William Head Institution

William Head Institution is a minimum-security facility located in the city of Metchosin, approximately 25 kilometres West of Victoria, British Columbia. William Head opened in 1959 and incarcerates about 158 offenders.

All visitors including victims must report to the security desk. Observers and victims are required to sign in a visitor's log. Photo identification is necessary.

A visitor card will be given to you and must be worn so as to be visible to institutional staff at all times during your visit.

Observers and victims will be greeted by a Parole Board of Canada (PBC)(PBC Regional Communication Officer or a Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Victim Liaison Co-ordinator, who will escort them to the waiting room and hearing room.

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.

Observers and victims are escorted to the building where parole hearings are held.

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 your questions 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.

PBC parole hearing participants include: The Board Members, the CSC Parole Officer, the offender and his assistant. The assistant is someone of the offender's choosing, i.e. a family member or a lawyer. The entire proceedings are tape-recorded.

The PBC Hearing Officer introduces the participants and ensures procedural safeguards are respected. Board Members then resume the parole hearing. Board Members start the hearing by asking the CSC Parole Officer to present the case and to make recommendations. 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.

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. Observers and the victims are seated at the back of the room. A security officer is present for all hearings where victims are present.

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 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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