06 Jun 2018

I Had To Leave Bermuda To Live, Now Let Me Live

A Bermudian woman recently arrested in Spain for travelling while on parole has decried Bermuda’s parole and probation system as uncaring and non-supportive of convicted felons once released from prison.

The middle-aged mother of two, who asked not to be named for fear of slander from fellow Bermudians, claimed that she saw no other way to improve her chances of success in life than to leave the land of her birth because there was simply no help available to her here. She was increasingly labelled as dishonest, became all but unemployable and was constantly the topic of whispers and negative innuendo.

With a criminal record stretching a fair distance, with theft and fraud along with the consequent court appearances and jail time her modus operandi, she admits to having sabotaged much of her early life with unwise decisions. However, upon her most recent release some four years ago she told of having vowed to do better, but being turned away at near every corner and even when seemingly accepted the tainted whispers of others served to disqualify her.

“I did try finding work at home and in fact I applied and was approved for one particular job, but some typical Bermudians - not wanting to see me get ahead - took it upon themselves to question the person who hired me regarding my background and must have given them some details to make me look bad and the next thing I was told the company couldn’t hire me.”

She added how she received no help from the probation department as had been more custom previously.

“I’ll put it this way, back in the day I had a parole officer named Ms. Simmons, Debra Simmons, and one could not have asked for anyone better, she was excellent in the way she handled people and supported and guided them through the rough waters.

“I think everybody goes through hard times after coming out of prison, but I believe more so the women than the men, people just look at the women a whole lot different than they do men, like ‘What kind of woman goes to jail?’.

  Indeed the young lady appears to have done very well for herself and her two young children, having entered the nursing field and studied hard, graduating from Nursing Assistant Grade One to Nursing Assistant Grade Three in short order at a prominent health centre.

  A lover of children, her goal is to grab a foothold in the area of paediatrics and believes herself well on her way to achieving such.

 Yet there she was on what was planned as a brief excursion across the Channel, instead being ushered aside by local authorities announcing her as a worldwide fugitive who had entered the country unauthorised. Having moved from the Bermuda jurisdiction she had violated terms of parole and her name forwarded as a fugitive from justice.

  Taken into custody she was further horrified to hear of a warrant being issued along with orders for her extradition to her home country.

What followed were a series of conversations and negotiations between the Spanish judiciary and local authorities, while the woman reached out with some success to Bermuda Members of Parliament and others for help.

After two weeks detainment all matters were revoked and the lady allowed to return to England and further get her matter addressed.

“It was rough but I got through It,” she said.“Leaving Bermuda was still the best decision I ever made regardless.

“I likely would have been back down Co-Ed (Facility) by now, because the system does not help you, there’s no kind of support or anything.

“It’s tough that your own people would treat you like that, and say the things that they say. It used to bother me but it doesn’t any more, I just let it run off my shoulder. I know that I’ve done what I’m supposed to do, I’m proud of myself and can hold my head high. I would have never achieved what I have had I stayed there.”

Back in England she has picked up the pieces again and moved on with her life.

“I started out as a level one nurses assistant, to where now I’m a level three nurses assistant and I’m now doing my GCSEs because my goal is to be a paediatric nurse. I’ve been exposed to all sorts of situations regarding children and learned so many techniques, I’ve worked in NHS, everything and none of these things I would have achieved if I would have stayed in Bermuda.”

  Finally, she explained how a simple transfer of her parole and probation orders would have allowed her to avoid the inconvenience of being arrested, but pointed to an abundance of systematic red tape and favouritism - or lack thereof - as stumbling blocks.

  “I really don’t know why, I know and I’ve heard of situations where this has been done for people, they’ve had their paperwork transferred.

“I believe it’s personal toward me whereby someone doesn’t want to see me get ahead.”

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Read 9742 times Last modified on Wednesday, 06 June 2018 21:44
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