The Parole Board may now forego hearings and decide in-office

06 Dec, 2012

This disturbing news just received from the National Associations Active in Criminal Justice (NAACJ):

“I am writing to you on behalf of the Parole Board of Canada to bring to your attention amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) and Regulations (CCRR) that will come into force on December 1, 2012 to eliminate the requirement for hearings by two Board members for some post-release reviews.

Specifically, paragraph 140(1)(d) of the CCRA will be amended so that the Board will no longer be required to hold a hearing following a suspension, termination or revocation of parole (day and full), or following the suspension, termination or revocation of statutory release. Instead, these decisions may be conducted in-office. The law does not require the Board to hold hearings for decisions about offenders on Long-Term Supervision Orders.

As well, amendments to sections 147 to 151 of the CCRR will reduce quorum to one Board member in post-release parole and statutory release decisions (as listed above), and for decisions to:

·       cancel the authorization of an Unescorted Temporary Absence;

·       impose conditions on statutory release and long-term supervision prior to release;

·       change conditions after release; or to

·       consider a request to postpone a review.

The Board retains the authority to conduct a review by way of hearing and to increase quorum for these types of reviews as warranted. Offenders retain their right of representation through the provision of a written statement and they retain the right to appeal a decision to the Board’s Appeal Division. Victims also retain their right to submit a written statement or any other relevant information. The Board is committed to quality decision-making and public safety remains our paramount consideration.

The Board has prepared an Offender Notice  (available on the Board website at http://www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca to inform offenders of these changes. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) will be providing copies of this Notice to offenders, and CSC Parole Officers will assist offenders with any specific question they may have about their situation, in consultation with the Board, as required.

The Board invites you to distribute this notice to the offenders with whom you work to help alert offenders to these changes. The Board will be sending your organizations paper copies of this Notice in the mail, for further distribution as appropriate.

Should you have any questions, please contact the Board at info@pbc-clcc.gc.ca .”

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