Parole hearings for two murder convicts began Wednesday, with the duo being urged to become model citizens if they are released.
“I encourage the potential parolees, if successful, to be role models for this exercise,” Home Affairs Minister, Hermangild Francis, said at a brief ceremony held at Bordelais Correctional Facility (BCF).
Francis explained that being paroled does not come ‘on a platter’.
He disclosed that parolees will be monitored.
“I hope there will be no reason for your parole to be either suspended or revoked,” the former Deputy Police Commissioner stated.
Francis, noting that the parole hearing will be held in a closed session, said it is his wish that the parole system evolves to such an extent that there will be public participation in the near future.
“I think the public is the entity that has the most stake in this parole system and I think they are entitled to sit and listen to what happens in the parole system,’ the Minister said.
“Those of you who know me well would know that I have publicly expressed my belief that persons who have paid their debt to society should be given the opportunity to turn the page and begin a new chapter. Everyone who puts his or her mind to it can become model citizens,” Francis, who also has responsibility for National Security and Justice stated.
Two male inmates who have served over 20 years of their custodial sentences for murder will have their cases heard by the seven member Parole Board.
Both eligible inmates are 47 years old.
The Home Affairs Minister recalled that upon assuming the post, he became involved in steering the key objective of implementing the parole system in Saint Lucia in accordance with world class standards in structure and operations.
“This mattered very highly to the government as our human rights image is sometimes unnecessarily sullied in certain quarters,” Francis declared.
Headline photo caption: Internet stock photo