More than four out of five convicted prisoners who applied for conditional release in 2017 were granted that privilege, according to a report released by government this week.

The Conditional Release Board said 84 percent of those offenders who sought conditional release during the current term of their sentences were allowed out, while 16 percent of those who applied were denied release.

A total of 38 prisoners were released on license during 2017, the board reported, while seven others who applied were kept in prison.

Of those released on license, 27 were Caymanians and the remainder were foreign nationals.

Cayman Islands law changed in 2016 to alter how convicted prisoners can be released during the term of their sentence. Under the current law, a prisoner has to serve a minimum 60 percent of their jail sentence before they can be released. Even if they are let out, the license terms will be in force until the end of the full sentence.

“A prisoner will only be released after he or she is deemed to be a low risk to the safety and welfare of the community,” the report from Conditional Release Board Chairwoman Debra Humphreys read.

“Just because an offender is eligible for parole, it does not follow that they will be released.”

In deciding whether to allow for a conditional release, the board must consider a number of factors, including:

  • Whether it is no longer necessary for the protection of the public that a particular prisoner be imprisoned.
  • The risk of the person reoffending.
  • Whether the rehabilitation of the prisoner can be safely carried out in the community.
  • Whether the person is capable of complying with the conditions of the license.