Chapter 11:07 - Rehabilitation of Offenders

Link to law: http://legalaffairs.gov.gy/information/laws-of-guyana/486-chapter-1107-rehabilitation-of-offenders/file

L.R.O. 1/2012
LAWS OF GUYANA
REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS ACT
CHAPTER 11:07
Act
9 of 1988
Amended by
16 of 1989
24 of 1990 6 of 1997
Current Authorised Pages
Pages
(inclusive)
Authorised
by L.R.O.
1 – 24 ... 1/2012
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Index
of
Subsidiary Legislation
This Chapter contains no subsidiary legislation.
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CHAPTER 11:07
REHABILITATION OF OFFENDERS
ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
SECTION
1. Short title.
2. Interpretation.
3. Rehabilitated persons and spent convictions.
4. [Repealed by Act No. 16 of 1989]
5. Rehabilitation periods.
6. Extension of rehabilitation periods in certain cases.
7. Application to service disciplinary proceedings.
8. Effect of rehabilitation.
9. Limitations in respect of rehabilitation.
10. Defamation actions.
11. Unauthorised disclosure of spent convictions.
12. Power to make regulations
SCHEDULE
__________________________
9 of 1988 An Act to make provision for rehabilitation of offenders
and for matters connected therewith.
[14th JULY, 1988]
Short title.
Interpretation.
c. 10:03
1. This Act may be cited as the Rehabilitation of
Offenders Act.
2. In this Act—
“child” has the same meaning as in the Juvenile Offenders
Act;
“circumstances ancillary to a conviction” means—
(a) the offence that was the subject
of that conviction;

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c. 10:03
(b) the conduct constituting that
offence; and
(c) any process or proceedings
preliminary to that conviction,
any sentence imposed in
respect of that conviction, any
proceedings (whether by way
of appeal or otherwise) to
review that conviction or
sentence, and anything done in
pursuance of or undergone in
compliance with that sentence;
“conviction” includes—
(a) a conviction by or before a
court outside Guyana;
(b) a finding (other than a finding
linked with a finding of
insanity) in any criminal
proceedings, or in any
proceedings under section 17 of
the Juvenile Offenders Act, that
a person has committed an
offence or done the act or made
the omission charged or
alleged, notwithstanding that
the court did not proceed to
convict the person, but he was
dealt with in any other manner;
and
(c) a conviction in respect of which
an order is made placing a
person on probation, requiring
him to enter into a recognisance
for keeping the peace and being
of good behaviour, or
discharging him conditionally;
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c. 15:01


c. 10:03
“date of conviction”, in relation to a conviction of any
person, means, where there was any appeal or
appeals by him from the conviction or sentence
imposed in respect of the conviction, the date on
which the appeal or the last of the appeals was finally
disposed of;
“defendant” includes an accused person;
“the Force” has the same meaning as in the Defence Act;
“proceedings before a judicial authority” includes, in addition
to proceedings before any of the ordinary courts of
law, proceedings before a tribunal, body or person
having power—
(a) by virtue of any law (including
a written law), custom or
practice;
(b) under the rules governing any
association, institution,
profession, occupation or
employment; or
(c) under any provision of an
agreement providing for
arbitration with respect to
questions arising thereunder,
to determine any question affecting the rights, privileges,
obligations or liabilities of any person, or to receive evidence
affecting the determination of any such question;
“sentence” includes any order (including a sentence under
section 15, or any order referred to in section 19, of the
Juvenile Offenders Act) made by a court in dealing
with a person in respect of his conviction of any
offence other than—

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c. 15:01


c. 11:05


c. 10:03
Rehabilitated
persons and
spent
convictions.
[16 of 1989
24 of 1990]
(a) an order for committal to
prison, or any other order,
made in default of payment of a
fine or other sum adjudged to
be paid by, or imposed on, a
person in respect of a
conviction or for want of
sufficient distress to satisfy that
fine or other sum;
(b) an order dealing with a person
in respect of a suspended
sentence of imprisonment;
“service disciplinary proceedings” means any proceedings
under the Defence Act before a court martial or any
other court or person authorised under that Act to
award a punishment in respect of any offence,
whether the proceedings take place in Guyana or
elsewhere;
“spent conviction” means a conviction which is a spent
conviction under section 3(1);
“suspended sentence” has the same meaning as in the Criminal Law Reform Act;
“young person” has the same meaning as in the Juvenile
Offenders Act.
3. (1) Where an individual has been convicted of an
offence or offences, whether before or after the
commencement of this Act, or whether by or before a court in
or outside Guyana, and he has, except in the cases referred to
in subsection (2), served or otherwise undergone or complied
with the sentence imposed on him in respect of that
conviction, he shall, for the purposes of this Act, be treated on
and from the expiration of the rehabilitation period applicable
to the conviction (including where appropriate any extension
thereof under section 6(5)) or, where that period expired
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Rehabilitation
periods.
Schedule.
before the commencement of this Act, on and from the
commencement of this Act, as a rehabilitated person in
respect of that conviction and that conviction shall for these
purposes be treated as spent.
(2) A person shall not, by virtue of subsection (1),
be prevented from being treated for the purposes of this Act
as a rehabilitated person by reason only of his—
(a) failure to pay a fine or other sum
adjudged to be paid by him or
imposed on him in respect of a
conviction;
(b) breach of a condition of a
recognisance for keeping the peace
and being of good behaviour;
(c) breach of any condition or
requirement applicable in relation to a
sentence which renders him liable to
be dealt with for the offence for which
the sentence was imposed;
(d) where the sentence was a suspended
sentence, being liable to be dealt with
in respect of that sentence (whether or
not, in any case, he is in fact so dealt
with); or
(e) failure to comply with any
requirement of a suspended sentence
supervision order.
4. [Repealed by 16 of 1989]
5. (1) The rehabilitation period applicable to a
sentence specified in column (1) of the Schedule shall be –

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c. 10:03
(a) where the sentence was imposed on a
person other than a person referred to
in paragraph (b), the period specified
in the corresponding entry in column
(2) of that Schedule reckoned from the
date of his conviction;

(b) where the sentence was imposed on a
person who was a child or young
person at the date of the commission
of the offence for which the sentence
was imposed, half the said period,
reckoned from the date of his
conviction,
and the rehabilitation periods applicable to the sentences
mentioned in subsections (2) to (4) shall be the periods
specified in those subsections.
(2) Where in respect of a conviction a person has
been discharged conditionally, ordered to enter into a
recognisance for keeping the peace and being of good
behaviour, or placed on probation, the rehabilitation period
applicable to the sentence shall be one year from the date of
conviction or a period beginning with that date and ending
with the date on which the order for conditional discharge,
the recognisance for keeping the peace and being of good
behaviour, or the probation order, ceases or ceased to have
effect, whichever is the longer.
(3) Where in respect of any child or young person
an order referred to in section 19(b) or (c) of the Juvenile
Offenders Act, that is, discharging the offender on his
entering into a recognisance or discharging the offender and
placing him under the supervision of a probation officer, has
been made, the rehabilitation period applicable to the
sentence shall be one year from the date of the order or a
period beginning with that date and ending with the date on
which the recognisance or probation order ceases or ceased to
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c. 10:03
c.11:05


Extension of
rehabilitation
periods in
certain cases.
have effect, whichever is longer.
(4) Where in respect of a conviction the sentence
imposed is an order imposing on the person convicted a
disqualification, disability, prohibition or other similar
penalty, the rehabilitation period applicable to the sentence
shall be a period beginning with the date of conviction and
ending with the date on which the disqualification, disability,
prohibition or other penalty ceases or ceased to be in effect.
(5) For the purposes of this section –
(a) consecutive terms of imprisonment or
of detention under the Juvenile
Offenders Act, or terms which are
wholly or partly concurrent (being
terms of imprisonment or of detention
under the aforesaid Act imposed in
respect of offences of which a person
is convicted in the same proceedings),
shall be treated as a single term;
(b) no account shall be taken of any order
under section 4 of the Criminal Law
Reform Act dealing with a person in
respect of whom a suspended
sentence was passed; and
(c) a sentence imposed by a court outside
Guyana shall be treated as a sentence
described in this section that most
nearly corresponds thereto.
6. (1) Where a person is convicted of only one offence
and only one sentence is imposed in respect of the conviction
the rehabilitation period applicable to the conviction shall be,
subject to the provisions of subsections (4) to (7), the
rehabilitation period applicable to the sentence in accordance
with section 5; and where in respect of a conviction for an
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offence more sentences than one are imposed on a person, or
where in the same proceedings a person is convicted of two or
more offences and the sentences imposed on him in respect
thereof, subsection (2) or (3), as the case may be, shall apply
in computing the period of rehabilitation in respect of the
sentences.
(2) Where in respect of a conviction for an
offence—
(a) more sentences than one are imposed
on a person (whether or not in the
same proceedings); and
(b) [Repealed by Act No. 16 of 1989]

(c) the rehabilitation periods applicable
to those sentences differ,
then, subject to the provisions of subsections (4) to (7), the
rehabilitation period applicable in respect of that conviction
shall be the longer or the longest, as the case may be, of those
rehabilitation periods.
(3) Where in the same proceedings a person—
(a) is convicted of two or more offences;
and
(b) [Repealed by Act No. 16 of 1989]

(c) the rehabilitation period applicable to
any sentence or sentences imposed in
respect of the conviction for any one
of such offences, in accordance with
subsection (1) or (2), as the case may
be, would end earlier than that
applicable in respect of the sentence
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or sentences for the conviction for the
other offence or any of the other
offences,
then, subject to the provisions of subsections (4) to (7), the
rehabilitation period that would end earlier shall stand
extended so as to end at the same time as the one that would
end later or last, as the case may be.
(4) Where in respect of a conviction for an
offence—
(a) a person was placed on probation,
required to enter into a recognisance
for keeping the peace and being of
good behaviour or discharged
conditionally; and
(b) after the rehabilitation period
applicable to the conviction in
accordance with subsection (1), (2) or
(3), in consequence of his failure to
comply with any provision of the
probation order or any condition of
the recognisance or discharge, the
person is dealt with in respect of the
conviction,
then, if, taking into account any sentence imposed when he is
so dealt with and the sentence referred to in paragraph (a)
imposed on him, the rehabilitation period applicable in
respect of the conviction in accordance with subsection (2) or
(3) ends later than the rehabilitation period previously
applicable to the conviction when the sentence referred to in
paragraph (a) was imposed on him, he shall be treated for the
purposes of this Act as having become a rehabilitated person
in respect of that conviction and the conviction shall for those
purposes be treated as having become spent, only on the
expiry of the period that so ends later.
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(5) Save as otherwise provided in subsection (6),
where during the rehabilitation period applicable in respect of
a conviction of any person—
(a) he is convicted of another offence; and
(b) the rehabilitation period applicable in
respect of either of the convictions
would end earlier than that applicable
in respect of the other,
the rehabilitation period that would end earlier shall stand
extended so as to end at the same time as the other
rehabilitation period.
(6) Where—
(a) the only sentence imposed upon a
conviction of a person was an order
imposing on him a disqualification,
disability, prohibition or other similar
penalty; and
(b) during the rehabilitation period
applicable to that sentence, that
person is convicted of another offence
and a sentence or sentences are
imposed on him, the rehabilitation
period applicable to which is shorter
than the rehabilitation period
applicable to the sentence referred to
in paragraph (a),
the rehabilitation period applicable to the sentence or
sentences imposed on the conviction referred to in paragraph
(b) shall not as provided in subsection (5) stand extended to
the end of the rehabilitation period applicable to the sentence
referred to in paragraph (a).

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Application to
service
disciplinary
proceedings.
[16 of 1989]


c. 15:01
(7) For the purposes of subsection (5) (a)—
(a) any conviction of a person in Guyana
of an offence which is not triable on
indictment; or
(b) any conviction of a person, by or
before a court outside Guyana of an
offence in respect of conduct which, if
it had taken place in Guyana, would
not have constituted an offence under
the law in force in Guyana at the time
of the conviction of the person,
shall not be deemed to be a conviction of the person of an
offence.
7. (1) Save as otherwise provided in this section, the
provisions of this Act shall apply also to a person found
guilty of an offence in service disciplinary proceedings if in
those proceedings—
(a) he is convicted of a civil offence or an
offence under, or any offence of
attempting to commit an offence
under, section 40, 53, 55, 68, 69, 70 or
72 of the Defence Act; or
(b) the punishment imposed on him is
any of the following—
(i) imprisonment;
(ii) cashiering;
(iii) discharged with ignominy from
the Force;
(iv) dismissal from the Force; or
(v) detention for not less than three
months.

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Effect of
rehabilitation.
(2) For the purposes of this section references in
this Act to—
(a) “conviction” shall be construed as
including references to finding a
person guilty of an offence in respect
of any act or omission which was the
subject of any service disciplinary
proceedings; and
(b) “sentence” shall be construed as
including references to any
punishment imposed in service
disciplinary proceedings in respect of
a conviction.
(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared
that section 5 (7) shall have no application in relation to a
conviction in service disciplinary proceedings or to any
punishment imposed in such proceedings.
8. (1) Subject to sections 9 and 10, a person who has
become a rehabilitated person for the purposes of this Act in
respect of a conviction shall be treated for all purposes in law
as a person who has not committed, or who has not been
charged with, prosecuted for, convicted of or sentenced for,
the offence or offences which were the subject of the
conviction; and, notwithstanding the provisions of any other
written law or rule of law to the contrary, but subject as
aforesaid—
(a) no evidence shall be admissible in any
proceedings before a judicial
authority exercising jurisdiction or
functions in Guyana to prove that any
such person has committed, or has
been charged with, prosecuted for,
convicted of, or sentenced for, any
offence which was the subject of a
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spent conviction; and
(b) a person shall not, in any such
proceedings be asked, and if asked,
shall not be required to answer, any
question relating to his past which
cannot be answered without
acknowledging or referring to a spent
conviction or any circumstances
ancillary thereto.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any order made
under subsection (4), where a question seeking information
with respect to a previous conviction, offence, conduct or
circumstance, of any person is put to that person or any other
person, otherwise than in proceedings before a judicial
authority exercising jurisdiction or functions in Guyana,—
(a) that question shall be treated as not
relating to a spent conviction or to
any circumstances ancillary to a
spent conviction and the answer
thereto may be framed accordingly;
and
(b) the person questioned shall not be
subjected to any liability or otherwise
prejudiced in law by reason of any
failure to acknowledge or disclose a
spent conviction or any circumstance
ancillary to a spent conviction in his
answer to the question.
(3) Subject to articles 155 and 156 of the
Constitution and the provisions of any order made under
subsection (4),—
(a) an obligation imposed on any person
by any written law, rule of law, or the
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provisions of any agreement or
arrangement, to disclose any matter to
any other person shall not be deemed
to extend to requiring him to disclose
a spent conviction or any
circumstances ancillary thereto,
whether the conviction is his own or
that of another; and
(b) a spent conviction or any
circumstances ancillary thereto, or
any failure to disclose a spent
conviction or any such circumstances,
shall not be a proper ground for
dismissing or excluding a person
from any office, profession,
occupation or employment or for
prejudicing him in any way in any
occupation or employment.
(4) The Minister may by order—
(a) make such provision as appears to
him to be appropriate for excluding or
modifying the application of any or
all of the provisions of subsection (2)
in relation to any question put in such
circumstances as may be specified in
the order; and
(b) provide for such exceptions from the
provisions of subsection (3) as
appears to him to be appropriate in
any such case or class of cases, and in
relation to convictions of such
description, as may be specified in the
order.

9. (1) Nothing in section 8 (1) shall affect— Limitations in
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respect of
rehabilitation.
(a) the enforcement by any process, or
proceedings, to recover any fine or
other sum imposed or adjudged to be
paid in respect of a spent conviction;
(b) the issue of any process for the
purpose of proceedings in respect of
any breach of a condition, or
requirement, applicable to a sentence
imposed in respect of a spent
conviction; or
(c) the operation of any written law by
virtue of which, in consequence of
any conviction, a person is subject,
otherwise than by way of sentence, to
any disqualification. disability,
prohibition or other similar penalty,
the period of which extends beyond
the rehabilitation period applicable in
respect of that conviction in
accordance with section 5 or 6.
(2) Nothing in section 8(1) shall affect the
determination of any issue, or prevent the admission or
requirement of any evidence, relating to a person’s previous
conviction or any circumstances ancillary thereto—
(a) in any criminal proceedings before a
court in Guyana (including any
appeal, review or reference in a
criminal cause or matter);
(b) in any service disciplinary
proceedings or in any proceedings on
appeal from any service disciplinary
proceedings;

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(c) in any proceedings relating to
adoption, or to the guardianship,
wardship, marriage, custody, care or
control of, or access to, any minor, or
to the provision by any person of
accommodation, care or schooling for
minors; or
(d) in any proceedings in which he is a
party or a witness, if on the occasion
when the issue or the admission or
requirement of the evidence falls to be
determined, he consents to the
determination of the issue or, as the
case may be, the admission or
requirement of the evidence
notwithstanding the provisions of
section 8 (1).
(3) If at any stage in any proceedings before a
judicial authority in Guyana (not being proceedings to which,
by virtue of the provisions of subsection (2) or of any order
made under subsection (4), section 8 (1) has no application, or
proceedings to which section 10 applies) that authority is
satisfied, in the light of any consideration which appears to it
to be relevant (including any evidence which has been, or
may thereafter be, put before it), that justice cannot be done in
the case except by admitting or requiring evidence relating to
any spent conviction of a person or any circumstances
ancillary thereto, that authority may admit or, as the case may
be, require the evidence in question notwithstanding the
provisions of section 8(1), and may determine any issue to
which the evidence relates as if section 8(1) had not been
enacted.
(4) The Minister may by order exclude the
application of section 8(1) to or in relation to any proceedings
specified in the order (other than proceedings to which
section 10 applies) to such extent and for such purposes as
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Defamation
actions.
may be so specified.
10. (1) This section applies to any action for libel or
slander by a rehabilitated person and founded upon the
publication of any matter imputing that he has committed or
has been charged with, prosecuted for, convicted of, or
sentenced for, an offence which was the subject of a spent
conviction.
(2) Nothing in section 8(1) shall affect an action to
which this section applies where the publication complained
of took place before the conviction in question became spent,
and the following provisions of this section shall not apply in
any such case.
(3) Save as otherwise provided in subsection (4) or
(5), nothing in section 8(1) shall prevent the defendant in an
action to which this section applies from relying on any
defence of justification or fair comment or of absolute or
qualified privilege which is available to him, or restrict the
matters he may establish in support of any such defence.
(4) Where in any action to which this section
applies malice is alleged against a defendant who is relying
on a defence of qualified privilege, nothing in section 8(1)
shall be deemed to restrict the matters he may establish in
rebuttal of the allegation; but if a publication is proved to
have been made by the defendant with malice he shall not be
entitled by virtue of subsection (3) to rely on the defence of
justification.
(5) Where any action to which this section applies
relates to a publication of any report of judicial proceedings,
which contained a reference to evidence which was ruled to
be inadmissible in the proceedings by virtue of section 8(1),
subsection (3) shall not be deemed to confer on the defendant
in the action, save as otherwise provided in subsection (6),
any right to rely on any matter or adduce or require any
evidence for the purpose of establishing (whether under
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Unauthorised
disclosure of
spent
convictions.
[6 of 1997]
section 13 of the Defamation Act or otherwise) the defence
that the matter published constituted a fair and accurate
report of the judicial proceedings.
(6) Subsection (3) shall apply without the
qualification imposed by subsection (5) in relation to—
(a) any report of judicial proceedings
contained in any bona fide series of
law reports which does not form part
of any other publication and consists
solely of reports of proceedings in
courts of law; and
(b) any report or account of judicial
proceeding published for bona fide
educational, scientific or professional
purposes, or given in the course or
any lecture, class or discussion given
or held for any of those purposes.
11. (1) In this section—
(a) “official record” means a report kept
for the purposes of its functions by
any court, police force, Government
department, local government or
public authority, of Guyana, or a
record kept in Guyana or elsewhere
for the purposes of the Force, being in
either case a record containing
information about persons convicted
of offences; and
(b) “specified information” means
information imputing that a named or
otherwise identifiable rehabilitated
living person has committed, or has
been charged with, prosecuted for,
c. 6:03
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convicted of, or sentenced for, any
offence which is the subject of a spent
conviction.
(2) Subject to the provisions of any order made
under subsection (5), any person who, in the course of his
official duties, has or at any time has had custody of or access
to any official record or the information contained therein,
shall be guilty of an offence, if, knowing or having reasonable
cause to suspect that any specified information he has
obtained in the course of those duties is specified information,
he discloses it, otherwise than in the course of those duties, to
another person.
(3) In any proceedings for an offence under
subsection (2) it shall be a defence for the defendant to show
that the disclosure of any specified information relating to a
rehabilitated person was made—
(a) to the rehabilitated person or to any
other person at the express request of
the rehabilitated person; or
(b) to a person whom he reasonably
believed to be the rehabilitated person
or to any other person at the express
request of a person whom he
reasonably believed to be the
rehabilitated person.
(4) Any person who obtains any specified
information from any official record by means of fraud,
dishonesty or bribery shall be guilty of an offence.
(5) The Minister may by order make such
provision as appears to him to be appropriate for exempting
the disclosure of specified information derived from an
official record from the provisions of subsection (2) in such
case or class of cases as may be specified in the order.
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Power to make
regulations.
s. 5 (1)
[16 of 1989]
(6) Any person guilty of an offence under
subsection (2) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
of fifteen thousand dollars.
(7) Any person guilty of an offence under
subsection (4) shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine
of fifteen thousand dollars and to imprisonment for six
months.
(8) Proceedings in respect of an offence under
subsection (2) shall not be instituted except by, or with the
consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions.
12. The Minister may make regulations for carrying
out the purposes of this Act.
SCHEDULE
REHABILITATION PERIODS FOR SENTENCES
GENERALLY (SUBJECT TO REDUCTION BY HALF FOR
PERSONS UNDER SEVENTEEN YEARS OF AGE).
Sentences
(1)
Rehabilitation
Period
(2)
1. A sentence of imprisonment for a
term not exceeding six months.
2. A sentence of imprisonment for a
term exceeding six months but
not exceeding thirty months.
Seven years.
Ten years.
2a. A sentence of imprisonment for a
term exceeding thirty months but
Fifteen years.

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not exceeding sixty months.
2b. A sentence of imprisonment for a
term exceeding sixty months, and a
sentence of imprisonment for life.
3. A fine.
4. A sentence of cashiering or discharge
with ignominy from the Force.
5. A sentence of dismissal from the
Force.
6. A sentence of detention for not less
than three months in respect of a
conviction in service disciplinary
proceedings.
7. A sentence or order of detention of ,
or committing to custody in a school
for young offenders, a child or
young person under section 15 or 16
of the Juvenile Offenders Act for a
term not exceeding six months.
8. A sentence or order of detention of,
or committing to custody in a school
for young offenders, a child or
young person for a term exceeding
six months but not exceeding thirty
months under section 15 or 16 of the
Juvenile Offenders Act; or any order
under section 17, or referred to in
section 19(e), of that Act in respect of
a child or young person.
8a. A sentence of detention for a term
exceeding thirty months but not
Twenty years.
Five years.
Ten years
Seven years.
Five years.
Three years.
Five years.
Seven years.
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LAWS OF GUYANA
24 Cap. 11:07 Rehabilitation of Offenders
L.R.O. 1/2012


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exceeding sixty months under
section 15 of the Juvenile Offenders
Act
8b. A sentence of detention for a term
exceeding sixty months under
section 15 of the Juvenile Offenders
Act.
8c. A sentence of detention during the
President’s pleasure.
9. Any order referred to in section 19
(except in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (e)
or (i) thereof) of the Juvenile
Offenders Act in respect of a child or
young person.
10. An order referred to in section 19(a)
of the Juvenile Offenders Act in
respect of a child or young person.
11. An order under section 3 of the
Extra- Mural Work Act.
12. Any other sentence subject to
rehabilitation under this Act, not
being a sentence to which any of
subsections (2) to (4) of section 5
applies.
Ten years.
Twenty years.
Three years.
One year.
One year.
Five years
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