A total of 30 individuals now have crime-free records, according the latest report from the Cayman Islands Expungement Board.

Deputy Governor Franz Manderson shared the figure Wednesday as he tabled the board’s report for 2018 and 2019 in the Legislative Assembly.

Manderson said, since the Expungement Board’s first year of operation in 2018, the number of applications submitted and approved have increased “significantly”.

In 2018, of the six applications submitted, only one applicant was deemed to be eligible to have the criminal record expunged, Manderson reported.

In 2019, a total of 52 applications were submitted, and 29 were approved after being  found to be eligible.

Manderson said the most common reason for rejection of applications was that the applicant had not completed the crime-free period required by the Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Law.

He stressed the importance of the work of the board and the impact it has on the lives of these who may have committed “a mistake” in their past.

“Today, it is quite common for employers to carry out background checks before hiring a good applicant. This inevitably reveals the applicant’s record of conviction which may be to the applicant’s detriment when criminal records act as a barrier to employment, education and more. It serves to entrench inequities in our society,” he said.

The members of the Cayman Islands Expungement Board are, from left, Pastor Alson Ebanks, Marilyn Brandt, Kayleigh Wright and Hugh Lockwood

Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Law allows individuals to get a clean start.

However, while the law does allow for the expungement of records, certain crimes like treason, murder and child pornography are exempted.

According to the annual report, the primary objective of the Criminal Records (Spent Convictions) Law “is to implement a scheme to limit the effect of a person’s conviction for a range of offences if the person, having served their sentence, subsequently completes a period of crime-free behaviour”.

A person’s criminal record could only be expunged in instances where the board has deemed the conviction as spent. A person shall not be eligible to obtain more than two expungements.

Those who have been granted expungements were initially convicted for offences including robbery, possession of ganja with the intent to supply, false accounting/theft, possession of cocaine and resisting arrest.

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