recalled to prison

Westgate Correctional Facility (File photo by David Skinner)

A quarter of those released on parole last year were recalled to prison after reoffending in the community, according to the 2014 Parole Board Report.

The report reveals that the board conducted interviews with 152 inmates in the three correctional facilities and released 35 of them on parole.

Nine of the paroled inmates “reoffended seriously enough to be recalled”, while 89 had their parole application deferred.

“Of the 89, some had long-term drug addictions and were deferred to receive treatment interventions, some had not completed the core components of their case plan and many had not secured employment or housing,” the report states.

The document also highlights that one female prisoner who was released on parole has not been seen since October 2 of last year and is believed to have moved to the UK.

“The board hopes that every effort will be made to extradite this parolee. If she reoffends abroad it could be an embarrassment to the Bermuda Parole Board,” the report states.

In its annual report, the Parole Board calls for amendments to the Prisons Act 2001 that will require that incarcerated persons must serve a minimum of 12 months of a longer sentence before being eligible for parole.

The report adds: “This measure will have the effect of affording the individual more time to participate in rehabilitation programmes and to be better prepared for the parole consideration hearing.

“The Board cannot stress how important it is that these amendments be immediately considered to begin to reduce the rate of prison recidivism.”

The report, which was put before the House of Assembly on May 22, provides a detailed breakdown of how many interviews were conducted at each correctional facility and how many prisoners were released on parole from each.

It also reveals that 11 prisoners declined the opportunity to be considered for parole and two were denied parole.

The report suggests that “despite challenging economic times, most inmates are still being successful in obtaining employment” when they are released.

It also outlines how electronic monitoring devices are being used to keep tabs on released inmates.

“During 2014, the board required seven parolees to be fitted with the electronic monitoring device as part of their special condition,” the report states. “The Board also continues to use curfews as a useful means of monitoring parolees.

“In 2014 the board also met with 80 post-released parolees for update reviews and conducted 12 breach hearings.”