JP, QC appointed to prisoner release board

The nine-person board will be chaired by Debra Humphreys, a retired vice president at Cayman National Bank and former head of the Cayman Islands Justices of the Peace Association. Ms. Humphreys also served as a court magistrate in Cayman.

Richard de Lacy, QC
Richard de Lacy, QC

Richard de Lacy, QC, has been appointed as deputy chairman of the board.

The other seven appointed members announced this week include attorneys Timothy Derrick and Nicholas Dunne, minister of religion Godfrey Meghoo, educational psychologist Susan Bodden, Baraud recruitment manager Alan Brady, former attorney and HospiceCare staffer Danielle Coleman and legal secretary Alecia La Toya Folkes.

The board will meet periodically to consider the release of prisoners who have served up to 60 percent of their sentence under the new Conditional Release Law. The board will also consider the recall of certain paroled prisoners who are alleged to have violated their terms of supervised release.

Governor Helen Kilpatrick said the board should consist of members with “diverse skills” who are committed to the rehabilitation of offenders and public safety.

Danielle Coleman
Danielle Coleman

The Conditional Release Law, passed unanimously in October 2014 and put into effect this month, introduces a system that sets general guidelines for the release of all prisoners on license conditions. It applies to all inmates, including juveniles, and to those already serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

In criminal cases, the sentencing guidelines – called tariffs – are largely left to the court’s discretion. The only exception stated in the law is for murder offenses, which require a sentence of 30 years prior to any consideration of release on license. In cases where there are aggravated or extenuating circumstances surrounding the killing, the prison term can be set higher or lower by a judge.

All other criminal offenses that carry more than a one-year sentence require the offender, under the Conditional Release Law, to serve at least 60 percent of that sentence in prison. If the prisoner is deemed to no longer be a threat to the community, he or she will serve the remainder of the sentence under supervised release. Sentences of a year or less require release after 60 percent of the jail term is served, barring exceptional circumstances.

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