Probation of Offenders Act


Published: 2000

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CAP. 120 PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT BELIZE

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT

CHAPTER 120

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 5

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

BELIZE

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT

CHAPTER 120

REVISED EDITION 2000

SHOWING THE LAW AS AT 31ST DECEMBER, 2000

This is a revised edition of the law, prepared by the Law Revision Commissioner

under the authority of the Law Revision Act, Chapter 3 of the Laws of Belize,

Revised Edition 1980 - 1990.

This edition contains a consolidation of the following laws- Page

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS 3

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS ACT 5

Amendments in force as at 31st December, 2000.

THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000

Printed by the Government Printer,

No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Probation of Offenders [CAP. 120

[ ]

3

CHAPTER 120

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

1. Short title.

2. Interpretation.

3. Power of court to permit conditional release of offenders.

4. Probation order.

5. Further provisions where court makes probation order.

6. Commission of further offences by probationers.

7. Failure by probationer to comply with probation order.

8. Disqualification or disability of probationer.

9. Transmission of documents when case is remitted to another court.

10. Amendment of probation orders.

11. Discharge of probation orders.

12. Selection of probation officers.

13. Contributions towards homes and hostels.

14. Appointments.

15. Probation Committee.

16. Rules.

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No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Probation of Offenders [CAP. 120

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CHAPTER 120

PROBATION OF OFFENDERS

[20th December, 1941]

1. This Act may be cited as the Probation of Offenders Act.

2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires:-

“principal probation officer” means a person appointed to be a principal

probation officer under section 15;

“probation committee” means a committee appointed to be a probation

committee under section 16;

“probation officer” means a person appointed to be a probation officer under

section 15;

“probation order” means an order made under this Act placing a person

under the supervision of a probation officer;

“probationer” means a person placed under supervision by a probation

order.

3.-(1) Where any person is charged with an offence which is punishable on

summary conviction, and the court thinks that the charge is proved but is of

opinion that having regard to the circumstances, including the nature of the

offence and the character and home surroundings of the offender, it is expedi-

ent to release the offender on probation, the court may-

Ch. 27,

R.L., 1958.

CAP. 98,

R.E. 1980-1990.

38 of 1963.

40 of 1963.

Short title.

Interpretation.

Power of court to

permit condi-

tional release of

offenders.

(a) convict the offender and make a probation order; or

(b) without proceeding to conviction, make a probation

order.

(2) Before making a probation order under subsection (1) the

court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language the effect of the order

and that if he fails in any way to comply therewith or commits another

offence, he will be liable to be sentenced or to be convicted and sentenced

for the original offence, and the court shall not make a probation order

unless the offender expresses his willingness to comply with the provisions

of the order.

(3) Where any person is convicted of an offence which is punish-

able on indictment, and the court is of opinion that, having regard to the

circumstances, including the nature of the offence and the character and

home surroundings of the offender, it is expedient to release the offender on

probation, the court may in lieu of imposing a sentence of imprisonment

make a probation order.

(4) Before making a probation order under subsection (3) the

court shall explain to the offender in ordinary language the effect of the order

and that if he fails in any respect to comply therewith or commits another

offence, he will be liable to be sentenced for the original offence, and the

court shall not make a probation order unless the offender expresses his

willingness to comply with the provisions of the order.

4.-(1) A probation order shall-

(a) have effect for such period not less than one year and

not more than three years from the date of the order as

may be specified therein; and

(b) require the probationer to submit during that period to

Probaion order.

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the supervision of a probation officer appointed or

assigned to the district in which the probationer will reside

after the making of the order; and

(c) contain such provisions as the court considers necessary

for securing the supervision of the offender, and such

additional conditions as to residence and other matters

as the court, having regard to the circumstances of the

case, considers necessary for securing the good conduct

of the offender or for preventing a repetition of the same

offence or the commission of other offences.

(2) Where a probation order contains a provision as to residence,

the place at which and the period for which the probationer is to reside shall

be specified in the order, and where any such provision requires the pro-

bationer to reside in an institution, the period for which the probationer is re-

quired so to reside shall not extend beyond twelve months from the date of

the order, and the court shall forthwith give notice of the terms of the order to

the Minister.

(3) The court by which a probation order is made, or any court by

which an order is made under section 10 or 11 amending or discharging any

such probation order, shall forthwith give copies of the probation order, or

amending order or order of discharge as the case may be, to the probation

officer responsible for the supervision of the probationer, to the probationer

and to the person in charge of any institution in which the probationer is or

was by the probation order or the amending order required to reside.

5.-(1) Where a person is placed by a probation order under the supervision

of a probation officer, the court may without prejudice to its power of

awarding costs against the offender order the offender to pay such damages

for injury or compensation for loss as the court thinks reasonable, but not in

the case of an order made by a summary jurisdiction court exceeding in the

aggregate one hundred dollars or such greater sum as may be allowed by any

40 of 1963.

Further

provisions where

court makes

probation order.

enactment relating to the offence.

(2) Where a court makes any such order for the payment of

damages or compensation, the order may be enforced in like manner as an

order for the payment of costs by the offender, and where the court, in

addition to making such an order for the payment of damages or

compensation to any person orders the offender to pay to that person any

costs, the orders for the payment of damages or compensation and for the

payment of costs may be enforced as if they constituted a single order for

the payment of costs.

6.-(1) Where it appears to a judge or any magistrate that a probationer has

been convicted of an offence committed while the probation order was in

force, he may issue a summons requiring the probationer to appear at the

place and time specified therein or may issue a warrant for his arrest.

(2) A magistrate shall not issue such a summons except on

information, and shall not issue such a warrant except on information in

writing and on oath.

(3) A summons or warrant issued under this section shall direct the

probationer to appear or to be brought before the court by which the

probation order was made.

(4) Where a probationer is convicted by a magistrate of an

offence committed while the probation order was in force the magistrate

may commit the probationer to custody or release him on bail, with or

without sureties, until he can be brought or appear before the court by

which the probation order was made.

(5) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court by which the

probation order was made that the probationer has been convicted of an

offence while the probation order was in force, then-

Commission of

further offences

by probationers.

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Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Probation of Offenders [CAP. 120

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(a) if the probationer was not convicted of the original offence

in respect of which the probation order was made, the

court may convict him of that offence and pass any

sentence which it could pass if the probationer had just

been convicted before that court of that offence; or

(b) if the probationer was convicted of the original offence in

respect of which the probation order was made, the court

may pass any sentence which it could pass if the

probationer had just been convicted before that court of

that offence.

(6) Where a probationer in respect of whom a probation order has

been made by a magistrate is convicted before the Supreme Court of an

offence committed while the probation order was in force, then-

(a) if the probationer was not convicted of the original offence

in respect of which the probation order was made, the

Supreme Court may convict him of that offence and may

pass any sentence which the court which made the

probation order could pass if the probationer had just

been convicted before that court of that offence; or

(b) if the probationer was convicted of the original offence in

respect of which the probation order was made, the

Supreme Court may pass any sentence which the court

which made the probation order could pass if the

probationer had just been convicted before that court of

that offence.

7.-(1) Where if it appears to a judge or any magistrate that a probationer has

failed to comply with any of the provisions of the probation order, he may

issue a summons to the probationer requiring him to appear at the place and

time specified therein or may issue a warrant for his arrest.

Failure by

probationer to

comply with

probation order.

(2) A magistrate shall not issue such summons except on

information, and shall not issue such a warrant except on information in

writing and on oath.

(3) A summons or warrant under this section shall direct the

probationer to appear or to be brought before the court by which the

probation order was made.

(4) Where it is proved to the satisfaction of the court by which the

probation order was made that the probationer has failed to comply with

any of the provisions of the probation order then-

(a) without prejudice to the continuance in force of the pro-

bation order, the court may impose on the probationer

a fine not exceeding fifty dollars; or

(b) if the probationer-

(i) was not convicted of the original offence in respect

of which the probation order was made, the court

may convict him and pass any sentence which it

could pass if the probationer had just been

convicted before that court of that offence; or

(ii) was convicted of the original offence in respect of

which the probation order was made, the court

may pass any sentence which it could pass if the

probationer had just been convicted before that

court of that offence.

(5) Where a court has, under paragraph (a) of subsection (4)

imposed a fine on the probationer, then, if any subsequent sentence is

passed upon the probationer under the provisions of the preceding section

or of this section, the imposition of the said fine shall be taken into account

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in fixing the amount of that sentence.

8.-(1) Where a person is convicted of an offence and is released under a

probation order, his conviction for that offence shall, subject to subsection

(2), be disregarded for the purposes of any enactment by or under which any

disqualification or disability is imposed upon convicted persons or by or

under which provision is made for a different penalty in respect of a second

or subsequent offence or in respect of an offence committed after previous

conviction.

(2) Where the probationer is subsequently sentenced for the original

offence, this section shall cease to apply in respect of that offence, and he

shall be deemed, for the purposes of any such enactment imposing a

disqualification or disability, to have been convicted on the date of the

sentence.

(3) Where a person is released on probation without the court

having proceeded to conviction and he is subsequently convicted and

sentenced for the original offence, then he shall be deemed, for the purposes

of any enactment by or under which any disqualification is imposed upon

convicted persons or by or under which provision is made for a different

penalty in respect of a second or subsequent offence or in respect of an

offence committed after a previous conviction, to have been convicted on the

date of such conviction and sentence.

9.-(1) Where a probationer is committed to custody or released on bail by a

magistrate until he can be brought or appear before the court which made the

probation order, the magistrate shall transmit to the court which made the

probation order such particulars of the case as he thinks desirable.

(2) Where the probationer has been convicted of a subsequent

offence by a magistrate, the magistrate shall transmit to the court which made

the probation order a certificate to that effect signed by him, and for the

purposes of proceedings in the court to which it is transmitted any such

Disqualification

or disability of

probationer.

Transmission of

documents when

case is remitted

to another court.

certificate, if purporting to be so signed, shall be admissible as evidence of

the conviction.

10.-(1) Subject to this section, where, on the application of a probationer or

of the probation officer responsible for his supervision, the court which

made the probation order is satisfied that the provisions of the probation

order should be varied, or that any provisions should be inserted or can-

celled, the court may, subject to subsection (2) by order amend the proba-

tion order accordingly.

(2) No order shall be made under this section reducing the period

or duration of the probation order, or extending that period beyond a period

of three years from the date of the probation order.

(3) An order under subsection (1) may require a probationer to

reside in an institution for any period not extending beyond twelve months

from the date of that order, if the total period or the aggregate of the periods

for which he is required to reside in any institution or institutions under the

probation or-

(4) The court shall, if it is satisfied, on the application of the

probation officer responsible for the supervision of the probationer that the

probationer has changed, or is about to change, his residence from the

district named in the order to another district, by order vary the probation

order by substituting for the reference to the district named therein a

reference to the district where the probationer is residing or is about to

reside, and shall transmit to the court for the new district all documents and

information relating to the case, and thereupon the last mentioned court shall

be deemed for all the purposes of this Act to be the court by which the

probation order was made.

(5) An Order under this section cancelling a provision of a Pro-

bation Order or substituting a new district for the district named therein may

be made without summoning the probationer, but no other Order under this

Amendment of

probation orders.

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No. 1 Power Lane,

Belmopan, by the authority of

the Government of Belize.

Probation of Offenders [CAP. 120

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section shall be made except on the application or in the presence of the

probationer.

(6) Where an Order is made under this section for the variation,

insertion or cancellation of a provision requiring a probationer to reside in an

institution, the court shall forthwith give notice of the terms of the order to the

Minister.

11.-(1) The court by which a probation order was made may, on the appli-

cation of the probationer or of the probation officer responsible for his

supervision, discharge the probation order, and where the application is

made by the probation officer, the court may deal with it without summoning

the probationer.

(2) Where an offender in respect of whom a probation order has

been made is subsequently sentenced for the offence in respect of which the

probation order was made, the probation order shall cease to have effect.

12.-( 1) The probation officer who is to be responsible for the supervision of

any probationer shall be selected by the court which makes the probation

order, and if the probation officer so selected dies or is unable for any reason

to carry out his duties, or if the probation committee dealing with the case

considers it desirable that another officer take his place, another probation

officer shall be selected by the court.

(2) Where a woman or girl is placed under the supervision of a

probation officer, the probation officer shall be a woman.

13. Such contributions may be made towards the establishment or mainte-

nance of homes or hostels for the reception of persons placed under the

supervision of probation officers as the Minister may approve.

14. The Public Services Commission shall appoint-

40 of 1963.

Discharge of

probation orders.

Selection of

probation

officers.

Contributions

towards homes

and hostels.

40 of 1963.

Appointments.

(a) a principal probation officer who shall organise and super-

vise the probation service in Belize in accordance with rules

made under this Act;

(b) a sufficient number of probation officers, qualified by charac-

ter and experience to be probation officers, who shall perform

such duties as may be prescribed by Rules made under this

Act.

15. The Minister shall appoint a probation committee or probation

committees, consisting of such persons as the Minister thinks fit, who shall

review the work of probation officers in individual cases and perform such

duties in connection with probation as may be prescribed by Rules made

under this Act.

16. The Minister may by Order published in the Gazette make Rules

prescribing-

(a) the duties of a principal probation officer;

(b) the duties of probation officers;

(c) the constitution and duties of a probation committee or

probation committees;

(d) the form of records to be kept under this Act;

(e) the remuneration of any person appointed to carry out any

duties under this Act, and the fees and charges to be made for

any act, matter or thing under this Act to be done or observed;

(f) generally for carrying the purposes or provisions of this Act

into effect.

_____________

Probation

Committee.

38 of 1963.

Rules.

Related Laws