Victims – Receiving Information
Can victims receive information about the offender who harmed them?
Yes. Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), victims of crime have a right to certain information about the offender who harmed them while that person is under the jurisdiction of the Parole Board of Canada.
Who is considered a victim under the CCRA?
Under the CCRA a person is a victim if:
- they have suffered physical or emotional harm, property damage or economic loss as a result of the commission of a criminal offence;
- they are a spouse, conjugal partner, relative of, or person legally responsible for, a victim who has died or is not able to act for themselves (e.g. the victim is ill or a child);
- they have custody of, or are responsible for, dependants of a victim who is deceased or is unable to act for themselves;
- the person who harmed them has not been prosecuted or convicted, but the victim has made a complaint to the police or Crown Attorney’s office.
What information is a victim entitled to receive from the Parole Board?
- the offender's name;
- the offence and the court that convicted the offender;
- the sentence start date and length; and,
- the offender's eligibility and review dates for unescorted temporary absences, day and full parole, and statutory release.
Does a victim automatically receive information from the Parole Board?
No. To receive information from the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) you must register as a victim with the PBC. This is to respect victims who do not wish to receive information about the offender who harmed them. To register, complete a Request for Victim Registration - Application Form.
What happens once I register to receive information?
Once you have been registered, you will get information about the offender for as long as they are under the Board's jurisdiction or until you ask to no longer be notified.
Keep in mind: if you change address or telephone number(s), be sure to update your contact information with the PBC.
Can I receive more information about the offender?
Yes. You may, upon request, receive more information if the PBC determines that your interest as a victim clearly outweighs any compromise of the offender's privacy resulting from the disclosure.
Additional information may include:
- the offender's age;
- the location of incarceration;
- the date of any release of the offender the Board has approved;
- the date of any Parole Board review;
- any conditions imposed;
- the reason for an unescorted temporary absence;
- the reason why an offender waived a hearing, if a reason was given;
- the destination of the offender when released and whether the offender will be near the victim while travelling to that destination;
- whether the offender is in custody and, if not, the reason why; and
- any appeal of a PBC decision by the offender, and its outcome.
Can a victim designate someone to receive information on their behalf?
Yes. You can name a representative or agent to act on your behalf. To do so, send a written notice to the PBC authorizing the representative or agent.
Will I be notified of the PBC’s decision when the offender is reviewed for conditional release?
Victims have the right to attend the hearing of the offender who harmed them. If a registered victim does not attend a scheduled hearing for the offender, the PBC will notify the victim of the decision once the review is completed.
Victims should note that, as part of the PBC’s commitment to transparency and openness in its decision-making, and in accordance with the law, members of the public, including media, may apply to observe a PBC hearing.
The PBC makes every effort to notify registered victims as soon as possible of the outcome of a hearing. Victims are encouraged to create an account on the Victims Portal, which will help ensure they receive information as quickly as possible.
Victims should be aware that with the attendance of observers, including media, at a hearing, details of the hearing and the Board’s decision may be made public by those observers in advance of the Board’s notification to the victim.
Registry of Decisions
Can I get a copy of a decision in an offender's case?
Yes. You can request a PBC decision, and the reasons for the decision, through the Board's Registry of Decisions. These decisions relate to conditional release, an offender's return to prison or detention, as well as decisions and reasons of the PBC's Appeal Division.
The PBC may exempt information in decisions that could reveal a confidential source of information, jeopardize a person's safety or hinder an offender's return to society as a law-abiding citizen.
How do I request a decision?
To request a Parole Board decision, submit a Request for Decision Registry form. You don't have to be a registered victim; PBC decisions are available to any member of the public.
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