Offender Assistants at PBC Hearings
From: Parole Board of Canada
What is an offender assistant?
- In accordance with subsection 140(8) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), an offender can be assisted at a hearing by a person of their choice, unless the person’s presence as an observer would not be allowed (e.g., security reasons).
- An offender’s assistant can be a family member, friend, lawyer, community support, or another person. The offender can only choose one person as an assistant.
- Additional offender supports who attend the hearing are considered observers in accordance with subsection 140(4) of the CCRA. Only the assistant can advise the offender and address the Board during the hearing.
How does an offender request an assistant?
- To request an assistant, the offender must complete the Correctional Service of Canada’s Application for an Assistant at a Parole Board of Canada Hearing form (CSC/SCC 1293).
- The offender is responsible for making all arrangements for their assistant to attend the hearing. The assistant is responsible for all of their own expenses to attend the hearing.
- If the offender’s assistant can’t attend on-site with the offender at the hearing, the offender can request a postponement to a later date, or choose to go ahead without the assistant.
How can an offender’s assistant provide support?
- The offender’s assistant can present with the offender at the hearing and can give advice and support to the offender throughout as needed.
- At the discretion of PBC Board members, the offender’s assistant can speak to the Board directly on behalf of the offender.
Note: Assistants often add clarification and explain their role in supporting the offender’s reintegration.
- The offender’s assistant can, at any time before a hearing, submit written documents to the PBC on the offender’s behalf.
Note: To avoid delays in the Board’s review, it is strongly recommended that written documents be given to the Board at least 15 days before the hearing.
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