Prisoner denied parole; No maladministration, says Ombudsman

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A prisoner detained at the Corradino Correctional Facility, CCF, serving a sentence for a serious offence, felt aggrieved by the refusal of the Parole Board to allow him out on parole even though he was entitled to this benefit but the Office of the Ombudsman stated that the parole board was perfectly justified to revoke his parole licence.

According to the latest edition of the Ombudsman’s case notes the complainant submitted that he had been given authorised leave of absence from the CCF strictly on parole and was instructed to work at a church in Kalkara but had refused to continue to do so when he was told to whitewash areas he considered to be dangerous because of an injury to his back.

The complainant had also failed to produce medical certificates to justify his refusal even though he had visited doctors, the hospital and polyclinic for this purpose. He had even failed to satisfy a condition that he had to do community work when he was assigned to do so at a cat sanctuary even though this was in no way tiring.

The complainant then requested the Office of the Ombudsman to investigate his case.

Parole procedures

A Parole clerk of the correctional facility informed the Ombudsman that, when an inmate became entitled to apply for parole in terms of the Restorative Justice Act, he would be approached by the Parole clerk and if he was interested, a parole application was filled in. His case would be referred to the opportune units and a report prepared.

The parole dossier was then forwarded to the Offender Assessment Board for its recommendations and the case would then be brought before the Parole Board.

In the complainant’s case, his application was approved with effect from 3 November 2016. Among the conditions imposed for the grant of parole, he was to perform 20 hours of community work every week under the directions given to him by them Parole Officer.

The Board was soon after informed that complainant had failed to do the work he was to carry out at the Capuchin’ Convent in Kalkara and failed to carry out other community work assigned to him and had even tried to avoid specific instructions given to him by the Parole Officer.

The investigating officer concluded that it was clear that complainant had no intention of doing any work assigned to him and that he did not cooperate in any way with his Parole Officer. The Parole Board, therefore, revoked his parole licence and ordered that he again be detained in the correctional facility to serve his sentence.

The Ombudsman was of the opinion that there had been no maladministration or procedural error in the handling of complainant’s case by the Parole Clerk of the correctional facility. The Parole Board was perfectly justified to revoke his parole licence.