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Prison officers complete inaugural parole programme

By RASHAD ROLLE

Tribune Staff Reporter

rrolle@tribunemedia.net

TWENTY prison officers were celebrated Friday after completing an inaugural parole programme supervised by Canadian correctional service experts.

Commissioner Charles Murphy said the programme reflects the government’s desire to transform the Department of Corrections from “punitive institution to a 21st century correctional facility.”

“This training has ensured that these officers are well equipped with such techniques as supervision, investigative procedures, inventive strategies and interview skills,” he said.

Leslie Ottenhof, a Parole supervisor at the Correctional Service of Canada, called the programme the “most innovative and comprehensive training programme” for parole officers in Canada.

She said the “induction training is geared to provide the introductory skills and knowledge required to be an effective parole officer. In turn, this will contribute to achieving the mission statement of providing safe, secure humane environment, which ultimately contributes to our most important responsibility of public safety. Through the completion of this programme, participants have gained the theoretical knowledge of how law and policy provides the framework to the effective assessment and management of an offender’s risk.”

“This programme then challenges participants to apply such knowledge and to analyze information by interviewing and report writing. Through a critical analysis of an offender’s case, our participants journeyed through a typical offender’s sentence from start to finish; first by identifying risk factors of an offenders crime cycle, by creating objectives for rehabilitation through a correctional plan, by making critical risk based decisions throughout an offender’s sentence in custody and finally, by learning how to manage an offender’s risk in the community.”

The Bahamas does not have a parole system.

The $20 million Inter-American Development Bank’s Citizen Security and Justice Programme is helping to fund the development of such a system.

Under the Christie administration, a Parole and re-entry Steering Committee was established to examine the matter.

The recommendations of that committee have not been made public and it is not clear when legislation will be brought to parliament to establish the parole system.

As part of a 2016 study, which involved 350 inmates, researchers examined a range of factors, including prisoner psyche, conditions at the BDCS and the country’s legal system.

Comments

stoner 5 years, 9 months ago

The parole system is crucial for young men and women to enter society and be supervised by well trained individuals called Parole officers in order to avoid future crime.This is crucial in order to assist in getting these young men and women back to work and away from a life of crime. I was completely alarmed that there was no Parole system in the Bahamas.This is why crime continued and repeat offender are very common.They have no where to turn for help and back to prison they go.Thank God now this has been corrected.

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