Bahrain extends progressive criminal justice reforms on alternative sentencing

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Manama, Sept. 9 (BNA): Bahrain has announced further alternative sentencing reforms to modernise its sentencing framework.


This current requirement for adult prisoners to have served one half of a custodial sentence before becoming eligible for alternative sentencing has been removed making all prisoners potentially eligible for alternative sentencing.


Under the new system all adults sentenced to imprisonment will become eligible for their cases to be dealt with by alternative sentencing, even prior to commencement of any sentence of imprisonment.


Alternative sentences may include community service, home detention, exclusion orders, non-contact orders, electronic tagging, rehabilitation programmes or compensation.


The reforms will see more offenders serving their sentences in the community and a review of existing prisoners for transfer to alternative sentencing and early release. Alternative sentences will be considered by the Courts on application by the prosecution and upon being satisfied that the offender does not pose a risk to the public.  


A Bahrain Government spokesperson said: “As part of the wide-ranging criminal justice reforms, Bahrain’s Courts will now be in a position to make much greater use of alternative sentencing and the justice system will more clearly focus on the rehabilitation of offenders and their reintegration into society.”