JAMES Apaniai – a former judge of the High Court and ex-Attorney General – is now the Chair of the Solomon Islands Parole Board.
The four-Member Board – two women and two men – also included Philemon Riti, a retired Bishop, a Dr. Carol Titiulu, and Sister Veronica Vasethe, a statement issued by the Correctional Services announcing the appointments said.
The new Board held a day’s induction workshop at the National Security Conference Room, Town Ground in Honiara on Monday following their appointments.
“Members are the Retired Bishop Philemon Riti, Dr. Carol Titiulu, and Sr. Veronica Vasethe. These members were drawn from specific areas provided for under the Correctional Services Act,” the statement said.
It said the Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Anthony Veke recently appointed the new members by virtue of the Minister’s mandated powers under the Correctional Act 2013.
The statement said the Parole Board is provided for under the Correctional Act, which sets out its role including assessing the risk and determining whether to grant, deny, breach or revoke parole, and to set appropriate conditions for parole release.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Karen Qalokale thanked the newly appointed board members for accepting their appointments.
“Your role as members of the Parole Board is very important and will contribute to the broad mission of the Correctional Services of Solomon Islands, to enhance the safety of our community by providing secure and humane containment through facilitating the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners into our society.
“The Board is an independent statutory body and it is important that all Parole Board internal workings of correspondence, deliberations, and decision makings are to be conducted in the strictest confidentiality,” Ms Qalokale said.
She added that the members’ mandate was one of assurance to the maintenance of office independence, integrity and above all, the assurance to all Solomon Islanders that the paramount consideration of the board when determining an application for the release of a prisoner on parole, must be for the safety of the community.
Commissioner of the Correctional Services, Gabriel Manelusi registered his “profound appreciation” to the Chairman and Board Members on their appointment.
“Board members have the duty to uphold the credibility of the Parole Board and to remain independent and accountable. Be cautious in the use of social networking sites that can lead to a possible breach of confidence or conflict of interest,” Mr. Manelusi said.
Meanwhile, the new Parole Board Chairman Apaniai thanked the Government on behalf of his newly appointed Board for the confidence the government had shown in the Board “to perform the important work of the Parole Board.”
“It is a honourous duty for us to serve (on) the Parole Board and we will work dutifully to ensure that, the board’s considerations and decisions on each case submission for parole are professionally done independently. Our people in the community must continue to feel safe and secure in the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners,” Mr. Apaniai, a former Attorney General said.
“Our prisoners who have met the strict statutory requirements for parole considerations must not be denied this opportunity as well to be reintegrated into our society,” he said.
The one-day orientation for the Parole Board members was attended by officials of the Correctional Services of the Solomon Islands and the Ministry of Police, National Security, and Correctional Services.
By Alfred Sasako