More than 1,000 Jamaicans have had their criminal records expunged in recent months.
Making his sectoral presentation Tuesday afternoon, Justice Minister Delroy Chuck said 1,915 expungement applications were received in the 2018/2019 fiscal year.
Some 1,046 criminal records were expunged.
Mr. Chuck said he is looking to have the Criminal Records (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act further amended so that more people can have their records expunged as long as it "can be shown that for extended, prolonged period of time, they have put crime behind them."
Using the example of a pastor, he noted that the man had been charged with murder, convicted of manslaughter but turned his life around and has been preaching for the last 25 years.
This pastor, however, cannot get his records expunged because the Act does not currently allow it "and that is the sort of person we'd want expunged," Mr. Chuck pointed out.
Reduction in backlog
Mr. Chuck on Tuesday also addressed the issue of a backlog in court cases, saying there has been a significant reduction in the criminal case backlog over the last four years.
"In December 31, 2016, there was a backlog of 30,607 criminal cases in the parish courts. Mr. Speaker, as at the end of fiscal year 2018/2019, 12,399 of these cases had been cleared. This represented 40 per cent reduction in the backlog of these cases," he revealed, adding that despite these accomplishment, more will be done.