Kent Institution

Kent Institution is a maximum-security facility located in the upper Fraser Valley near the community of Agassiz, approximately 140 kilometres east of Vancouver. Kent Institution shares its compound with Mountain Institution, a medium-security facility. Kent opened in 1979 and has a rated capacity of 200 inmates.

On site parking is available to visitors as well as handicapped parking.

This is the Kent Institution entrance. 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 a parole hearing.

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

This is the hallway leading to the waiting room and to the hearing room. A security door will open and will close after you have passed it.

This is the 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 may have will be answered. Visitors sit in the waiting room before the hearing, during the Board Members deliberation, as well as after the hearing is over. Observers have access to designated washrooms and water.

PBC parole hearing participants include: the Board Members, the CSC Parole Officer, the offender and his/or 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.

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

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

When Board Members have reached a decision, everyone is asked to return to the hearing room. The Board Members will announce their decision to the offender and will provide reasons for that decision. The hearing is now over. The observers return to the waiting room where they can ask questions or clarifications in regards to the decision.

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