Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village

KWÌKWÈXWELHP Institution (pronounced kwee kwee kwelp), formerly Elbow Lake Institution, is located in Harrison Mills, British Columbia. It is a minimum-security Institution and is an aboriginal focused facility, with an emphasis placed on spiritual and cultural teachings. The Institution was opened in 1975 and detains about 87 inmates. The road leading to Kwìkwèxwelhp is gravel, winding and uphill.

Turn left onto the institutional ground after crossing the causeway.

Parking is available for visitors.

All visitors including victims and observers must report to the Duty Office.

Visitors are required to sign in a visitor's log. A visitor card will be given to you and must be worn and kept visible to staff at all times during the visit. Observers and victims will be greeted by a Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Regional Communications Officer, or a Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Victim Liaison Co-ordinator, who will escort them to the waiting room and the hearing room. Please note that cameras and recording devices are not permitted in a parole hearing.

Visitors will be subject to a manual metal detection.

The first building on the right side is where parole hearings are held at Kwìkwèxwelhp Institution. The waiting room is also located in this building. Please note that the uphill walk to the building is fairly steep.

This is the waiting room area. A pre-hearing briefing is provided 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 answered. Visitors are in the waiting room before the hearing, during the Board Members deliberation and after the hearing is over. Observers have access to designated washrooms.

The Kwìkwèxwelhp Institution is holding Elder-Assisted Hearings which help create an environment that is culturally sensitive. The Elders' role is to provide Board Members with spiritual and cultural advice but they cannot vote on a decision. The PBC Elder begins by conducting a smudging ceremony with all hearing participants.

The offender may request the Elder to say a prayer.

Elder-Assisted Hearing participants are seated in a circle. The PBC Hearing Officer will introduce the hearing participants. They include the Board Members, CSC Parole Officer, the offender and his assistant. 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.

The PBC Hearing Officer introduces the participants and ensures that procedural safeguards are respected. Board Members then begin the parole hearing. They start by asking the CSC Parole Officer to present the case and to make recommendations. Please note that the hearing room is small. Observers are seated outside the circle but within close proximity to the offender. At times, the victim may sit within the circle. A security officer is present for all hearings observed by victims.

Board Members then 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. For Elder-Assisted Hearings, offenders may hold an eagle feather which requires the offender to speak from the heart.

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 the Board Members have made their decision, everyone returns 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 may ask questions or clarifications regarding the decision.

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