Model prisoners

Newly released inmates served in various roles while in jail, including teacher and editor-in-chief

The early release of two former rape and robbery convicts this morning and the planned release of a third, who’s been behind bars at Her Majesty’s pleasure for manslaughter, could see the “floodgates” of Dodds Prisons opening up in the coming months.  

Unlike Orlando Lorde and his partner Peter Forde, who walked out of jail three years ahead of time today after convincing the local Privy Council of the exemplary life they lived in prison and their commitment to reform, the other inmate Arleigh James will go free for slightly different reasons.

Orlando Lorde was overcome with emotion when he first held his 15-year-old daughter Tiana Branch.
Orlando Lorde was overcome with emotion when he first held his 15-year-old daughter Tiana Branch.
Peter Forde embraces his mother, with attorney Safiya Moore in the background.
Peter Forde embraces his mother, with attorney Safiya Moore in the background.

Even though James’ rehabilitative efforts and his selection as a prison trustee are critical factors in his imminent release, another compelling consideration has to do with a recent Caribbean Court of Justice ruling that suggests it is unconstitutional to sentence a person at Her Majesty’s pleasure. The CCJ –– this country’s final Court of Appeal –– went farther, to find that all sentences must be definitive [including the notion of life].

James, who has so far been confined to jail for more than 20 years, after chopping to death his wife Deborah James with a cutlass in 1994, is, according to reliable informants, just one of a number of others who’ve been sitting behind bars for lengthy periods, and who have similar matters before Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson for determination.

Following a period of disharmony between the convict and his wife, the court had heard that the strained relations came to boiling point, when she was packing some of her clothes, seemingly to drive off with a waiting pastor and leave the marriage.

During James’ trial, it was discovered that two years prior to what the court described as “a frenzied attack” on his wife, he was admitted to the Psychiatric Hospital and diagnosed with paranoia, which the doctor assessed as “a medical disorder characterized by delusions organized into a system, a rare chronic condition most people with such delusions would in time, develop signs of other medical illnesses”.

Persons close to his case, are of the view –– and the prison authorities seem to agree –– that he has come a long way from where he was, to being considered a trustee.

They say he has been substantially rehabilitated and reformed and was now a model prisoner.

With the Barbados Government intent on abandoning the mandatory death sentence, and the CCJ finding that the age-old practice of sentencing convicts to an indefinite term of at Her Majesty’s pleasure was unconstitutional, authorities here appear to be putting greater emphasis on rehabilitation rather than merely keeping persons locked away for inordinately long periods.

Strong evidence of how authorities appear to be leaning increasingly more on the side of rehabilitation as reasons for releasing prisoners may be found in today’s freeing of Lorde and Forde who had spent 15 years in jail –– three years ahead of time –– for the 1995 rape and robbery of a minibus conductress at French Village, St Peter.

One of Lorde’s attorneys today painted a picture of a man who was a model prisoner and teacher.

“Mr Lorde was a model inmate and has committed himself to turning his life around. He took part in all the available courses for rehabilitation and he made a further commitment to educate himself,” boasted Grace McKaskie.

“He is an intelligent guy, having gone to Lodge School, and during the time of his incarceration, he was successful in obtaining six O Levels, three at Grade 1. And what impressed the authorities, was that he was not only committed to doing better and to turning his life around, but he made an effort to influence others to do the same,” continued McKaskie, who’s working in association with Queen’s Counsel Dr Erskine Hinds.

“And in recognition of that effort, he was made a paid teacher and he taught a number of students. Everything he learnt, he taught the others and he got very good results; but in business studies in particular, he got 100 per cent passes for the students that he taught.

“Dr Hinds made an application to the local Privy Council to have part of his sentence remitted and the Governor General [Sir Elliott Belgrave] accepted the advice of the local Privy Council that he should be so released. So that approval came today, June 26,” pointed out the attorney.

One of Forde’s lawyers, Safiya Moore, said her client had made efforts to become a better person since his incarceration.

“He has engaged in various rehabilitation programmes offered by the prison service, including anger management, cognitive and personal enhancement as well as values education,” Moore explained.

“Further, Mr Forde has attained passes in various CXC subjects. Mr Forde has worked with the publishing of numerous literary works whilst incarcerated. These publications include To Our Children and Over The Wall, as well as Our Mothers, Our Treasures.

“Mr Forde, up to the date of his release, was also the long-standing editor-in-chief of the GlenDodds Journal. Mr Forde is best known for his performing arts productions, which have been in Barbados, including Love, Poetry And Song.  He has received numerous awards at NIFCA for his exemplary work in both the area of performing arts as well as craft,” declared the legal counsel.

It is now left to be seen how soon freedom would come to those other reformed convicts who are waiting for their time back home with their families.


28 Responses to Model prisoners

  1. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner June 27, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Also lets be real this is more about government saving money,believe in second chances but they is a lot more at play here,will be watching this very carefully, remember all that glitters aint gold.

  2. Sue Donym June 27, 2014 at 7:28 am

    While I’m all for rehabilitation, let’s not forget that the punishment was determined based on the facts of the crime and not on how the prisoners adapted to prison life. Let’s also bear in mind that a person who could have plotted crime could be a master of deception and very patient, using his incarceration to sway his jailers and conceive the ‘perfect crime’

  3. E.Wilkinson June 27, 2014 at 7:37 am

    Individuals deserve second chances; but there are some crimes that requires the people who commit them to loose their freedom and not be released. People should be made to serve the time assigned to them for the crime they have committed. No matter what the CCJ says, some people are model prisoners till they are released and they quickly return to their former way of life when they cannot find work. I believe that they should be a proper parole hearing and victims’ families and friends should have a voice at the hearing for the individual. I trust that the Barbados government will be careful in this process and put proper systems in place to ensure that individuals who are genuinely rehabilitated and is monitored appropriately.

  4. Lisa Bayley
    Lisa Bayley June 27, 2014 at 8:53 am

    Good luck guys!

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley June 27, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      How the hell can you wish good luck to rapists ?

    • Lisa Bayley
      Lisa Bayley June 27, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      I am sorry if that bothers you but having sat and spoken with both if them unlike most people i know what they did but I also know how much they regret and have plans to do something with the rest of their lives. And i wish them good luck with the second chance they have been given.

    • Julie Leenders
      Julie Leenders June 27, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      Good luck to them also ,hope they can rebuild there life back now and keep there noses clean,they have paid there price 15 years is a long time

      • Sue Donym June 29, 2014 at 7:46 pm

        They got a discount, but I do hope for the sake of all females that THEY will keep THEIR noses clean

  5. Damian Mascoll
    Damian Mascoll June 27, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I am a bit uncomfortable with this. These guys did some awful things, what about justice for the families of the victims?

  6. Qmaria Sunshine
    Qmaria Sunshine June 27, 2014 at 10:45 am

    So is this a way of government saving taxpayers money. Letting go of criminals. Now dont get me wrong I do believe that people can change. But what about the victims families that were affected. Has justice been served. Have they served enough time to justify their crimes??????

  7. Kerri Vaughan
    Kerri Vaughan June 27, 2014 at 11:14 am

    Second Lisa’s comment!

  8. Claire Battershield
    Claire Battershield June 27, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Well with models like these . Model and Prisoners are not words when thrown together to emulate

  9. Bobby Brown
    Bobby Brown June 27, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    It is just a way of goverment cutting back for example the drainage and ncc but in time we will see who has learnt a lesson and who has not

  10. Cherry Matunda Heri
    Cherry Matunda Heri June 27, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Orlando and Peter I am happy for you guys. Do the best you can with the experiences you have gained over that period of imprisonment. I know you both have great skills and potential.

    • Sharon Woolley
      Sharon Woolley June 27, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      How the hell can you be happy for rapists ?????????????????

    • Julie Leenders
      Julie Leenders June 27, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      I Agree I wish them the best they have done there time let them get on with there life

    • Cherry Matunda Heri
      Cherry Matunda Heri June 27, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      It seem to me that all the individuals negatively critical of the men free from prison within recent times are all Godly Folks and they have never done anything wrong in they lives. One of the greatest gift you can give is love and forgiveness, I trust that the young lady recovered enough to get on with her life while the other remain bitter and unforgiving.

      • Sue Donym June 29, 2014 at 7:43 pm

        If I may just point out the holes in your argument (such that it is) why choose to be so sarcastic because someone disagrees with the principle of early release for a rapist?

        I didn’t notice anyone claiming to be perfect and it can’t be concluded that they don’t have love or forgiveness simply because they disagree with you.

        Finally, believe it or not it is probably because of empathy for the affected lady that some people fear that an early release could be traumatic for her. She might even have been in therapy preparing for the due date, only to learn like the rest of us that she might see her attacker sooner rather than later.

  11. Cyprian Greaves
    Cyprian Greaves June 27, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    How come it is only women who wishing these rapist all the good things in life, what about the victim. All you think such good things about them, why not invite them to come live with you .

  12. Doria Alleyne
    Doria Alleyne June 27, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Letting out Rapers and and locking up people who have natual herbs,???? what’s next

  13. Chris Kinkaid
    Chris Kinkaid June 27, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    When CBC broadcast the program featuring these guys Barbados couldn’t get enough of it. They asked for repeats. I’ll admit that I was impressed with the way this guy spoke and expressed himself. He seemed genuine when he talked about his life what he did to land him in prison and where he was now in life spiritually.

  14. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley June 27, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    It sickens me that women can wish these scum good luck or be happy for them, that poor woman that was raped will be scared for life

  15. d bourne June 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    A horrific and brutal crime! Read the details at

  16. dodo June 27, 2014 at 5:17 pm

    Read the horrific details at -2002

  17. Carib Digita
    Carib Digita June 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    LOL @ Her Majesty’s Pleasure. Are they in government?

  18. Julie Leenders
    Julie Leenders June 27, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I wish them the best let them get on with there life now they have done there time and paid the price ,good luck and make something of your future now

  19. Sanderson Rowe June 27, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    What a pity that Benny Hinn is not into raising the dead. He would have been handy in freeing the victims of these murderers from their graves.

  20. Sanderson Rowe June 27, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    If we are to release such people from prison, why do we need to make a Song and Dance about it . The victims also have/had loves ones.


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