The Safe Streets and Communities Act (Bill C-10):
Changes that Affect Victims of Crime
The Safe Streets and Communities Act (formerly Bill C-10) is a new law containing amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) that affect victims of crime. Now, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) will be able to share more types of information with registered victims, and more people will be eligible to be registered as a victim.
Q. How has the legal definition of “victim” changed?
The Safe Streets and Communities Act broadens the definition of who is a victim under the CCRA. Now, if a victim of crime is deceased, or is not able to act for him or herself, anyone who has custody of, or is responsible for a dependent of a victim, is eligible to receive information about the offender. For example, agencies or individuals who have legal guardianship of a minor may now register with CSC or PBC as a victim to receive information about the offender.
Q. The offender is still in custody. What new information may I request from CSC?
Under the amended CCRA, CSC may share with a registered victim more types of information about the offender. You may request from CSC:
- the name of the institution where an offender is being held;
- the reasons why an offender is transferred from one institution to another, including advanced notice, whenever possible, of transfers to minimum-security institutions;
- information about the programs in which an offender is participating or has participated;
- any serious disciplinary offences committed by the offender; and
- the reasons for any temporary absences.
Q. What new information may I request from PBC?
Under the amended CCRA, a registered victim may also request from the PBC:
- information about why an offender has waived a hearing; and
- the reason for any Unescorted Temporary Absence (UTA).
As well, anyone may request copies of Board decisions, including decisions on Escorted Temporary Absences (ETA) under Board authority, through the PBC Decision Registry. You can find out how on the PBC website.
Q. What else has changed regarding parole that may affect me?
The right of registered victims to present a statement at a hearing is now entrenched in law. This has been a practice at the Board for many years, and is now reflected in the CCRA.
As well, the PBC will be able to go forward with a parole review and make decisions on a case if an offender withdraws his or her participation 14 days or less before the hearing date. This does not apply if the withdrawal is for reasons beyond the offender’s control. You should know that this change does not apply to an offender’s right to request a postponement or to waive a hearing, or to withdraw a temporary absence application.
To find out how to attend a hearing, visit the PBC website.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
To receive more information about victims and corrections, or victims and parole, or to register as victim, contact:
Correctional Service Canada (CSC): Call toll-free at 1-866-806-2275, or visit: www.csc-scc.gc.ca
Parole Board of Canada (PBC): Call toll-free at 1-866-789-4636 (INFO), or visit: www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca
Prepared by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC)