Former bank risk manager heads new inmate release panel

| 18/02/2016 | 25 Comments
Cayman News Service

Prisoners at HMP Northward

(CNS): Debra Humphreys, a retired risk and compliance manager at a local bank, has been appointed to lead the new Conditional Release Board which will replace the parole board under new legislation that has altered the way prisoners will get out of jail. Richard De Lacy QC has been appointed the Vice Chair and is one of a number of legal and financial experts appointed to the new panel, none of whom appear to have a professional criminal law or rehabilitation background.

No details of the new board memberships experience or their credentials have been made public by officials after the names were revealed on the government gazette website on Wednesday. Before Humphreys’ retirement from Cayman National, she was risk and compliance manager and money laundering reporting officer, the bank has confirmed.

According to unconfirmed online searches, the members include Nicholas Dunne, a financial lawyer with offshore firm Walkers; Timothy Derrick, also a commercial lawyer with Conyers; Alan Brady, a recruitment manager at Baraud; Susan Bodden, an educational psychologist; Danielle Coleman from Hospice Cayman; Godfrey Meghoo, a retired pastor; and Alecia La Toya Folkes.

It is not clear if the private sector appointees will be joined by professionals from the relevant government departments, such as community rehabilitation or the prison, or whether criminal justice professionals will act as consultants to the members to offer advice. All of the members have been appointed for three years and it will be their role to decide if prisoners, after serving 60% of their sentences, are fit for release and under what conditions.

It will be some time, however, before the new panel will begin hearing cases as the new conditional release law commenced just this week and only applies to prisoners sentenced from now on. All new inmates sentenced to custodial terms of a year or more from Monday will be required to serve a full 60% of their terms before the board will hear their cases.

Prisoners are also expected to undergo full and comprehensive rehabilitation leading to a demonstrable reduction in their risk to the community before they can be released on licence until the end of their full term, if at all.

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Category: Crime, Prison

Comments (25)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What an ungrateful bunch of complainers SOME, repeat, SOME commentators can seem. All just looking for a chance to let fly with that very tired, old Absurdistan cliche. They would have asked Jesus Christ if he had a Masters in Divinity and 30 years preaching experience. Very sad.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said 10:06, but just wait until all the negative nabobs get pissed at your comment and attack you with their thumbs well and truly down.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, because querying why a group of people with no qualifications, no expertise and no experience should get to decided on whether society is safe from violent criminals makes one a “negative nabob”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jesus tended to persuade people based on his magic tricks like feeding 5,000 people, raising the dead and being the son of God. Nepotism and magic.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It really is a pity no one thought of giving Mrs. Humphreys her title – J.P. Just saying.

    CNS: We added as much information as we could find on the internet about the members of the board. No information has been given about them from government. Perhaps that can now be rectified.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Why can’t professionals who do this as their job makes these decisions in instead of retired bankers and pastors? Sounds crazy. Read the headline and think: “does this person sound qualified for this job” and “would you allow a criminologist to head a bank risk committee?”

  4. Kenny says:

    XXXXXX

    i doubt that this positive comment will get posted. We will see.

    CNS: As per my rules (see pet hate in the Comment Policy), no it won’t. Without the last sentence, it would.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Nick Dunne is an excellent choice for this! Great News!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is he? On what basis is he better able to decide the chances that a paedophile or a violent robber will re-offend than someone whose job it is to assess these things?

  6. Anonymous says:

    So this appears a misconceived exercise in letting well intentioned or under employed amateurs take decisions about the release of violent criminals. Please tell me they are not getting paid for this stuff.

    • Anonymous says:

      I very rarely comment on CNS stories, but the comment above seems ill-informed.

      While I do not know all of the appointees, I can say that Richard De Lacy is a very experienced QC who will assist in ensuring that decisions are not overturned on judicial review, and Nick Dunne, while a commercial litigator today, was previously a very successful criminal barrister in the UK and in has a Master of Philosophy Degree in Criminology from Cambridge University. These individuals can hardly be described as amateurs.

      It seems that the other members are also highly qualified, including an educational psychologist in Susan Bodden, and a charity worker and activist with considerable experience with Human Rights Jurisprudence in Danielle Coleman.

      This new legislation is a very welcome and overdue. The new Board deserves our support.

      • Anonymous says:

        I studied geology. I does not mean I can sit on a board decided whether to open a commercial oil well. These people are not professional criminologists, penologists or criminal psychologists. None of them seem remotely qualified and there are far too many of them.

        • Diogenes says:

          Go on then. Find a panel of professional criminologists, penologists or criminal psychologists, on an unpaid volunteer basis at that, from amongst the 55000 member populations. Oh, and whilst you are about it, do try and factor in the lay view on releasing offenders back into society – or are you going to have a pop at the qualifications of lay members too?

          • Anonymous says:

            So basically you accept exactly what was said at the start, that this is a decision by a committee of amateur. Not that inspiring when the issue is whether convicted violent criminals should be allowed to walk back on the streets. In face very disturbing. If Cayman cannot find a professional to decided then the UK can provide someone to do it.

          • Anonymous says:

            Why is there a need for a Panel at all?

      • Anonymous says:

        The committee is a bit like having a committee to decide whether a heart transplant patient can leave hospital after the operation comprised of a consultant oncologist, an OBGYN practitioner, someone who had studied medicine a long time ago and vaguely remembers how the heart works, a lawyer and a behavioural psychologist but with not a cardiologist in sight. Useless hamfisted and misguided. Another day in Absurdistan.

        • Anonymous says:

          Your comments are ill-informed, read the Law and see that the Board is to assess risk to society by persons convicted of crime and to decide whether they are ready, after serving a good proportion of their sentence, to be released into society, not criminality per se. To do so they are supported by reports, testimony (for want of a better word) and advice from a range of specialised and experienced agencies.

          These convicted persons will be released at the end of their sentences in any case, and the aim of the law is to remove the automatic right to release that exists at present, and ensure that all prisoners are released in a controlled and supervised way. This is an attempt to reduce recidivism and assist in the rehabilitation of convicted persons. For those convicted and imprisoned persons to be able to return to the community and contribute. It may not be the perfect answer, but what is?

          This Board seems to have a varied range of life and professional experience which is what is required to assess whether a person should be released back into society, not degrees in criminality.

          • Anonymous says:

            Since you cannot tell the difference between criminality and criminology I suggest you stay out of this. This is a stupid way of deciding. Might as well flip a coin.

            • Anonymous says:

              I apologise for the slip up in my last line, which of course should have said “degree in criminology”, but I don’t think that negates the rest of my comment. Your remarks about flipping a coin are, on the other hand, rather flippant.

              • Anonymous says:

                If you studied development in criminal psychology, which you obviously don’t, you would realise that the coin flip point was not flippant, since the evidence is that human assessment is a very poor means of assessing recidivism. The best results are produced now by brain scans but everyone is to scared to admit that officially and adopt an automated process.

      • Anonymous says:

        Look at the headline “former bank risk manager heads new inmate release panel”. That defeats your point. So they know about “risk” is that it? Absurdistan.

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