Parole: Contributing to Public Safety

Transcript

Transcript: Parole – Contributing to Public Safety

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Copyright / Canada Wordmark

PAROLE: CONTRIBUTING TO PUBLIC SAFETY  

Ever wonder what the purpose of parole is or how it contributes to public safety?

Narration:

In Canada, most offenders are serving a fixed-length prison sentence. This means they will eventually be released back into the community once their sentence ends. 

Before this happens, most offenders will become eligible for and may receive parole.

Ever wonder what the purpose of parole is or how it contributes to public safety?  

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SHOT of a man walking across a bridge

SHOT of a man and woman walking down a city street

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TYPE OF CONDITIONAL RELEASE

CONTRIBUTES TO THE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY

SERVE PART OF THEIR SENTENCE IN THE COMMUNITY

UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF A CSC PAROLE OFFICER

SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS

DOES NOT REDUCE THE ORIGINAL SENTENCE IMPOSED BY THE COURT

NOT FREE TO DO AS THEY PLEASE

Narration:

Parole is a carefully constructed bridge between incarceration and return to the community. 

It is a type of conditional release, and contributes to the protection of society by allowing some offenders to serve part of their sentence in the community under the supervision of a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) parole officer, and subject to conditions. 

It does not reduce the original sentence imposed by the court, and offenders are not free to do as they please while on parole.

Séquence 3

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SHOT of a man in a library

SHOT of people using public computers in employment office

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PAROLE CONTRIBUTES TO PUBLIC SAFETY

GRADUALLY REINTEGRATE INTO THE COMMUNITY

ADOPT A LAW-ABIDING 

PRO-SOCIAL LIFESTYLE

CONTROLLED AND SUPPORTIVE ENVIRONMENT

Narration:

Parole contributes to public safety by helping offenders gradually re-integrate into the community and adopt a law-abiding, pro-social lifestyle in a controlled and supportive environment before they are released from prison at the end of their sentence.

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SHOT of hearing in progress

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PAROLE BOARD OF CANADA (PBC)

INDEPENDENT ADMINISTRATIVE TRIBUNAL

GRANTING, DENYING, REVOKING PAROLE

OFFENDERS SERVING TWO YEARS OR MORE

OFFENDERS SERVING SENTENCES OF LESS THAN TWO YEARS

EXCEPT ONTARIO AND QUEBEC

Narration:

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC), an independent administrative tribunal, is responsible for granting, denying, and revoking parole for offenders serving sentences of two years or more. The PBC also makes parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years in all provinces and territories except Ontario and Quebec, which have their own parole boards.

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SHOT of board members in hearing

SHOT of paperwork during hearing

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SHOT of offender and officer

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PAROLE DECISIONS ARE MADE BY PBC BOARD MEMBERS

REFLECTING CANADA’S DIVERSITY

COME FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE

CRIMINOLOGY  LAW  POLICING  SOCIAL WORK  MEDICINE  EDUCATION  BUSINESS  PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTOR MANAGEMENT

THOROUGHLY TRAINED IN RISK ASSESSMENT (DECISION MAKING)

IN-OFFICE FILE REVIEW

FACE-TO-FACE HEARING

 

Narration:

Parole decisions are made by PBC Board members, who, reflecting Canada’s diversity, come from all walks of life, in fields as diverse as criminology, law, policing, social work, medicine, education, business, and private and public sector management. 

PBC Board members are thoroughly trained in risk assessment and decision-making. They make parole decisions through either an in-office file review or a face-to-face hearing with the offender and their parole officer. 

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SHOT of person’s hand writing on paper and reviewing content

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CONSIDER ALL RELEVANT AVAILABLE INFORMATION

RELATED TO THE OFFENDER’S RISK TO RE-OFFEND

WHETHER THAT RISK CAN BE SAFELY MANAGED IN THE COMMUNITY 

WHETHER THE RELEASE WILL CONTRIBUTE TO THE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY 

GENDER, ETHNIC, CULTURAL AND LINGUISTIC DIFFERENCE

WOMEN AND INDIGENOUS PEOPLES, AND OTHER GROUPS

Narration:

When making parole decisions, PBC Board members consider:

  • all relevant available information related to the offender’s risk to re-offend, 
  • whether that risk can be safely managed in the community, and 
  • whether the release of the offender will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating the offender’s return to the community as a law-abiding citizen. 

The PBC’s policies also respect gender, ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences among offenders, the special needs of women and indigenous peoples, and other groups with special requirements.

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SHOT of hearing

SHOT of offender in group counselling session

SHOT of board members reviewing their decision

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ALL RELEVANT AVAILABLE INFORMATION

INFORMATION COMES FROM A VARIETY OF SOURCES

POLICE

COURTS

CROWN ATTORNEYS

VICTIMS

PRIVATE AGENCIES

MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS

CORRECTIONAL AUTHORITIES

 

SOCIAL AND CRIMINAL HISTORY

REASONS FOR AND TYPES OF OFFENCE

UNDERSTANDING OF THE OFFENCE

PROGRESS MADE OR PROGRAMS COMPLETED

BEHAVIOUR IN THE INSTITUTION OR ON PREVIOUS CONDITIONAL RELEASES

ACTUARIAL ASSESSMENTS

RISK ASSESSMENT TOOLS

OFFENDER’S RELEASE PLAN

COMMUNITY SUPPORTS

VICTIM STATEMENTS

 

PROTECTION OF SOCIETY IS ALWAYS THE PARAMOUNT CONSIDERATION

Narration:

All relevant available information is provided to PBC Board members to consider in their decisions. Information comes from a variety of sources and can include information from the police, courts, Crown attorneys, victims, private agencies, mental health professionals, and correctional authorities.

When deciding on the conditional release of an offender, Board members assess this information and conduct a thorough assessment of each offender’s social and criminal history, the reasons for and types of offence; the offender’s understanding of the offence; any progress the offender has made or programs they have completed; their behaviour in the institution and while on previous conditional releases; actuarial assessments and risk assessment tools; the offender’s release plan; community supports; and any victim statements. All of this information is used to assess an offender’s risk to re-offend, and the protection of society is always the paramount consideration.

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SHOT of woman walking down a city street

SHOT of man and woman walking up to house and being greeted by relative

SHOT of women working in restaurant and man shoveling snow at work

SHOT of man and woman walking past halfway house

SHOT of traffic

SHOTS of man at computer in library, man and woman meeting in private office and man and woman walking in residential neighbourhood

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FOUR TYPES OF CONDITIONAL RELEASE: 

TEMPORARY ABSENCES

DAY PAROLE

FULL PAROLE 

STATUTORY RELEASE

TEMPORARY ABSENCES:

COMMUNITY SERVICE

FAMILY CONTACT 

PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT

ESCORTED OR UNESCORTED

DAY PAROLE:

COMMUNITY-BASED ACTIVITIES

GAIN EMPLOYMENT

PARTICIPATE IN PROGRAMS

DAY PAROLE:

REPORT TO CSC PAROLE OFFICER

RESIDE AT A COMMUNITY FACILITY OR HALFWAY HOUSE

FULL PAROLE: 

UNDER SUPERVISION

GRADUAL REINTEGRATION OF OFFENDER

REPORT REGULARLY TO A CSC PAROLE OFFICER

LIVE IN A PRIVATE RESIDENCE

ELIGIBLE ONCE THEY HAVE SERVED ONE THIRD OF THEIR SENTENCE

Narration:

There are four types of conditional release: Temporary Absences, Day Parole, Full Parole and Statutory Release.

Temporary Absences are usually approved or authorized for community service, family contact (including parental responsibilities) or personal development, and can be either escorted or unescorted.

Day Parole allows offenders to participate in community-based activities, gain employment, and participate in programs to prepare them for full parole or statutory release. 

Offenders on day parole must report to a CSC parole officer and reside at a community facility or halfway house. 

Full parole allows offenders to serve part of their sentence under supervision in the community. It fosters the gradual reintegration of offenders back into the community. Offenders on full parole must also report regularly to a CSC parole officer, however they typically live in a private residence. Offenders are eligible to be considered for release on full parole once they have served one third of their sentence. 

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SHOT of police car 

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OFFENDERS MUST FOLLOW STANDARD CONDITIONS (SPECIAL CONDITIONS)

MANAGE OFFENDER’S RISK IN THE COMMUNITY

ABSTAIN FROM THE USE OF ALCOHOL OR DRUGS

PAROLE CAN BE REVOKED

STATUTORY RELEASE:

NOT PAROLE

NOT A PBC DECISION

MANDATORY RELEASE BY LAW

AFTER TWO-THIRDS OF SENTENCE

PBC CAN ORDER AN OFFENDER DETAINED PAST RELEASE DATE ON CSC RECOMMENDATION

SUBJECT TO RELEASE CONDITIONS

Narration:

All offenders released on parole must follow standard conditions, as well as any special conditions that the PBC feels are necessary to manage an offender’s risk in the community. An example would be to abstain from the use of alcohol or drugs. If an offender breaches any of their conditions, their parole can be revoked and they can be returned to prison.

Statutory release is not the same as parole, as it is not a PBC decision. It is a mandatory release by law after an offender has served two-thirds of their sentence. The PBC can however order that an offender be detained past their statutory release date on the recommendation of the Correctional Service of Canada. Offenders on statutory release are also subject to release conditions.

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VARIED ANGLES of victims during a hearing, listening and giving oral statements

SHOT of hand writing and victim on a computer filling out a request form.

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RIGHT TO INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENDER

INFORMATION ABOUT THE OFFENCE AND ITS IMPACT ON THEM

REQUEST THAT CONDITIONS BE IMPOSED

ATTEND AND PRESENT A VICTIM STATEMENT

RECEIVE PAROLE DECISIONS

REQUEST AUDIO RECORDINGS

Narration:

Under the law, victims have a role in the parole process. 

Victims have a right to certain information about the offender who harmed them. 

They can provide the PBC with information about the offence and its impact on them, and request that conditions be imposed on an offender’s parole. They can also attend and present a victim statement at parole hearings, receive parole decisions, and request audio recordings of parole hearings for which they did not attend.

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SHOT of woman on computer looking at request form.

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PROMOTE UNDERSTANDING OF PAROLE

OPENNESS AND ACCOUNTABILITY

APPLY TO OBSERVE

ALL DECISIONS AVAILABLE UPON WRITTEN REQUEST

Narration:

To promote public understanding of parole, as well as openness and accountability in its operations, anyone can apply to observe a Parole Board of Canada hearing, and all of its decisions are available upon written request.

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GRADUAL, CONTROLLED AND SUPERVISED RELEASE

MOST EFFECTIVE WAY OF ENSURING PUBLIC SAFETY

96% OF OFFENDERS ON PAROLE HAVE NOT COMMITTED A NEW OFFENCE

99% HAVE NOT COMMITTED A NEW VIOLENT OFFENCE

Public Safety is always the primary consideration.

Narration:

Evidence shows that the gradual, controlled and supervised release of offenders is the most effective way of ensuring public safety. 

Over the past decade, 96% of offenders on parole have not committed a new offence, and 99% have not committed a new violent offence.

Public Safety is always the primary consideration in all parole decisions.

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ON BLACK

On-screen text:

Canada.ca/parole 

Canada wordmark

Narration:

For more information, please visit Canada.ca/parole.

 

 

You may also access this video on the Parole Board of Canada's YouTube channel.

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