St. John’s Antigua- Attorney General Justin Simon has given his support to expunging the records of certain categories ex-convicts.
The move has been proposed by National Security Minister, Dr Errol Cort who said the provision for granting a clean record would improve the rehabilitation process.
“The terms of imprisonment, which is the punishment which is handed down to individuals, it is supposed to be a corrective measure so they do the time but it is also expected that because of that experience they will turn away from that type of behaviour and that type of life,” Simon said.
Last week Dr Cort said he believes erasing the records of ex-convicts “who had walked a good life for a certain minimum number of years” would go a long way in giving meaning to the term rehabilitation.
The national security minister said this is critical, since it would help the former prison inmates to not only fully reintegrate back into society but to contribute fully to its development.
Simon said given that many ex-convicts live good lives following their time in prison it is a commendable move. However, he pointed out the gravity of the initial offence must be taken into consideration.
“Depending on the gravity of offence for which they have spent a term of imprisonment that at some point in time there should be an expunging of the record it cannot and ought not to follow them for the rest of their lives particularly given the nature of the offence and you know you do have some persons who when they come out of prison live very exemplary lives and they need to be given an opportunity for that” Simon said.
Last week, Dr Cort assured that the process has begun with legally trained police officers taking a comprehensive review of various crime-fighting legislation, to see what could be done.