Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
The Parole Board of the Virgin Islands is now accepting applications from eligible prisoners who are desirous to be released on parole.
Chairman for the Parole Board, Mr. Denniston Fraser said a prisoner is eligible to be considered for parole if he or she has been serving a sentence of imprisonment for a period of at least four years and has served at least one half of his or her sentence and have completed an approved counseling or rehabilitation programme.
Mr. Fraser stated that an eligible prisoner may personally or through legal representation apply to the Parole Board at least sixty days before the initial parole hearing. Applications should be submitted by January 31and July 31 of each year as hearings are held in April and October.
Applications forms can be collected from and submitted through the Superintendent at Her Majesty’s Prison. All applications will be forwarded to the Parole Board for consideration.
Mr. Fraser stated, “Before reaching a decision relating to the parole of a prisoner, the Board considers the need to maintain public confidence in the administration of justice. Therefore, we look very closely at the risk factors, the nature and circumstances related to the crime committed, the prisoner’s criminal record and ability to adjust to society and possible effects on the victim and family of the victim if parole is granted.”
The Chairman said if the board decides that a prisoner should be granted parole, a recommendation will be sent to the Governor and the Minister for Health and Social Development for final approval. Once approved, the prisoner will be released on license and in turn must comply with the terms of his or her license.
The Parole Board is committed to the improvement of the quality of the criminal justice system on behalf of the citizens of the Virgin Islands and seeks to achieve this through a deep concern for public safety, consideration of the victims of the crime and the rehabilitation of offenders.