Government defends plans to establish parole board


The Antigua and Barbuda government says it wants to establish the parole system as a “formal mechanism” within the country’s justice system.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Steadroy Benjamin said that under the proposed initiative “persons will be eligible for parole having served a percentage of their sentence incarceration.

“We are going to set it out, we are going to have discussions publicly on the matter before hand,” he said.

Cabinet last month approved a decision to create a parole board after a High Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the attorney general to grant persons to convicted persons, since that was the remit of the Governor General

Benjamin said that the establishment of the parole board is intended to bring transparency to the process and that the project officer Adlai Smith is researching the relevant laws in detail.

“We want to take this thing about parole and have it established as a formal mechanism within our justice system,” he said.

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  1. I hope it is not those same convicted criminals let out of prison the other day that he wants to grant parole to. I preferred those who are convicted and incarceration for marijuana and other small crimes should be the ones to benefit from this parole board when it has been approved. Let the murders and rapist serve out their full sentence.

  2. Why use the language ‘defends plans’ ? I saw this headline appear in another news medium today.
    Who exactly is attacking the government for this initiative?
    What is there to defend?

    All functioning judiciary systems have a parole board to process early release of prisoners.

  3. Instead of critisism, one should ask why wasn’t this considered previously? I commend the AG for putting this initiative in place, and should fast track it to say the least. Low level and non-violent offenders should not languish in jail. This initiative will set up a mechanism that will enable parolees to be monitored and gainfully employed. They are to meet the parole board’s guidelines, and check in with the assigned parole officer. This is also a great source of employment for retired police officers to train and recruit parole officers. This also enables the AG to decide how the new law enforcement entity will be administered. 👍

  4. The justice system is tricky.

    First they lock you up.

    Next alot of money is spent to put you in jail.

    Then they let you out early.

    No system in North America works none. Why is it you can look and see that there systems are not effective at least it has not worked for them but still you implement it any way.

    Why can’t we come up with our own systems?

    Our problem is in the education, religious systems..

    The educational system teaches you how not to be yourself and the religious system teaches you there is a man in the sky that will forgive all your bad deeds, so you can do as you like get caught then go to him to save you.

    I say if we were civilized no one would be going to jail. We need to teach our adults how to be civil then our babies will learn from the adults and the cycle will be broken.

  5. This is a brilliant idea and should have been considered and implemented years ago. Please hire experts with degrees in Criminal Justice or Sociology or psychology or law or criminology to this board. People who are in the social science field. Please expedite this request, please do not make this political as everything is in Antigua. Please hire experienced people, and young people. Please hire people base on their expertise and not party affiliation.

    please know the board should have some policing power, badges, guns etcetera. Please make sure they are paid properly. Please make one of the parole board member someone who is not local, since corruption is easy, as the country is small and knowing a family member or friend of the person seeking parole can cause unjust granting and denial of parole. I want an appeals process for parole denial and approval.

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