Ex-convicts who have lived a crime-free life for more than 15 years and have demonstrated that they have turned over a new chapter in their lives could have the record of offences they committed expunged, if efforts to amend the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act are successful.
At present, certain crimes are not expungeable, but Chuck noted that many who had committed offences and were now playing a crucial role in their communities as pastors, or who wanted to become teachers, still had their past criminal records intact.
“Their families write the minister letters of appeal pleading, but my hands are tied because the Third Schedule of the Act prevents me from expunging,” Chuck pointed out.
He noted that many who wanted to seek jobs in the farm-work programme and those who wanted to become security personnel have been barred because of their criminal records.
For the 2019-20 parliamentary year, the justice ministry wiped the slate clean for 576 people with criminal convictions from a total of 1,382 applications.