Dorchester Institution

Dorchester Institution is a medium-security institution. It is located in the village of Dorchester approximately 40 kilometres from Moncton, New Brunswick. It opened in 1880 and has a rated capacity of 400 inmates.

Dorchester Institution

On-site parking is available to visitors as well as handicapped parking. All visitors including victims and observers must report to the security desk.


Upon entering, observers and victims are required to sign a visitor's log. Observers and victims will be greeted by a Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Regional Communication Officer, or a Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Victim Liaison Co-ordinator, who will escort them to the waiting room and the hearing room. Photo identification is necessary. A visitor's card is issued and must be worn and kept visible to institutional staff at all times during the visit. Institutional security staff may ask you to place your personal belongings in a locker. Please note that cameras and recording devices are not permitted in parole hearings.

Visitors must sign a log

Visitors must pass through a metal detector at which time a search of person or personal belongings may occur.

metal detector

This is the main entrance waiting room area. A pre-hearing briefing is done by a PBC Regional Communications Officer, or a CSC Victim Liaison Co-ordinator. The conditional release decision-making process will be explained to you and any questions you have will be addressed. Visitors are in the waiting room before the hearing commences, during the Board Members deliberation, and after the hearing is over. Observers have access to washrooms and water.

waiting room

Hallway to the waiting room and to the hearing room. A security door will open and will close after you have passed it.

security door

PBC parole hearing participants include: the Board Members, the CSC Parole Officer, the offender and his/her assistant. The assistant is someone of the offender's choosing, i.e. a family member or a lawyer. A security officer is also present during the hearing. A victim may present a statement to the Board Members and may choose to read it or to present it on a videotape or an audiotape. The entire proceedings are tape-recorded.

Parole hearing

Observers and victims are seated at the back of the room.


The PBC Hearing Officer introduces the participants and makes sure the procedural safeguards are respected. Board Members then begin the parole hearing. Board Members start the hearing by asking the CSC Parole Officer to present the case and to make recommendations. Following this, Board Members interview the offender regarding his criminal and social history, institutional behaviour, and results of programming and release plans. The offender's assistant may speak after Board Members are finished with the offender's interview.

Parole hearing

When Board Members have completed their interview with the offender, everyone must leave the room in order to allow Board Members time to deliberate. Observers return to the waiting room where they may ask questions about what they have observed.

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