A review of the island's correctional facilities has been completed and is being considered by Cabinet, according to Jeff Baron, the new Minister for National Security.
The review, which was conducted by Commissioner of Corrections Edward Lamb, followed the Bermuda Government's Throne Speech pledge to explore the possibility of closing down one of the facilities.
Mr Baron told The Royal Gazette that an announcement on the issue would be made in the near future.
“I'm extremely encouraged at the direction the executive board has taken,” Mr Baron said.
“I support the need to incentivise the men and the women inside the corrections facilities, and that extends to the staff.
“It's important to remember that numbers in our prisons are low and so are recidivism rates.
“The Prison Fellowship and groups like Lifeline at Westgate are great initiatives. We are keen to see the programmes offered to inmates inside the facilities expand because we recognise the true value of them.”
Mr Baron also revealed that the Government was looking at legislation to “level the playing field” for release provisions for Bermudian and foreign inmates. At present, Bermudian prisoners become eligible for parole after serving a third of their sentence, while inmates from foreign jurisdictions can often serve the full term of their sentence before being released.
“We are working on the early release regime with a view to expanding it to include foreign prisoners,” Mr Baron said. “Cabinet are looking at this issue now. We have to make it fair for all people across the board. All prisoners have to satisfy the same parole conditions but this levels the playing field across the board.
“The new regime will allow for the early release and removal of any persons who are liable to deportation or removal from Bermuda for remission of good conduct under the remit of the Parole Board.
“Persons who are liable to deportation or removal from Bermuda will only be eligible for early release after serving no less than one half of their prison sentence. They can go before the Parole Board to make a request for an early release without licence.”