Jamaican Expungements Increase
Since the start of the year, a total of 570 criminal records have been expunged, 245 of which were done during the April to June 2017 period, according to the Ministry of Justice.
The ministry said the expungement process, done under the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1988, has seen a steady flow of applications from persons looking to have their criminal records cleared..
The process is also said to help individuals, who committed minor offences and have sincerely and successfully attempted to abide by the law, to reintegrate into society.
The ministry said that having convictions removed from one's records can increase that individual's earning capacity, as employment in certain industries such as education, tourism, security and transportation, require a copy of a clean police record for their employees.
It noted that the process is also beneficial for persons interested in migrating or working overseas.
Under the Criminal Records Act, certain minor offences such as simple larceny, malicious destruction of property, possession or dealing in ganja, bribery and forging of documents, among others can be cleared from a person's record after a specified period of rehabilitation.
An amendment to the Act in 2014 reduced the rehabilitation period from between five and 20 years, from the date of the termination of imprisonment or the payment of a fine, to between three and 10 years based on the seriousness of the offence and the sentence imposed.