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Public defender moves for review of Parole Act

Published:Tuesday | September 16, 2014 | 6:16 PM

(JIS):

Acting Public Defender, Matonda Mukulu, has charged that some aspects of Jamaica's parole laws could be unconstitutional.




He says the Office of the Public Defender is working with the Ministry of National Security to have a review of the 40 year old Parole Act.



Addressing members of the Jamaica Employers' Federation, during a breakfast meeting this morning, Mukulu noted that the Parole Act is outdated.



He says some of the current procedures are unfair and breach the rights if inmates.



Mukulu says one of the areas of concern is the fact that under the law, an inmate who applies for parole is not required to be present at the hearing.



He says it is unfair for it to be up to the discretion of the Parole Board to determine whether the inmate is present.



Mukulu disclosed that discussions with 13 inmates from the St Catherine Adult Correctional Facility and the Tower Street Correctional Facility have revealed that none of the inmates, who have applied for parole, were ever informed that the Board had the discretion to invite them to the hearing.



Mukulu argues that inmates or their representatives are not allowed to view the reports, which are often submitted to the Board by the Probation Officers.



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