2013-2014 Performance Monitoring Report

List of Figures

Acronyms Used in this Report

APR
Accelerated Parole Review
APRI
Accelerated Parol Review-Initial
CCRA
Corrections and Conditional Release Act
CRA
Criminal Records Act
CRIMS
Conditional Release Information Management System
CSC
Correctional Service of Canada
DP
Day Parole
ETA
Escorted Temporary Absence
FP
Full Parole
GSS
General Social Survey
LTSO
Long-Term Supervision Order
OMS
Offender Management System
PBC
Parole Board of Canada
RPM
Royal Prerogative of Mercy
RCMP
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
SR
Statutory Release
TA
Temporary Absence
UAL
Unlawfully-at-Large
UTA
Unescorted Temporary Absence
WED
Warrant Expiry Date

Note to the Reader:

Data and information for this report came from numerous sources:

  • Conditional release data was extracted from CRIMS and OMS
  • The Clemency and Pardons Division provided pardon and clemency information.
  • Financial information was provided by Financial Services.
  • The Human Resources Division provided human resources information on staff and the Chairman's Office provided information on Board members.

Minor variances may occur when presenting percentage statistics as a result of rounding.

The snapshot of the offender population was taken on April 13, 2014, to ensure all year-end data had been entered into OMS.

Highlights of 2013/14

0.7% increase in the total federal offender population. The federal incarcerated population increased 0.6% (to 14,826), while the federal conditional release population increased 1.0% (to 8,585) compared to 2012/13.

19,672 reviews conducted by the Board. The number of federal reviews increased 3% (to 18,831) and the number of provincial reviews increased 15% (to 841) compared to 2012/13.

4,998 day parole release decisions. The number of federal day parole release decisions decreased 4% (to 4,443), while the number of provincial day parole release decisions increased 24% (to 555) compared to 2012/13.

70% grant rate for federal day parole, two percentage points higher than the previous year.

53% grant rate for provincial day parole, five percentage points higher than the previous year.

3,801 full parole release decisions. The number of federal full parole release decisions decreased 2% (to 3,434), while the number of provincial full parole release decisions increased 6% (to 367) compared to 2012/13.

30% grant rate for federal full parole, one percentage points higher than the previous year.

30% grant rate for provincial full parole, one percentage point lower than the previous year.

2,063 residency conditions imposed on statutory release, a decrease of 11% from the previous year.

388 the number of offenders in the community with long-term supervision orders on April 13, 2014.

98.8% of federal day parole supervision periods were completed without reoffending, a slight increase from the previous year.

96.8% of federal full parole supervision periods for offenders serving determinate sentences were completed without reoffending, a small increase from the previous year.

91.5% statutory release supervision periods were completed without reoffending, a small increase from the previous year.

22,323 Board contacts with victims, a decrease of 1% from the previous year.

4,014 observers at 1,618 PBC hearings, an increase of 14% from the previous year.

264 presentations made by victims at 142 hearings, an increase of 4% from the previous year.

7,192 the number of decisions sent from the decision registry, an increase of 8% from the previous year.

8,866 pardon decisions made; 93% pardons granted and 7% pardons denied.

9,292 record suspension decisions made; 92% of record suspensions were ordered and 8% of record suspensions were denied.

106 clemency cases in process.

Introduction

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC or "the Board"), as part of the criminal justice system, makes independent, quality conditional release and record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations. The Board contributes to the protection of society by facilitating, as appropriate, the timely reintegration of offenders as law-abiding citizens.

The Board makes conditional release decisions for federal offenders, as well as for provincial offenders in provinces and territories that do not have their own provincial boards. Only the provinces of Ontario and Quebec currently have their own parole boards that make parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years.

The PBC has four programs activities: Conditional Release Decisions, Conditional Release Openness and Accountability, Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations, and Internal Services.

Conditional Release Decisions is the Board's largest program activity. It includes: the review of offenders' cases and the making of quality conditional release decisions, including appeals; the provision of in-depth training on how to assess the risk of reoffending; and the coordination of program delivery throughout the Board and with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and other key partners.

Conditional Release Openness and Accountability is the second largest program activity at the Board. It focuses on the provision of information to victims and other interested parties within the community, as well as coordinating victims' and other observers' attendance at PBC hearings, providing assistance to victims in preparing their victim statements and providing access to the Decision Registry.

Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations, the third program activity at the Board, involves the review of record suspension and clemency applications and the rendering of record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations. The Record Suspension program, formerly the Pardon program, underwent substantial changes between 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Internal Services, although a separate program activity, exists to support the Board's main activities by providing procurement, accommodation, and financial management services, as well as human resources.

Since 2010/11, the Performance Monitoring Report has been structured to reflect the Board's four programs.

The report presents information using easy to read graphs as well as text and provides links to detailed statistical tables which are found in the Appendix.

To review the Board's performance summary by strategic outcome and financial expenditures, please consult the Department Performance Reports.

The Year at a Glance

Context

The Parole Board of Canada operated in a dynamic environment in 2013/14 following a number of significant legislative changes in recent years. In addition, the Board faced an increasingly diverse offender population with increasingly violent criminal histories, increased mental health needs and more frequent gang affiliations.

Crime Rates[1]

In 2013, police-reported crime in Canada continued its declining trend: crime rates decreased eight percentage points in comparison with the previous year, reaching their lowest level since the 1970s. A downward trend was reported for most offences, with the exception of extortion (+32%), child pornography (+21%), aggravated sexual assault, level 3 (+9%) and a few others.

Compared to 2012, crime rates decreased in all provinces and territories with the exception of the Yukon, where the rate increased in 2013. Violent crime rates decreased, overall, nine percentage points across the country in 2013.

The crime severity index, a measure of the severity of offences, decreased nine percentage points in 2013 compared to the previous year. The crime severity index was the highest in the three territories and the lowest in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec.

Overall, the crime severity index decreased in census metropolitan areas in 2013, with the exception of Edmonton, where it remained unchanged. Barrie, Guelph and Quebec City had the lowest crime severity indexes in 2013, while Regina, Saskatoon and Kelowna had the highest.

The violent crime severity index decreased in all provinces and the territories with the exception of the Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador, where it increased slightly. The decrease in the violent crime severity index, which decreased 10% in 2013, is largely attributed to the drop in the number of reported robbery offences.

The crime severity index also decreased (-16%) for criminal offences committed by youth in 2013. The violent crime severity index decreased as well (-15%), however there were five more homicides committed by youth in 2013. Only, 45% of youth accused in 2013 were charged under the Youth Criminal Justice Act.

Victimization rates

In addition to the Uniform Crime Survey measuring police-reported crime, the Government of Canada administers the General Social Survey every five years, collecting information on self-reported victimization on a calendar year basis. The 2009 General Social Survey, examining self-reported victimization of Canadians in 10 provinces, concluded that the rates of victimization remained relatively stable in comparison with the previous findings in 2004[2]. Just over one quarter (26%) of Canadians over 15 years of age reported being a victim of crime in a year preceding the survey, with theft of personal property being the most common offence. Three out of ten self-reported victimizations were violent in nature.

Younger Canadians (15-24 years of age) reported higher rates of violent victimization than older Canadians (over 55 years of age), despite being more satisfied with their personal safety from crime. Older Canadians, on the other hand, were more likely to report a violent incident to the police than young Canadians (46% and 28% respectively)[3].

The 2009 survey also reported that 39% of Canadians used a crime prevention method to protect themselves from crime. The majority of Canadians who used a crime prevention method were previously victimized.

Almost a quarter of Canadians reported living in the neighborhoods, where issues of social disorder, including vandalism, drug use, prostitution and public intoxication were reported as a problem.

While the survey remarked on fluctuations in the victimization rate based on offence type, age, sex and geographical location, the majority of the public across the demographics (93%) reported feeling satisfied or somewhat satisfied with their personal safety from crime. Specifically, feeling safe meant not being afraid when walking alone at night in their neighbourhood or using public transportation, including waiting for the bus or a train after dark. Most Canadians also stated that they felt safe in their homes at night.

The rates of victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada were examined separately for Aboriginals living in the Canadian provinces and those living in the territories. According to the 2009 GSS survey, the rates of self-reported victimization among Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces continued to exceed those of the non-Aboriginal population: 37% of Aboriginal people reported being victims of crime compared to 26% of the non-Aboriginal population[4].

Forty-one percent (41%) of all the incidents self-reported by Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces were violent; sexual assaults accounted for approximately one-third of all violent incidents. Aboriginal women were three times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to report being a victim of sexual violence. Incidents involving violent spousal abuse involving an Aboriginal woman were more likely to be reported to the police compared to incidents involving a non-Aboriginal victim, partly due to a higher frequency of spousal abuse in the Aboriginal communities and more severe forms of violence and injuries (Ibid.). The findings also indicated that the severity of spousal violence had been increasing with the frequency of incidents.

The majority of all violent incidents reported by Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces were more likely to be related to alcohol or substance abuse and less likely to involve a weapon compared to violent incidents involving the non-Aboriginal population. On average, about one-third of violent incidents had been reported to the police.

The rate of victimization of Aboriginal people in the territories was 34%, slightly lower than the rate of victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 37%. However, more incidents in the territories involved violence (46%) compared to the incidents in the Canadian provinces (41%).

Similarly to the victimization rates of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, the majority of self-reported violent incidents of Aboriginal people in the territories were related to alcohol or drug use[5].

Public confidence in the criminal justice system

The 2009 General Social Survey demonstrated that while Canadians were satisfied overall with their safety in their own neighbourhoods; however public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system remained relatively low. The majority of Canadians (62%) believed that the level of crime in their neighbourhoods had remained the same in the last five years, while 26% believed that crime had increased.

General perceptions were that the police, the courts and the prison system were doing generally good or average job.

Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces and territories had generally favourable perceptions of the local police services in relation to aspects covered by the 2009 survey. However, they were less likely than non-Aboriginal Canadians to state that the police treated people fairly and responded promptly to calls. When compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians, Aboriginal people were less likely to have favourable opinions of the police, the courts and the prison system.

Aboriginal people across Canada, as well as the non-Aboriginal population, had less favourable opinions of the criminal courts than of the local police, particularly in relation to the duration of the process, as well as helping the victims of crime.

Previous contacts with the criminal justice system had a significant impact on how Canadians perceived the services provided by the criminal justice partners. Overall, those who had contacts with the police or the criminal courts at some point in their lives prior to the survey were more critical of them than those without personal experience.

In relation to the Parole Board of Canada, social perceptions continued to be that the system had released the wrong individuals, and conditional release programs remained a controversial issue for at least a third of Canadians. Sixty percent (60%) of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 58% of Aboriginal people in the territories, as well as 62% of non-Aboriginal Canadians stated that the prison and parole system did a good job of releasing offenders who will not commit a new crime. Slightly fewer of them agreed that the system was doing a good job supervising offenders under supervision.

Legislative and Policy Changes

In 2013/14, the Government of Canada continued fulfilling its commitment of promoting a peaceful and just society by focusing on its law and order agenda. Measures were announced this past year in relation to victims rights and offenders' accountability.

On June 19, 2013, Bill C-37 (An Act to amend the Criminal Code) (Increasing Offenders' Accountability for Victims Act) received Royal Assent and came into force on October 24, 2013.
The changes to the Criminal Code were as follows:

  • A victim surcharge was imposed automatically on all offenders at the time of sentencing.
  • The surcharge is paid to the provincial or territorial government where an offender is sentenced and is used to help fund services for victims of crime.

On June 26, 2013, Bill C-51 (An Act to amend the Witness Protection Program Act and to make a consequential amendment to another Act) (Safer Witnesses Act) received Royal Assent[6].

The changes that will affect the Board were as follows:

  • The bill authorizes the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to coordinate, at the request of an official of a designated provincial or municipal program, the activities of federal departments, agencies and services in order to facilitate a change of identity for persons admitted to the designated program.
  • The bill sets out the ability for the Commissioner of the RCMP to enter into an agreement or arrangement with another federal department to facilitate sharing of information.

In addition, the Board's operations were affected significantly due to changes to the accelerated parole review (APR) process between 2011/12 and 2013/14. On March 28, 2011, Bill C-59 (Abolition of Early Parole Act) abolished accelerated parole review for first-time federal non-violent offenders. The APR on file review with one Board member was eliminated; these parole reviews required a hearing with two Board members.

Following the implementation of the bill, court challenges in the Pacific and Quebec regions contested the retroactive application of the law. On November 2, 2012, as a result of the British Columbia Court of Appeal decision Whaling v. Canada, APR was reinstated for federal offenders in British Columbia (Pacific region) who had been sentenced prior to March 28, 2011. On October 10, 2013, as a result of another court challenge in British Columbia, Liang v. Canada, the British Columbia Supreme Court reinstated APR for first-time federal offenders who committed an offence prior to March 28, 2011, and were sentenced after that date.

On January 9, 2014, the Quebec Superior Court rendered a similar decision in Bélanger c. Commission des libérations conditionnelles du Canada, reinstating the validity of the APR provisions in the province of Quebec for offenders who met the APR eligibility criteria and who were sentenced or transferred to a penitentiary prior to March 28, 2011.

On March 20, 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada rendered its decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Whaling stating that the Abolition of Early Parole Act violated s.11(h) of the Charter and was accordingly of no force or effect. This resulted in the reinstatement of the accelerated parole review in all regions across Canada. Accelerated parole review will continue to apply to offenders who met the APR eligibility criteria and were sentenced prior to March 28, 2011 in other regions, when the Abolition of Early Parole Act came into force.

Implications for the Board

The federal government's law and order agenda and focus on strengthening the security of Canadians have implications for the PBC.

By the end of 2013/14, the second post-APR year, the number of federal releases on discretionary release increased slightly for formerly APR‑eligible offenders, following the decrease that occurred the previous year. The Board rendered slightly more decisions for regular day and full parole for these offenders in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13, as more of these offenders became eligible for release.

The reinstatement of the APR process following the

Program Delivery Context

Offender Population

Offender Population Trends

The Parole Board of Canada and the Correctional Service of Canada use the following definitions in reporting offender population information to ensure consistency:

Incarcerated: includes offenders serving federal sentences in penitentiaries and in provincial facilities, those housed as inmates in Community Correctional Centres (as distinguished from conditionally released offenders), and those temporarily absent from the institution on some form of temporary release (Temporary Absence or Work Release)[7].

Conditional Release: includes those federal offenders conditionally released on day parole, full parole and statutory release, and those on long-term supervision orders including those paroled for deportation and temporary detainees whether detained in a penitentiary or a provincial jail.

It is important to note that the offender population usually mirrors trends in crime rates and the crime severity index, with the effect being seen approximately two years later. While the crime rates and the crime severity index have been decreasing over the past five years, the offender population has increased. This pattern indicates that there are more complex events at play, which the crime rates analysis alone cannot sufficiently explain. Introduction of minimum mandatory sentencing, longer sentences for certain offences, and variances in admissions and releases due to legislative changes all play a role.

Figure 1. Federal Offender Population (as of April 13, 2014)

Federal Offender Population (as of April 13, 2014)
Figure 1. Federal Offender Population (as of April 13, 2014)

The graph is in the form of chart lines with markers, showing the federal offender population by type, incarcerated and conditional release, for the period from 2004/05 to 2013/14. Incarcerated. Year 2004/05: 12,623. Year 2005/06: 12,671. Year 2006/07: 13,171. Year 2007/08: 13,582. Year 2008/09: 13,289. Year 2009/10: 13,531. Year 2010/11: 14,219. Year 2011/12: 14,419. Year 2012/13: 14,744. Year 2013/14: 14,826. Conditional release. Year 2004/05: 8,218. Year 2005/06: 8,365. Year 2006/07: 8,449. Year 2007/08: 8,434. Year 2008/09: 8,716. Year 2009/10: 8,709. Year 2010/11: 8,644. Year 2011/12: 8,737. Year 2012/13: 8,500. Year 2013/14: 8,585.

  • On April 13, 2014, the total federal offender population had increased slightly to 23,411 (+0.7%) compared to the previous year (April 13, 2014). Increases were reported in the federal incarcerated offender population (+0.6%) as well as in the federal conditional release population (+1.0%). However, the proportion of federal offenders who were incarcerated remained the same (63%).

  • Over the ten-year period between 2004/05 and 2013/14, the federal incarcerated offender population increased 17%; while the federal conditional release offender population increased 4%.

  • Trends based on the ten-year period (2004/05-2013/14) indicate that the increase in the total federal offender population was driven primarily by the increase in the federal incarcerated offender population. The trends show that the federal incarcerated offender population has been increasing almost five times faster than the federal conditional release offender population (annualized rates of 1.9% and 0.4% respectively).

Figure 2. Annual Changes in the Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations

Annual Changes in the Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations

The annual increases in the federal incarcerated and conditional release populations usually mirror each other. In the 1990s, the increases in the federal incarcerated offender population as a rule were followed by similar increases in the federal conditional release offender population approximately three years later. In the 2000s, the increases in the federal incarcerated offender population were followed by increases in the federal conditional release population two years later. This difference is possibly related to shorter average sentences when compared to 20 years ago. The legislative changes in 2011/12 and in 2012/13 affected these patterns. In 2011/12, the increase in the conditional release population was smaller than expected. In 2012/13, the federal conditional release population decreased, and then rebounded in 2013/14. Despite the increase in the number of federal offenders on conditional release last year (+1.0%), their proportion increased by a negligible 0.1%.

The federal incarcerated and conditional release populations increased in the Atlantic, Quebec and Pacific regions, and decreased in the Ontario and Prairie regions in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13.

Figure 3. Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Offender Populations (as of April 13, 2014)

Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Offender Populations (as of April 13, 2014)
  • In 2013/14, the total federal offender populations increased in the Atlantic (+3.3%), Quebec (+4.7%) and Pacific (+10.1%) regions, and decreased in the Ontario (-5.2%) and Prairie (-2.9%) regions when compared to 2012/13. The decrease in the Ontario region and increases in the Atlantic, Quebec and Pacific regions were primarily related to interregional transfers due to prison closures. The increase in the Quebec region was also compounded by a notable increase in federal admissions between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

  • Across Canada, the day parole population decreased (-1.9%) in 2013/14, while the full parole population increased (+2.0%), as did the statutory release population (+0.6%) compared to the previous year. The long-term supervision population continued increasing in 2013/14 (+6.0%).

Large decreases in the full parole population in 2011/12 (-9%) and 2012/13 (-7%) led to a significant change in the profile of the federal conditional release population. In 2012/13, for the first time in the last 20 years, the statutory release population surpassed the full parole population. In 2013/14, despite a two percent increase in the full parole population, the number of federal offenders on statutory release still exceeded the number of federal offenders on full parole.

Figure 4. Federal Conditional Release Population

Federal Conditional Release Population
  • The provincial conditional release population increased 10% in 2013/14: the day parole population increased (+13 offenders), and the full parole population remained unchanged. Increases in the provincial parole populations were reported in the Atlantic and Prairie regions, while the population decreased in the Pacific region.

Figure 5. The Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations by Aboriginal and Race (as of April 13, 2014)

The Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations by Aboriginal and Race (as of April 13, 2014)
  • Over the five-year period between 2009/10 and 2013/14, the federal incarcerated population increased for Aboriginal (+21%), Asian (+60%), Black (+27%) and Other offenders (+27%), while it remained relatively unchanged for White offenders. As a result, the proportion of Aboriginal inmates increased to 23%; the proportion of Asian inmates increased to 4%, the proportion of Black inmates increased to 10%, and the proportion of inmates in the Other category increased to 6%. The proportion decreased for White inmates to 58%.

  • The conditional release population during the same time period demonstrated similar trends, where the proportions of federal offenders on conditional release increased for Aboriginal (+3%), Black (+1%) and Asian (+1%) offenders, while they decreased for White offenders (-3%) and offenders in the Other category (-2%) when compared to 2009/10.

  • Over the last five years, Aboriginal and Black offenders as a proportion of the federal offender population were more likely to be incarcerated than on conditional release, whereas White and Asian offenders were more likely to be on conditional release than incarcerated.

  • In 2013/14, male offenders represented 96% of the federal incarcerated population and 94% of the federal conditional release population; whereas female offenders represented 4% of the incarcerated population and 6% of the conditional release population.

  • Aboriginal women accounted for 35% of all female inmates and 23% of women on conditional release, as compared to Aboriginal men who accounted for 22% of all male inmates and 17% of men on conditional release in 2013/14. These proportions were the highest in the Prairie region, where 45% of male inmates and 60% of female inmates were Aboriginal; while 35% of male offenders and 43% of female offenders on conditional release were Aboriginal.

Federal Offender Profiles

Figure 6. Offence Profile of the Total Federal Offender Population

Offence Profile of the Federal Incarcerated Population
  • On April 13, 2014, 20% of federal offenders were serving sentences for murder, 13% were serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, 35% were serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences, 17% were serving sentences for schedule II offences and 14% were serving sentences for non scheduled offences.

  • Over the last five years, the proportions of federal offenders serving sentences for murder and schedule I offences have been relatively stable, with annual variations less than a percentage point.

  • The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences increased 0.7% in the last year (from 16.2% in 2012/13 to 16.9% in 2013/14), driven primarily by a 0.7% increase in the total number of federal admissions of these offenders two years earlier.

  • The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences has decreased 1.1% (from 15.4% in 2012/13 to 14.3% in 2013/14) after having reported a significant increase in 2010/11. Since then, the proportion seems to be stabilizing to its pre-2010/11 levels. Following the decreases in the proportion of federal admissions of these offenders (-1.7% in 2011/12 and -0.7% in 2012/13) their proportion in federal custody has decreased as well.

To better analyse the offence profile of the federal offender population, a more detailed review is provided below.

Figure 7. Offence Profile of the Federal Incarcerated Population

Offence Profile of the Federal Incarcerated Population
  • On April 13, 2014, 20% of federal incarcerated offenders were serving sentences for murder, 14% were serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, 39% were serving sentences for schedule I non-sex offences, 14% were serving sentences for schedule II offences and 14% were serving sentences for non-scheduled offences.

  • In the last five years, the proportions have remained relatively stable for incarcerated offenders serving sentences for murder and schedule I-sex offences, with annual variations less than a percentage point.

  • The proportion of the federal incarcerated population serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences has been steadily decreasing in the last five years, with the exception of 2013/14, where it grew by a negligible 0.2%. The increase follows the 0.7% increase in the proportion of federal admissions of these offenders on warrants of committal two years earlier (in 2011/12).

  • The proportion of the federal incarcerated offender population serving sentences for schedule II offences increased one percentage point (from 13.2% in 2012/13 to 14.2% in 2013/14). The increase is likely attributable to a higher proportion of these offenders admitted on warrants of committal (+1.7%) in 2013/14, as a result of police drug raids in the Quebec region in 2012 and 2013. No increases in federal admissions of these offenders were reported in the other regions.

  • The proportion of the federal incarcerated population serving sentences for non-scheduled offences decreased 1.2% in 2013/14 after it had increased sharply in 2010/11 by three percentage points.

The changes in the conditional release population were different than those seen in the incarcerated population in 2013/14. Of particular importance were the changes affecting former APR-eligible offenders, those first-time federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences. As a result of the abolition of the APR process, the proportions of offenders on discretionary release serving sentences for schedule II and non‑scheduled offences decreased significantly and increased on statutory release between 2011/12 and 2012/13. These proportions continued their downward trend in 2013/14. Due to the effect size of these groups, the proportions of other offenders were affected as a result.

Figure 8. Offence Profile of the Federal Day Parole Population

Offence Profile of the Federal Day Parole Population
  • In 2013/14, the proportion of federal offenders on day parole serving sentences for murder remained relatively stable in comparison with the previous year.

  • The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences on day parole increased 1.1% in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13. Slightly higher proportions of these offenders were released on day parole in 2013/14, and had their day parole supervision periods continued rather than graduating from day parole to full parole last year.

  • Following the 0.7% increase in the proportion of admissions of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences two years earlier, their proportions increased in 2013/14 in the incarcerated as well as the discretionary release populations. The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences on day parole increased 1.1% in 2013/14.

  • The proportion of federal offenders on day parole serving sentences for schedule II offences decreased 1.3% (from 29.4% in 2012/13 to 28.1% in 2013/14). The increasing proportions of federal admissions of these offenders in the last three years did not translate into increases in the proportion of these offenders on discretionary release. Rather, lower proportions of these offenders were released on day parole in 2013/14, but higher proportions had their day paroles continued and graduated to statutory release, or were released on statutory release directly from institutions.

  • The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences on day parole decreased 0.7% in 2013/14, reflecting an overall decrease in the proportion of these offenders in federal custody.

Figure 9. Offence Profile of the Federal Full Parole Population

Offence Profile of the Federal Full Parole Population
  • In 2013/14, the proportion of federal offenders on full parole serving sentences for murder remained unchanged from the previous year.

  • The proportion of federal offenders on full parole serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences decreased 0.5% in 2013/14. Higher proportions of these offenders had their day parole supervision periods continued and graduated from day parole to statutory release rather than graduating to full parole.

  • The proportion of federal offenders on full parole serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences increased 0.6% in 2013/14, which overall reflected the increase of these offenders on day parole and in incarceration, as a result of higher numbers admitted to federal custody two years earlier.

  • The proportion of federal offenders on full parole serving sentences for schedule II offences remained relatively unchanged in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13.

  • Similarly to federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences on full parole, the proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences on full parole remained unchanged in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13.

Figure 10. Offence Profile of the Statutory Release Population

Offence Profile of the Statutory Release Population

After the abolition of the APR process in 2010/11, larger proportions of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences either waived their full parole reviews and remained incarcerated until reaching their legislated statutory release dates or were released on day parole and subsequently graduated to statutory release.

  • Between 2010/11 and 2012/13, the proportions of offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences decreased on full parole and increased on statutory release. In 2013/14, their proportion on full parole stabilized, but their proportion continued growing on statutory release (+1.0%).

  • The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences also decreased on full parole in the two post-APR years, however it also decreased on statutory release (due to fewer admissions of these offenders to federal custody in general). In 2013/14, the proportion of these offenders on full parole stabilized, but continued decreasing on statutory release (-1.4%).

  • The 1.3% decrease in the proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences on statutory release was to a large extent inflated by the increases in the proportions of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences and schedule I-sex offences on statutory release in 2013/14. The actual decrease was rather small: 37 fewer federal offenders were serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences on statutory release in 2013/14 compared to the previous year.

  • The proportion of federal offenders on statutory release serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences increased 1.6% (from 14.2% in 2012/13 to 15.8% in 2013/14). The increase was related to the fact that larger proportions of these offenders graduated from day parole to statutory release in 2013/14, or remained incarcerated until being released directly from institutions on statutory release than in previous years.

Federal Admissions

Figure 11. Federal Admissions to Institutions

Federal Admissions to Institutions
*Includes transfers from foreign countries, exchange of services, etc.
  • The total number of federal admissions to institutions in 2013/14 decreased 1.4% (to 8,105) in comparison with the previous year. Federal admissions on warrants of committal increased 0.7% (to 5,143), whereas admissions due to revocations decreased 4.7% (to 2,832).

  • Compared to the previous year, federal admissions on warrants of committal and due to revocations decreased in four regions in 2013/14: the Atlantic (-13%; -6%), Ontario (-2%; -7%), Prairie (-0.2%; -5%) and Pacific (-8%; -12%) regions. In the Quebec region, both federal admissions on warrants of committal and admissions due to revocations increased (+16%; +4%) when compared to 2012/13.

  • A significant increase in federal admissions on warrants of committal in the Quebec region in 2013/14 was driven primarily by admissions of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex (+16%) and schedule II offences (+28%), likely related to police drug raids in the province between 2011 and 2013.

  • Over the five-year period between 2009/10 and 2013/14, Aboriginal offenders were the least likely to be admitted on initial warrants of committal, and were the most likely to be admitted on all types of revocations. White offenders were the most likely to be admitted on repeat warrants of committal.

  • During the same time period, female offenders were more likely to be admitted on initial warrants of committal than male offenders, and were less likely to be admitted on repeat warrants of committal and on all types of revocations.
  • In 2013/14, the decrease in the total number of federal admissions was driven to a large extent by federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences (-4%) and offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences (-3%). The numbers of federal admissions of other types of offenders increased, most significantly for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences (+4%).

Figure 12. Average Age at Admission on Initial Warrants of Committal between 2009/10 and 2013/14 (%)

Average Age at Admission on Initial Warrants of Committal between 2009/10 and 2013/14 (%)
  • Over the last five years (from 2009/10 to 2013/14), the average age of federal offenders at admission on initial warrants of committal has been increasing. The proportion of admissions of federal offenders aged between 18-29 on initial warrants of committal decreased from 48% in 2009/10 to 46% in 2013/14.

  • Black offenders aged between 18 and 29 years of age constituted the highest proportion of federal admissions on initial warrants of committal in this age bracket in the last five years (at 65%), while White offenders had the lowest proportion (at 40%).

Federal Releases

This section discusses federal releases of offenders directly from institutions and graduations of offenders from federal supervision periods. Federal releases directly from institutions include releases on federal supervision periods, as well as releases upon completion of the offender's sentence: 1) federal releases from institutions on day parole; 2) federal releases from institutions on full parole; 3) federal releases from institutions on statutory release; 4) federal releases at warrant expiry; 5) federal releases at warrant expiry with a long-term supervision order; 6) other types of federal releases such as transfers to foreign countries, releases when the offender died etc.

Graduations from federal supervision periods include: 1) day parole continued; 2) graduations from day parole to full parole; 3) graduations from day parole to statutory release; 4) graduations from federal supervision periods to long-term supervision orders upon warrant expiry.

In this section, federal releases and graduations are discussed together to demonstrate how the Board uses discretionary release to facilitate the gradual reintegration of offenders into society. As a result, the data was merged for some charts and tables to show a complete picture of releases.

Figure 13. Federal Releases from Institutions and Graduations from Federal Supervision Periods

Federal Releases from Institutions and Graduations from Federal Supervision Periods
* Includes releases from institutions at warrant expiry, at warrant expiry with a long-term supervision order, graduations from a federal supervision period to a long-term supervision order upon reaching warrant expiry, death, transfers to foreign countries, etc.
  • In 2013/14, federal releases directly from institutions increased 2.3% (to 8,048) compared to 2012/13. Graduations from federal supervision periods increased 1.4% (to 2,807).

  • In 2013/14, federal releases from institutions and graduations from federal supervision periods increased in the Atlantic region (+6.5%; +13.4%). In the Ontario and Pacific regions, federal releases decreased, while graduations increased (Ontario, -0.8%; +5.3%; Pacific, -0.7%; +12.1%). In the Quebec region, federal releases from institutions increased (+7.5%), and the number of graduations remained unchanged. In the Prairie region, federal releases from institution increased (+1.0%), while graduations decreased (-11.5%).

  • Over the last five years between 2009/10 to 2013/14, Aboriginal offenders were the most likely to be released directly from institutions on statutory release and at warrant expiry, and the least likely to be released on full parole. They were also the most likely to have had their day paroles continued and the least likely to graduate from day parole to full parole. Asian offenders were the most likely to be released directly from institutions on day and full parole and to graduate from day parole to full parole. During the same time period, Aboriginal and Black offenders were the most likely to be released at warrant expiry with long-term supervision orders.

  • Over the last five years, female offenders were more likely to be released from institutions on day and full parole and graduate from day parole to full parole and less likely to be released on statutory release and at warrant expiry than male offenders. Female offenders were also more likely than male offenders to graduate from day parole to statutory release and less likely to have had their day parole supervision periods continued.

  • When compared to 2012/13, federal releases from institutions increased on day parole (+3.1%) in 2013/14, while there were fewer day parole supervision periods continued (-1.8%), and more graduations from day parole to full parole (+4.2%) and from day parole to statutory release (+2.4%). Federal releases from institutions on statutory release increased as well (+1.5%).

Figure 14. Graduations from Federal Supervision Periods

Graduations from Federal Supervision Periods

APR-related changes in federal releases from institutions and graduations in 2013/14 were marginal.

Figure 15. Changes in the Proportions of Releases and Graduations for Offenders Serving Sentences for Schedule II Offences

Changes in the Proportions of Releases and Graduations for Offenders Serving Sentences for Schedule II Offences
  • For offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, annual variations in the proportions of federal releases on day and full parole and graduations from day parole to full parole and from day parole to statutory release, to a large extent, returned to pre-APR levels. Since the abolition of APR, larger proportions of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences have been released from institutions directly on statutory release without prior consideration for discretionary release (+11.2% in 2012/13; +10.9% in 2013/14). These increases are in part explained by the fact that in the absence of the automatic APR process, these offenders chose not to have regular day parole or full parole reviews, and waited for their release on statutory release.

Figure 16. Changes in the Proportions of Releases and Graduations for Offenders Serving Sentences for Non-Scheduled Offences

Changes in the Proportions of Releases and Graduations for Offenders Serving Sentences for Non-Scheduled Offences
  • To a large extent, similar changes were reported for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences: annual variations in the proportions of federal releases on day parole and full parole, as well as graduations from day parole to full parole and from day parole to statutory release for these offenders stabilized in 2013/14 resembling pre-APR levels. Similar to offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, larger proportions of these offenders opted out of a regular parole review process, and were released from institutions directly on statutory release without prior consideration for discretionary release (+10.0% in 2012/13; +7.4% in 2013/14).

  • No significant changes in the proportions of federal releases and graduations from federal supervision periods were reported for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

  • There were no significant changes in the proportions of federal releases and graduations in 2013/14 for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, except for a 3.0% decrease in graduations from day parole to full parole, which in fact flattened the 3.0% increase from the year before.

The following subsection discusses federal releases from institutions on statutory release in relation to prior consideration for discretionary release.

Figure 17. Federal Releases from Institutions on Statutory Release in Relation to Prior Consideration for Discretionary Release

Federal Releases from Institutions on Statutory Release in Relation to Prior Consideration for Discretionary Release
  • The five-year data indicate that the proportion of offenders who had no parole review prior to their release on statutory release has increased:
    1. The proportion of federal releases from institutions to statutory release where parole was previously granted/directed decreased from 23% in 2009/10 to 16% in 2013/14.
    2. The proportion of federal releases from institutions to statutory release where parole was previously denied/not directed decreased from 31% in 2009/10 to 29% in 2013/14.
    3. The proportion of federal releases from institutions to statutory release with no prior parole decision increased from 46% in 2009/10 to 55% in 2013/14.
  • In the last five years, the proportions of federal releases from institutions on statutory release where parole was previously granted/directed decreased for all offence types. However, as mentioned earlier, the decreases were particularly pronounced for offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences between 2011/12 and 2013/14, following the abolition of the APR process.

  • In the last five years, the proportions of federal releases from institutions to statutory release where there was no prior parole decision (cases where offenders waived their parole reviews) increased significantly. The most pronounced increases occurred in the two post-APR years, when the proportion increased 5% in 2012/13, and another 3% in 2013/14. These increases were driven by offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences.

  • Overall, in 2013/14, 3,099 (or 55%) of federal releases from institutions to statutory release were releases where offenders were not considered for discretionary release by the Board prior to their legislated release. Offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences had the highest proportion (61%), while offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, despite recent significant increases, had the smallest proportion (38%).

  • Over the last five years, federal releases from institutions on statutory release where there was no prior parole decision increased significantly in the Pacific (+16%) and Atlantic (+11%) regions. The increases were smaller but still substantial in the Ontario (+9%), Prairie (+9%) and Quebec (+5%) regions.

Reviews

Figure 18. Federal and Provincial Reviews

Federal and Provincial Reviews
  • In 2013/14, the number of federal and provincial reviews conducted by the Board increased to 19,672 (+3.8%): to 18,831 reviews at the federal level (+3.4%) and to 841 reviews at the provincial level (+14.6%) when compared to the previous year.

NOTE

The increase in the number of reviews is in part related to changes made to the definition of workload in 2012/13. All cases where the final decision is to accept or reject a postponement of the review are now recorded as ‘reviews’, whereas previously they were recorded as a ‘decision status’. As the offender’s file is often prepared prior to the review being postponed, this method accounts more accurately for the Board’s workload.

In 2013/14, the Board reported 3,226 postponements of federal reviews and 48 postponements of provincial reviews. Postponements of federal reviews accounted for 17% of all federal reviews conducted in 2013/14, while postponements of provincial reviews accounted for 6% of all provincial reviews. The total in 2013/14 includes 20 cases where postponements were recorded as decision statuses.

  • When controlling for reviews where postponement accepted/rejected was the final decision, the number of federal reviews decreased 2.4% (from 16,003 in 2012/13 to 15,625 in 2013/14). The decrease in the total number of reviews in 2013/14 was projected as there had been a decrease in admissions two years earlier.

  • The total number of federal pre-release reviews decreased 3.0% (from 12,955 in 2012/13 to 12,561 in 2013/14), excluding 3,042 cases in 2013/14, where postponement accepted/rejected was the final decision. The decrease was reported for all offence types, except for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, where the numbers continued increasing in 2013/14 (+4.1%), due to the increase in admissions of this type of offender two years earlier.

  • Federal post-release reviews decreased 2.6% (from 5,003 in 2012/13 to 4,873 in 2013/14), excluding 44 postponement cases in 2013/14.

  • Provincial pre-release reviews increased 15% (from 641 in 2012/13 to 739 in 2013/14), excluding 48 postponement cases in 2013/14, while provincial post-release reviews decreased 14.5% (from 69 to 59).

  • The number of detention reviews decreased in 2013/14 to 573 (-5.3%), excluding 120 postponement cases in 2013/14.

  • In 2013/14, the number of federal reviews on file, controlling for postponement cases, increased 11.6% compared to 2012/13, while the number of hearings decreased 24.1%. This reflected the changes made to the format of some of the Board’s post-release reviews in December 2012. Overall, in 2013/14, 28% of the Board’s federal reviews were hearings and 72% were reviews on file. By comparison, in 2011/12, 40% of the Board’s federal reviews were hearings and 60% were reviews on file.

  • The increase in reviews on file in 2013/14 was also compounded by an increase in the number of accelerated parole reviews (from 145 in 2012/13 to 219 in 2013/14), which will likely also increase next year.

  • In 2013/14, the Board reported a significant decrease (to 372; -20.2%) in federal and provincial hearings with an Aboriginal Cultural Advisor, excluding three postponement cases in 2013/14. This change parallels an overall decrease in the number of hearings conducted in 2013/14.

Figure 19. Federal Pre-Release Reviews

Federal Pre-Release Reviews
  • The number of federal pre-release reviews for offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences stabilized in 2013/14 after the instability that resulted following the abolition of the APR process in March 2011. Changes in the numbers of reviews for these offenders in 2013/14 were to a large extent related to changes in federal admissions one to two years earlier rather than related to the abolition of the APR process.

The Board’s workload is also affected by the number of waivers and withdrawals, as well as postponements.

NOTE
Waivers and Withdrawals

A day parole review is conducted following receipt of an application from the offender. If an offender no longer wishes to be considered for day parole, he or she may choose to withdraw the application for a day parole review. If an offender wishes to proceed with the review without attending the hearing, then the offender may choose to waive the hearing, which would result in a review on file.

Full parole review is a legislated review, and as such, if an offender wishes not to undergo the review or not to attend the hearing, he or she must officially declare so by means of a waiver. In cases where an offender was denied full parole, but wishes to be reconsidered for full parole before the date prescribed by regulations, he or she cannot submit an application for a full parole review earlier than one year following the previous review, unless recommended by CSC for an earlier review. Unlike legislated full parole reviews requiring waivers, offenders may withdraw this type of full parole application if they choose to do so.

It should be noted that postponement cases in 2012/13 and 2013/14 include reviews where the postponement accepted/rejected decision was recorded as the final decision and cases where the postponement decision was entered as a decision status.

Figure 20. Federal and Provincial Reviews Delayed

Federal and Provincial Reviews Delayed
  • In 2013/14, the Board registered 4,191 waivers of federal reviews and eight waivers of provincial reviews, 3,130 postponements of federal reviews and 47 postponements of provincial reviews, as well as 886 withdrawals from federal reviews and 450 withdrawals from provincial reviews.

  • The number of reviews waived increased slightly (+1.5%), while the number of withdrawals decreased (-0.5%) in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13. Postponements decreased 19.0%.

  • Compared to the previous year, significant increases in waivers in 2013/14 were reported in the Atlantic (+7.8%), Quebec (+10.4%) and Pacific (+12.2%) regions, while a decrease was reported in the Ontario region (-8.7%). Postponements decreased in all regions except the Atlantic region (+4.9%).

Conditional Release Decisions

Conditional Release Decisions: Decision Trends

This section provides information on the following operational areas of the Board: 1) temporary absence; 2) day parole; 3) full parole; 4) statutory release; 5) detention; 6) long-term supervision; 7) appeals.

Temporary Absence

Temporary absences (TAs) are used for several purposes, such as: medical, compassionate and personal development for rehabilitation. Under the CCRA, the Parole Board of Canada has authority to authorize unescorted temporary absences (UTAs) to offenders serving a life sentence for murder, an indeterminate sentence, or a determinate sentence for an offence set out in schedule I or II. CSC has authority for all other UTAs and most escorted temporary absences (ETAs). The CCRA also allows the Board to delegate its UTA authority to the Commissioner of CSC or to institutional heads. This has been done for all scheduled offences, except where the schedule I offence resulted in serious harm to the victim, or was a sexual offence involving a child. As well, PBC approval is required for ETAs for offenders serving life sentences prior to their day parole eligibility dates except for ETAs for medical reasons or in order to attend judicial proceedings or a coroner's inquest.

This section contains information on the temporary absence decisions rendered by the Board.

Figure 21. Temporary Absence Decisions and Approval/Authorization Rates

Temporary Absence Decisions and Approval/Authorization Rates
  • The Board made decisions on 749 applications for temporary absences in 2013/14, an increase of 7% from the previous year. ETA decisions rendered by the Board decreased to 149 (-14%) in 2013/14, while UTA decisions increased to 600 (+14%).

  • The number of ETA decisions decreased in the Atlantic (-2), Quebec (-6), Prairie (-3) and Pacific (-19) regions in 2013/14, while the number increased in the Ontario region (+5) compared to 2012/13.

  • The number of UTA decisions in 2013/14 increased in the Atlantic (+7), Quebec (+33) and Prairie (+69) regions, while it decreased in the Ontario (-26) and Pacific (-8) regions in comparison with the previous year.

  • The national approval rate for ETAs in 2013/14 increased one percentage point to 77%, while the authorization rate for UTAs increased thirteen percentage points to 82%.

  • In 2013/14, the five-year average ETA approval rates for Aboriginal and Asian offenders were lower than the national average (81%), while the rates were higher for Black and White offenders, as well as offenders in the Other category.

  • In 2013/14, the five-year average UTA authorization rates for Aboriginal, Asian, Black offenders and offenders in the Other category were higher than the five-year national average (75%), while the rate was the same for White offenders.

  • In 2013/14, the five-year average ETA approval rate for women was 84% compared to the men’s rate of 81%, while the five-year average UTA authorization rate was 79% for women and 75% for men.

  • By sentence type, the five-year average approval/authorization rates for lifers were 81% for ETAs and 76% for UTAs. In 2013/14, the ETA approval rate increased (+1%) for these offenders, as did the UTA authorization rate (+13%).

  • The five-year average UTA authorization rate for offenders serving determinate sentences was 69%. In 2013/14, the rate increased to 79% (+20%) compared to 2012/13.

Day Parole

Day parole is a type of conditional release which allows offenders to participate in community-based activities in preparation for full parole or statutory release. The conditions require offenders to return to an institution or a half-way house, each night or at another specified interval authorized by the Board.

In this section, the number of day parole grants includes not only those for whom day parole has been directed or granted but those for whom day parole has been continued. A day parole is continued to allow the offender additional time to further prepare for full parole. It should be noted that the Board must conduct an assessment of risk before each day parole grant/directed decision as well as each day parole continued decision.

The day parole population changed significantly when Bill C-55, which came into force on July 3, 1997, reinstated automatic day parole review and day parole eligibility at the one-sixth of the sentence for offenders who, according to the law, were entitled to be considered for accelerated parole review (APR).

On March 28, 2011, Bill C-59 eliminated the APR process, which resulted in fewer day and full parole reviews in 2011/12, for offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences, who in the previous years would have been eligible for an APR review. The number of reviews for these types of offenders rebounded in the following years.

As a result of court challenges, the abolition of APR has had a smaller affect in the Pacific and Quebec regions. As a result of the 2012 and 2013 British Columbia Supreme Court decisions, the Pacific region has been processing active APR cases since 2012/13. In 2013/14, as a result of the 2014 Quebec Superior Court decision, the Quebec region started processing active APR cases that were still in the region.

Following the Canada (Attorney General) v. Whaling decision on March 20, 2014, the accelerated parole review process was reinstated across all regions for offenders who met APR eligibility criteria.

  • In 2013/14, the number of federal day parole release decisions decreased to 4,443 (-4%). The total includes 47 federal day parole APR decisions. The number of provincial day parole release decisions increased to 555 (+24%).

  • Federal day parole release decisions increased in 2013/14 in the Atlantic (+2%), Quebec (+1%) and Ontario (+0.3%) regions and decreased in the Prairie (-13%) and Pacific (-4%) regions.

  • The number of federal day parole release decisions following a hearing with an Aboriginal Cultural Advisor decreased (to 285; -6%) in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13.

  • In 2013/14, the average proportion of sentence served before the first federal day parole release for offenders serving determinate sentences remained relatively unchanged at 38%. Small variations, however, were reported for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences for whom the average proportion of sentence served before their first day parole release decreased two percentage points compared to the previous year, while the proportion increased one percentage point for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences.

  • Despite the abolition of the APR process, offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences served the lowest proportion of their sentences at their first day parole release in 2013/14 (34%), while schedule I sex offenders served the highest proportion (45%).

  • Over the last five years, Aboriginal offenders served 41% of their sentences before being released into the community on their first federal day parole release, the highest proportion, while Asian offenders were released on their first day parole having served 31% of their sentences, the lowest.

  • Over the last five years, male offenders served 36% of their sentences before being released into the community on their first federal day parole release, and female offenders served 33%.

Figure 22.Grant Rates for Federal and Provincial Day Parole

Grant Rates for Federal and Provincial Day Parole
  • In 2013/14, the grant rate for federal (regular) day parole increased two percentage points to 70%, following a 3% increase in the previous year.

  • The grant rate for provincial day parole increased in 2013/14 to 53% (+5%).

NOTE

Grant rates should be read with caution. Even though comparisons were made between federal regular day parole grant rates only, they nevertheless contain an APR residual effect: grant rates for regular day parole between 2011/12 and 2013/14 included decisions for non-violent offenders (APR affected population), while the grant rates for regular day parole for the previous years (2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11) did not. A sufficiently large proportion of these offenders were granted regular federal day parole following the abolition of the APR process, perhaps inflating the grant rate (see the graph to the right).

Figure 23. Federal Regular Day Parole Grant Rates (%)

Grant Rates for Federal and Provincial Day Parole
  • In 2013/14, the federal regular day parole grant rate increased 3% for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, following a 4% increase in 2012/13 and a 7% increase in 2011/12. The rate also increased a percentage point for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences, following a 3% increase in 2012/13 and a 6% increase in 2011/12.

  • In 2013/14, the federal regular day parole grant rates increased also for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences (+4%), for those serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences (+2%), and offenders serving sentences for murder (+3%) when compared to 2012/13.

  • The federal (regular) day parole grant rates increased in 2013/14 in the Quebec (+4%), Ontario (+3%), Prairie (+1%) and Pacific (+2%) regions and decreased in the Atlantic region (-2%).

  • In 2013/14, offenders with determinate sentences accounted for 82% of all federal day parole decisions with a grant rate of 71% (+3%). Lifers accounted for 17% of federal day parole decisions with a grant rate of 83% (+2%), while those with other indeterminate sentences accounted for 1% of federal day parole release decisions with a grant rate of 8% (+1%).

  • The grant rate for federal day parole following hearings with an Aboriginal Cultural Advisor increased by a half percentage point to 58% in 2013/14.

  • Over the last five-year period, Asian offenders were the most likely to be granted federal day parole (72%), and White offenders were the most likely to be granted provincial day parole (49%), while Black offenders were the least likely to be granted federal and provincial day parole (59%; 30%).

  • Female offenders were far more likely to be granted federal day parole (80%) than male offenders (66%) in the last five years.

Full Parole

Full parole is a type of conditional release which allows the offender to serve the remainder of the sentence under supervision in the community.

On March 28, 2011, Bill C-59 eliminated the APR process, which resulted in fewer day and full parole decisions in 2011/12, for offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences, who in the previous years would have been eligible for an APR review. The number of reviews for these offenders rebounded the following year, resulting in an increase in the number of full parole release decisions rendered by the Board in 2012/13.

As noted in the previous section, as a result of court challenges, the Pacific and Quebec regions have been processing APR cases for those offenders who met APR eligibility criteria. The Pacific region has been processing these cases since 2012/13 and the Quebec region, since 2013/14. Following the Canada (Attorney General) v. Whaling decision on March 20, 2014, accelerated parole review was reinstated across other regions for offenders who were sentenced prior to March 28, 2011.

  • In 2013/14, the number of federal full parole release decisions decreased to 3,434 (-2%). The total includes 142 federal full parole APR decisions. The number of provincial full parole release decisions increased to 367 (+6%).

  • Federal full parole release decisions increased in 2013/14 in the Quebec (+5%), Ontario (+1%) and Pacific (+13%) regions and decreased in the Atlantic (-2%) and Prairie (-16%) regions.

  • The number of federal full parole release decisions following a hearing with an Aboriginal Cultural Advisor decreased to 186 (-11%) in 2013/14 compared to 2012/13.

  • The average proportion of the sentence served prior to first federal full parole release for offenders serving determinate sentences decreased to 46% (-1%) in 2013/14. The decrease was driven primarily by offenders serving sentences for schedule I offences. The proportion of sentence served prior to first full parole release continued increasing for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offenders (+1% in 2013/14, following a 6% increase in 2012/13 and a 4% increase in 2011/12). The proportion stabilized for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences (at 47%).

  • Over the five-year period (from 2009/10 to 2013/14), Aboriginal offenders served 45% of their sentence prior to their first federal release on full parole, the highest proportion, while offenders in the Other category served 39%, the lowest.

  • Over the same time period, the average proportion of sentence served before the first federal full parole release was 42% for men and 40% for women.

Figure 24. Grant Rates for Federal and Provincial Full Parole

Grant Rates for Federal and Provincial Full Parole
  • In 2013/14, the grant rate for federal (regular) full parole increased one percentage point to 30%, following a 6% increase the previous year.

  • The grant rate for provincial full parole remained the same in 2013/14 at 30%.

NOTE

Grant rates should be read with caution. Even though comparisons were made between federal regular full parole grant rates only, they nevertheless contain an APR residual effect: grant rates for regular full parole between 2011/12 and 2013/14 included decisions for non-violent offenders (APR‑affected population), while the grant rates for regular full parole for the previous years (2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11) did not. A sufficiently large proportion of these offenders were granted regular federal full parole following the abolition of the APR process, perhaps inflating the grant rate (see the graph to the right).

25. Federal Regular Full Parole Grant Rates (%)

Federal Regular Full Parole Grant Rates (%)
  • In 2011/12, following the abolition of the APR process, grant rates for federal regular full parole increased to 33% for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences and to 20% for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences from the previous year. In 2012/13, the grant rates for these offenders increased again: to 39% and 27% respectively. In 2013/14, the rate continued increasing but at a slower pace, to 41% for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences and to 29% for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences.

  • The federal full parole grant rates also increased in 2013/14 for offenders serving sentences for murder to 33%, and decreased for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences to 15%. The federal full parole grant rate remained unchanged for offenders serving sentences for schedule I non-sex offences at 24% when compared to 2012/13.

  • Over the five-year period between 2009/10 to 2013/14, Asian offenders had the highest grant rate for federal and provincial full parole (32%; 38%), while Aboriginal offenders had the lowest grant rate for federal full parole (16%), and Black offenders had the lowest grant rate for provincial full parole (21%).

  • Female offenders had significantly higher grant rates for federal and provincial full parole in the last five years (36%; 43%) compared to male offenders (23%; 31%).

  • By sentence type, in 2013/14, offenders with determinate sentences accounted for 92% of all full parole release decisions with a grant rate of 35%. Offenders with life sentences accounted for 8% of full parole release decisions with a grant rate of 33%. In the last five years, there were only seven full paroles granted for offenders with other indeterminate sentences, with an average grant rate of 1%.

  • The number of pre-release residency conditions imposed on federal full parole grant decisions in 2013/14 remained unchanged at 25 compared to 2012/13. The number of post-release residency conditions imposed on federal full parole grant decisions in 2013/14 decreased to 29 from 45 in 2012/13.

Statutory Release

All federal offenders serving determinate sentences are entitled to statutory release after serving two-thirds of their sentences, unless it is determined that they are likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person, a sexual offence involving a child or a serious drug offence before the expiration of their sentence. Offenders with indeterminate sentences are not entitled to statutory release.

Figure 26. Incarcerated Population Serving Determinate Sentences Compared to the Number of Releases on Statutory Release

Incarcerated Population Serving Determinate Sentences Compared to the Number of Releases on Statutory Release
  • In 2013/14, annual releases from institutions on statutory release increased 1.5% (to 5,635 from 5,552 in 2012/13), while the federal incarcerated offender population serving determinate sentences (on April 1, 2013) increased 2.2% (to 11,308 from 11,061 on April 1, 2012). The proportion of the incarcerated population serving determinate sentences released on statutory release, however, remained relatively unchanged at 50%.

  • By offence type, the proportion of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences released on statutory release increased to 37% (+5%), while remaining the lowest proportion. The proportion of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences released on statutory release decreased to 51% (-3%).

  • The proportions of offenders released on statutory release increased for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences to 47% in the first post-APR year 2011/12, and then decreased to 45% the following year 2012/13, and remained the same in 2013/14. The proportion of offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences released on statutory release decreased to 60% in the first post-APR year, 2011/12, and then decreased to 59% the following year 2012/13. In 2013/14, the proportion increased again to 62%.

  • In 2013/14, the Prairie region had the largest proportion of federal inmates serving determinate sentences released on statutory release (60%) and the Quebec region the lowest (42%) when compared with the other regions.

  • In 2013/14, Aboriginal inmates serving determinate sentences had the highest proportion of releases on statutory release than any other group (62%), and Asian inmates had the lowest proportion (29%).

  • In 2013/14, the proportion of male inmates serving determinate sentences released on statutory release remained at 50% compared to the previous year, while the proportion of female inmates serving determinate sentences released on statutory release increased to 52%.

  • The number of residency conditions imposed and prolonged by the Board on statutory release in 2013/14 decreased 11% (to 2,063), following an 11% increase the year before. The numbers decreased in the Quebec (to 445; -11%), Ontario (to 670; -22%), Prairie (to 437; -2%) and Pacific (to 310; -4%) regions, and increased in the Atlantic region (to 201; +13%).

Detention

Before an offender’s statutory release date, CSC can refer the case to the Board for a detention review if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the offender is likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person, a sexual offence involving a child or a serious drug offence before the expiration of the offender’s sentence. If the Board determines that the offender is likely to reoffend, then a detention order is issued, and the offender is detained.

  • In comparison with the previous year, as of April 13, 2014, 320 (-25) offenders were detained, and 56 (-18) had a detention order but had not yet reached their statutory release dates.

  • Referrals for detention decreased to 208 (-12%) in 2013/14. Four regions reported decreases: the Quebec (-11%), Ontario (-19%), Prairie (-11%) and Pacific (-8%) regions. In the Atlantic region the number remained the same.

  • The detention referral rate (ratio of detention referrals against the total offender population entitled to statutory release in a given year) decreased to 3.5% in 2013/14 compared to 4.0% in 2012/13. A modest decrease in the number of detention referrals in 2013/14 accounted for the decrease in the rate.

  • The number of offenders detained as a result of a detention review in 2013/14 decreased to 200 (-32) compared to 2012/13, while the proportion detained decreased to 96%. The proportion of offenders released on statutory release following a detention review remained at 1%, while the proportion of offenders released on one chance statutory release increased slightly to 2%.

  • Over the last five years (2009/10 to 2013/14), schedule I offenders represented the majority of offenders referred for detention and detained compared with other groups. Following a detention review in 2013/14, 96% of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences and 97% of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences were detained. One offender serving a sentence for schedule II offences was referred for detention and was detained in 2013/14; 14 offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences were referred for detention in 2013/14, 13 were detained and one was released on a one chance statutory release.

  • In comparison with the previous year, in 2013/14, the number of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences who were detained decreased to 66, one offender was released on statutory release and two offenders were released on a one chance statutory release.

  • The number of offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences who were detained in 2013/14 decreased to 119 compared to 2012/13. Two offenders serving sentences for schedule I non-sex offences were released on statutory release, and two offenders were released on a one chance statutory release.

  • The number of Aboriginal offenders detained in 2013/14 decreased (to 84), as did the number of Black (to 19) and White (to 92) offenders and offenders in the Other category (to 3). Two Asian offenders were referred for detention and were detained in 2013/14, the same number as in 2012/13.

  • Over the last five years, 28 women, 19 of whom were Aboriginal, have been referred for detention and all were detained.

  • Among male offenders referred for detention in 2013/14, 96% were detained, 2% were released on statutory release, and 3% were released on a one chance statutory release.

  • In 2013/14, the initial detention rates decreased in the Quebec (to 94%), Prairie (to 99%) and Pacific (to 87%) regions, and remained relatively unchanged in the Atlantic (at 94%) and Ontario (at 100%) regions.

  • Between 2009/10 to 2013/14, the PBC has averaged 330 annual and subsequent detention reviews per year, confirming its decisions in 93% of cases.

Long-Term Supervision

The court, upon application by the prosecution, may impose a long-term supervision order (LTSO), not exceeding ten years, if it is satisfied that it would be appropriate to impose a sentence of two years or more for the offence of which the offender had been convicted, there is substantial risk that the offender will reoffend, and there is a reasonable possibility of eventual control of the risk in the community.

The Board may establish conditions for the long-term supervision of an offender that are considered reasonable and necessary in order to protect society and to facilitate the successful reintegration of the offender into society. A long-term supervision order, unlike other forms of conditional release, cannot be revoked by the Board. However, the Board can recommend that charges be laid under the Criminal Code if the offender has demonstrated by his/her behaviour that he/she presents a substantial risk to the community because of a failure to comply with one or more conditions.

  • Since 2000/01, when the first offender was released on a long-term supervision order, the long-term supervision population has reached 388 (as of April 13, 2014) and is expected to increase. In 2013/14, 38 offenders were released from institutions with long-term supervision orders upon reaching warrant expiry, and 25 offenders were subject to a long-term supervision order after reaching warrant expiry on a supervision period.

Figure 27. Long-Term Supervision Population

Long-Term Supervision Population
  • The LTSO population increased significantly in the Quebec (to 135; +10%) and Ontario (to 115; +10%) regions in 2013/14 compared to the previous year. As of April 13, 2014, 35% of offenders on long-term supervision orders were in the Quebec region, the highest proportion, followed by the Ontario (30%), Pacific (16%), Prairie (14%) and Atlantic (5%) regions.

  • Within the long-term supervision population, the proportions of Aboriginal offenders and offenders in the Other category increased slightly in 2013/14, while the proportions decreased for White offenders, and remained the same for Asian and Black offenders.

  • In 2013/14, 72% of all offenders on long-term supervision orders were offenders who had been sentenced for schedule I-sex offences and 26% were offenders sentenced for schedule I-non-sex offences. Two percent of offenders on long term supervision orders in 2013/14 were offenders who had been sentenced for non-scheduled offences.

  • In 2013/14, PBC rendered 653 (+5%) decisions for offenders on long-term supervision orders. The number of decisions increased in both the pre-release (+14%) and post-release categories (+3%).

  • The number of pre-release residency conditions imposed on offenders on long-term supervision orders decreased to 56 (-1) in 2013/14, while the number of post-release residency conditions which were imposed increased to 319 (+3) compared to the previous year.

Appeals

Within the Board, the Appeal Division is responsible for re-examining, upon application by an offender, certain decisions made by the Board.

The Appeal Division's role is to ensure that the law and the Board's policies are respected, that the rules of fundamental justice are adhered to, and that Board decisions are reasonable and based upon relevant and reliable information. It reviews the decision-making process to confirm that it was fair and that procedural safeguards were respected.

Appeal Applications
  • The Appeal Division received a total of 669 applications to appeal conditional release decisions in 2013/14. Five hundred and thirty-seven (537) applications, or 80%, were accepted for review.
  • In comparison with 2012/13, the number of federal appeal applications received increased by 55 applications (from 581 to 636) in 2013/14. Increases were reported in the Atlantic (+10), Quebec (+21), Ontario (+6) and Prairie (+10) regions and a decrease was reported in the Pacific region ( 2).
  • The number of provincial appeal applications received in 2013/14 decreased in the Atlantic (-1) and Pacific (-2) regions and remained unchanged in the Prairie region.
  • The Appeal Division modified the decision in 67 appeal cases which resulted in a new hearing ordered in 25 cases, and a new review ordered in 42 cases. The grounds for modifying the decisions in the 67 cases fell into the following categories:
Appeal Decisions
  • In 2013/14, the Appeal Division rendered 508 decisions on 402 cases.
  • The Appeal Division modified the decision in 63 appeal cases which resulted in a new hearing ordered in 37 cases, a new review ordered in 23 cases, the decision cancelled in two cases, and a special condition modified in one case. The grounds for modifying the decisions in the 63 cases fell into the following categories:

Risk Assessment

  • In 1 case, the Board’s decision did not reflect an adequate risk assessment with respect to institutional behaviour and offender’s insight.
  • In 1 case, the Board used the fact that an offender was considering an international transfer of parole as a determining factor in risk assessment, rather than it being a "helpful suggestion" after a decision had been rendered.

Breach of Policy

  • In 1 case, the Board did not provide an offender with 30 days to submit written representations regarding a condition that was not recommended.
  • In 1 case, the Board imposed conditions that were not recommended, and the same Board member reviewed the written representations, submitted within 30 days, and confirmed his own decision.

Duty to Provide Sufficient Written Reasons

  • In 1 case, the Board’s analysis was insufficient and did not reflect a fair and adequate risk assessment.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to provide adequate written reasons for the imposition of special conditions.
  • In 1 case, the Board’s reasons were insufficient to explain and justify how the request for out of-country travel would result in undue risk.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to provide an adequate risk assessment of the offender’s release plan and of the Assessment for Decision, and did not explain how it arrived at its conclusion.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not justify why an offender had to report friendships; and the wording of the special condition was too broad and exceeded the intent of the condition.
  • In 1 case, the special condition was imposed based on unsubstantiated information, while the written reasons did not link it to the risk of reoffending within the geographic area.

Erroneous and Incomplete Information

  • In 1 case, the Board based its decision on erroneous information related to the offender’s release plan.
  • In 1 case, the Board’s reasoning was not supported with the information on file or what was provided at the hearing.
  • In 1 case, the Board based its decision on erroneous information and therefore conducted an inadequate risk assessment.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not consider all of the available information related to the offender’s release plan and failed to provide sufficient written reasons to support its decision.
  • In 1 case, the Board based its decision on erroneous and incomplete information regarding the offender’s financial situation.
  • In 3 cases, the Board based its decisions on erroneous information.
  • In 1 case, the Board presumed the offender guilty of charges that were stayed and erred by concluding that the offender’s refusal to discuss the charges meant that they could not conduct an accurate risk assessment.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not fully consider the conclusions reached in the psychological risk assessment and erroneously stated that this risk assessment was based on the presumption of innocence rather than of guilt.
  • In 1 case, the Board’s wording of the special condition was broad and based on incomplete information.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to consider documentation provided by an offender related to his trauma which could have contributed to his risk factors.

Information Issues

  • In 1 case, the Board failed to ensure that the information related to offender’s suspension was reliable.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to consider all relevant, reliable and persuasive information and erroneously concluded that a urinalysis confirmed that the offender had returned to drug use.

Right to be Heard

  • In 4 cases, offenders indicated that they wished to provide written representations within 15 days, and the Board rendered its decisions prior to the end of the 15 days.
  • In 1 case, the lawyer’s written representations were not considered by the Board. They were not found on file; however the lawyer provided a fax sent report which confirmed it had been sent to the Board.
  • In 1 case, the Board rendered its decision prior to having received offender’s written representations. The lawyer had sent an email indicating that written representations would be submitted.
  • In 8 cases, the Board did not consider the offenders’ written representations when it rendered its decisions.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not fully consider the offender’s written submissions, and the wording of the special condition was confusing and ambiguous.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not respect the offender’s right to submit written representations and did not respect the 15 day timeframe for sharing of documentation before rendering its decision.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not let an offender explain himself at the hearing, did not ensure that his version of the information was reliable and persuasive, and therefore failed to exercise its jurisdiction.
  • In 1 case, the Information Sharing Checklist Update indicated that the offender would have a panel hearing, while the offender had not been advised that a hearing would not be held for his case review.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to provide an analysis of the offender’s written representations, and did not consider the most recent Assessment for Decision.
  • In 1 case, the Board rendered its decision in the absence of relevant information from the offender and did not adjourn a review in order to obtain this information from him.
  • In 1 case, the offender’s Procedural Safeguard Declaration indicated that he would have a panel hearing, and he was not advised to the contrary, therefore it was not unreasonable for him to expect a hearing.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to consider an alternative location for day parole, and refused to allow an offender to present his release plan for this request.
  • In 1 case, the Board did not consider or weigh the written representations submitted, and advised the offender of this at the hearing.

Apprehension of Bias

  • In 1 case, the Board made comments that gave the impression that its decision had been made from the start of the hearing, and that the offender had no credibility before allowing him an opportunity to speak.

Duty to Act Fairly

  • In 1 case, the Board did not respect the offender’s right to an interpreter.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to consider relevant information in accordance with the Gladue principles.
  • In 1 case, the Board adjourned a hearing to get more information and failed to hold a subsequent hearing, as the information received was prejudicial and the offender did not have the opportunity to address the new issues.
  • In 1 case, the audio recording of the hearing was not turned off and the Board members were heard discussing the case further and heard additional information not on file from the Hearing Officer.

Sharing of Information

  • In 1 case, the Addendum to Assessment for Decision was a determining factor in rendering a decision, and was not shared with the offender until two months after the decision had been rendered.
  • In 1 case, some relevant documents were not shared with the offender and no Procedural Safeguard Declaration was signed, therefore there was no legal ground to believe that the offender waived his right to the 15 day timeframe and whether he wanted to submit written representations.
  • In 1 case, the Assessment for Decision and Correctional Plan were shared with the offender one day after the review was held.
  • In 3 cases, offenders did not waive their rights to the 15 day sharing of information timeframe. They indicated they wished to provide written representations within 15 days; however the Board rendered its decisions prior to the end of the 15 day timeframe.
  • In 1 case, the Assessment for Decision was not shared with the offender until 5 days after the review was held.
  • In 1 case, the Board based its decision on a gist of information which was withheld from the offender and was insufficient to allow the offender to defend his case.

Error of Law

  • In 2 cases, the Board used the wrong legal criteria to deny parole, stating that offenders’ progress had to be proportionate to the severity of their offences.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to consider the duration of a residency condition and provided no reasons to justify the imposition of the residency condition until Warrant Expiry Date.
  • In 1 case, the Board failed to apply the correct legal test further to a recommendation to remove a residency condition, but rather decided that it was premature to withdraw CRF support.
  • In 1 case, the Board made an error of law by not considering all available information.
  • In 1 case, the Board made an inadequate risk assessment according to the law, and erred in its interpretation of information related to the offender’s release plan.

Jurisdiction

  • In 1 case, two Board members held a hearing and deliberated, however only one Board member rendered and signed a decision.
Appeal Decision Trends

Figure 28. Federal Appeal Decisions in 2013/14

Federal Appeal Decisions in 2013/14
  • In 2013/14, the Board rendered fewer day parole (-53), full parole (-33), statutory release (-9) and detention (-7) appeal decisions, and more ETA (+3) and UTA (+3) appeal decisions in comparison with the previous year.

  • Proportionately, more ETA, UTA and statutory release appeal decisions were rendered by the Board in 2013/14.

  • In 2013/14, federal day parole appeal decisions accounted for 35% of all federal appeal decisions. This was a decrease of 3% compared to 2012/13. Federal full parole decisions accounted for 27% of all appeal decisions made in 2013/14. This was a decrease of 1% from the previous year.

  • In 2013/14, provincial day parole appeal decisions accounted for 70% of all provincial appeal decisions, while provincial full parole appeal decisions accounted for 30%.

  • Compared to the previous year, the proportion of federal appeal decisions increased in 2013/14 for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences (to 38%; +1%) and for those serving sentences for non-scheduled offences (to 19%; +3%), while the proportion decreased for offenders serving sentences for murder (to 14%; -0.4%), for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences (to 12%; -3%) and for those serving sentences for schedule II offences (to 16%; 1%).

  • Of the 481 federal appeal decisions rendered in 2013/14, 85% of the initial decisions were affirmed and in 15% of cases, a new review was ordered. By comparison, in 2012/13, 88% of federal initial decisions were affirmed and a new review was ordered in 11% of cases; while in one case a decision was altered, and in two cases a change of condition was ordered.

  • Of the 27 provincial appeal decisions rendered in 2013/14, 24 initial decisions were affirmed (89%), and a new review was ordered in three cases (11%).

  • In 2013/14, 71% of all federal decisions rendered by the Board were appealable. By comparison, 76% of federal decisions in 2012/13 were appealable. The number of appealable decisions in 2013/14 decreased 5% (to 19,008).

  • In 2013/14, the federal appeal rate decreased to 2.5% from the previous year’s rate of 2.9%. Detention and ETA decisions were the most likely to be appealed, while statutory release decisions remained the least likely to be appealed.

  • Among provincial appeals, day parole decisions were more likely to be appealed than full parole release decisions.

Conditional Release Decisions: Performance

According to the Corrections and Conditional Release Acts.102, the Parole Board of Canada may grant parole based on two key considerations: 1) the offender will not, by reoffending, present an undue risk to society before the expiration according to law of the sentence the offender is serving; and 2) the release of the offender will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating the reintegration of the offender into society as a law-abiding citizen[8]. In the determination of all cases, the protection of society is the paramount consideration for the Board (CCRA, s.100.1).

The Board's performance indicators measure whether offenders, who have been granted parole, successfully complete their supervision periods in the community and do not reoffend, violently or non-violently, before and after warrant expiry. When compared with offenders who were released on statutory release, parole is considered the most effective form of conditional release. This section provides information on the performance of offenders on conditional release based on the following indicators: 1) time under supervision, 2) rates of conviction, 3) outcome rates, and 4) post-warrant expiry readmissions.

Time Under Supervision

The study of the average length of supervision periods provides a useful context to the discussion of performance indicators, particularly in relation to outcomes. This section offers a more in-depth look at the length of supervision periods.

29. Average Lengths of Federal Supervision Periods for Offenders with Determinate Sentences (from 2009/10 to 2013/14)

Average Lengths of Federal Supervision Periods for Offenders with Determinate Sentences (from 2009/10 to 2013/14)
  • The five-year average length of the federal full parole supervision periods was 23.6 months. The five-year average length of the federal day parole supervision periods was 4.6 months, while the five-year average length of the statutory release supervision periods was 6.9 months.

  • Aboriginal offenders, over the five-year period between 2009/10 to 2013/14, had the shortest supervision periods on day parole, full parole and statutory release, while Asian offenders had the longest supervision periods for all three types of release.

  • Female offenders required less time to successfully complete their supervision periods on day parole, full parole and statutory release than male offenders. Their supervision periods on day parole, full parole and statutory release were also revoked significantly earlier than male offenders.

  • Fifty-three percent of statutory release supervision periods revoked with a violent offence in the last five years (2009/10 to 2013/14) were revoked in the first six months compared to 17% of full parole supervision periods revoked with a violent offence in the same time frame.

Convictions

Rates of conviction are another useful indicator when assessing the performance of offenders on conditional release.

In reviewing the rates of conviction information, it should be noted that the number of convictions will often fluctuate higher during the 12 to 18 months after a fiscal year ends because outstanding charges often take that long to be resolved by the courts. The Parole Board of Canada adjusts its rates of convictions accordingly.

Figure 30. Convictions for Violent Offences by Supervision Type

Convictions for Violent Offences by Supervision Type
Note: The year 2013/14 is shown but not used in calculations, because the number of convictions will often fluctuate higher during the 12 to 18 months after a fiscal year ends because outstanding charges often take that long to be resolved by the courts.
  • Over the ten-year period, between 2003/04 and 2012/13, convictions for violent offences by offenders on conditional release decreased 46%. Offenders on statutory release accounted for 82% of all convictions for violent offences during that period, followed by offenders on full parole (10%) and offenders on day parole (8%).

A look at the rates of conviction for violent offences per 1,000 supervised offenders provides a more comprehensive picture of offenders’ performance on conditional release.

Figure 31. Rates of Convictions for Violent Offences per 1,000 Supervised Offenders

Rates of Convictions for Violent Offences per 1,000 Supervised Offenders
Note: The year 2013/14 is shown but not used in calculations, because the number of convictions will often fluctuate higher during the 12 to 18 months after a fiscal year ends because outstanding charges often take that long to be resolved by the courts.
  • Over the ten-year period from 2003/04 to 2012/13, offenders on statutory release were almost ten times more likely to commit a violent offence during their supervision periods than offenders on full parole, and almost four times more likely to commit a violent offence than offenders on day parole.

  • Over the past five years (from 2008/09 to 2012/13), offenders serving sentences for schedule I non-sex offences were the most likely to be convicted of a violent offence while on conditional release, whereas offenders serving sentences for murder were the least likely.

  • Over the same five-year period, Aboriginal offenders were the most likely to be convicted of a violent offence while on conditional release, and Asian offenders were the least likely.

  • The number of convictions for violent offences by offenders on conditional release in 2012/13 was 48% lower than the ten-year average (between 2003/04 and 2012/13). In fact, the total number of convictions in each of the last five years was below the ten-year average.

  • In the last five years (2008/09 to 2012/13), convictions for violent offences on conditional release decreased in all regions: Atlantic (-46%), Quebec (-9%), Ontario (-45%), Prairie (-14%) and Pacific (-38%).

Outcome

Outcome rates provide information on the performance of offenders on conditional release from the start of the supervision period until the end of the supervision period. Supervision periods end in one of three ways:

  • Successful completion[9]–supervision periods that are completed without a breach of condition or a new offence;

  • Revocation for breach of condition–a positive intervention, which reduces the risk of reoffending;

  • Revocation with offence–a negative end to the supervision period, which results in a new conviction[10].

Factors influencing outcomes are diverse and complex. However, there are strong and persistent indicators that offenders released on parole as a result of a rigorous risk-assessment are more likely to successfully complete their supervision periods than offenders released on statutory release.

In reviewing the outcome rate information, it should be noted that the number of revocations with offence will often fluctuate higher during the 12 to 18 months after a fiscal year ends because outstanding charges often take that long to be resolved by the courts. The Parole Board of Canada adjusts its revocation with offence rates when offenders are convicted for new offences that occurred during their supervision period.

Figure 32. Successful Completion Rates for Federal Conditional Release

Successful Completion Rates for Federal Conditional Release
*Includes determinate sentences only.
  • In 2013/14, successful completion rates improved for offenders on day parole (+4%), full parole (+10%) and statutory release (+1%) when compared to five years ago (2009/10).

  • When compared with the successful completion rates of full parole supervision periods, the successful completion rates of statutory release supervision periods were not only significantly lower, but the statutory release supervision periods were shorter. Over the last five years, 52% of all successfully completed statutory releases were less than six months compared with just over 1% of successfully completed full parole supervision periods. The majority of successfully completed supervision periods on full parole (91%) were for periods of more than one year.

  • Over the last five years, the successful completion rate on APR full parole was two percentage points lower than the rate on regular full parole. When compared with statutory release, the successful completion rate on statutory release was 20% lower than the rate on regular full parole and 18% lower than the rate on APR full parole.

  • During the five-year period (2009/10 to 2013/14), the difference between successful completion rates of regular day parole and APR day parole was on average less than a percentage point.

Figure 33. Revocation for Breach of Condition Rates for Federal Conditional Release

Revocation for Breach of Condition Rates for Federal Conditional Release
*Includes determinate sentences only.
  • Over the last five years, revocation for breach of condition rates on federal day and full parole have been generally decreasing, with the exception of a one percent increase on full parole in 2013/14. The revocation for breach of condition rate on statutory release increased in 2011/12 and 2012/13, and then declined in 2013/14.

  • Offenders released on statutory release were far more likely to have had their releases revoked because of a breach of condition than offenders on day parole or full parole during each of the last five years.

Figure 34. Total Revocation with Offence Rates for Federal Conditional Release

Total Revocation with Offence Rates for Federal Conditional Release
*Includes determinate sentences only.
  • Total revocation with offence rates decreased for all federal conditional release supervision populations. Over the last five years, the rates for statutory release were on average five times higher than the rates for day parole and almost twice the rates for full parole.

Figure 35. Revocation with Violent Offence Rates for Federal Conditional Release

Revocation with Violent Offence Rates for Federal Conditional Release
*Includes determinate sentences only.
  • Over the last five years, the revocation with violent offence rates were, on average, six times higher for offenders on statutory release than for offenders on day parole, and three times higher than for offenders on full parole. The rates of revocation with violent offence for federal day and full parole and statutory release have been generally declining in the last five years.

  • When comparing the rates, it should be noted that the revocation with violent offence rates on statutory release were not just higher than those for full parole supervision periods, they also occurred earlier. Thirteen percent of statutory release supervision periods revoked with a violent offence between 2009/10 and 2013/14 were revoked in the first three months, while no full parole supervision period was revoked with a violent offence in the first three months during the same time period.

  • Of the federal day parole supervision periods that had been revoked with a violent offence in the last five years, 8% were revoked in the first three months. The average length of day parole supervision periods in the last five years was slightly under five months.

Outcomes on provincial day and full parole supervision periods demonstrated a similar picture as the outcomes of federal day and full parole.

Figure 36. Successful Completion Rates for Provincial Parole

Successful Completion Rates for Provincial Parole
  • Over the last five years, the successful completion rates for offenders on provincial day parole have been improving with the exception of 2012/13, when the rate decreased 4%. The successful completion rate on provincial full parole increased 8% in 2013/14 in comparison with the previous year.

Figure 37. Revocation for Breach of Conditions Rates for Provincial Parole

Revocation for Breach of Conditions Rates for Provincial Parole
  • In three of the last five years, provincial day parolees were more likely to have their paroles revoked due to a breach of condition than provincial full parolees.

Figure 38. Total Revocation with Offence Rates for Provincial Parole

Total Revocation with Offence Rates for Provincial Parole
  • The total revocation with offence rates for provincial parole decreased in 2013/14: the total revocation with offence rate decreased 1.5% on provincial day parole and the rate decreased to 0% on provincial full parole.

Figure 39. Revocation with Violent Offence Rates for Provincial Parole

Revocation with Violent Offence Rates for Provincial Parole
  • Very few provincial offenders have had their paroles revoked because of violent reoffending during the last five years. Five offenders on provincial day parole and three offenders on provincial full parole, all males, were convicted of a violent offence in the last five years.
Outcome on Day Parole

Federal Day Parole

  • In the last five years, the successful completion rates of federal day paroles have improved, reaching 90% in 2013/14.

  • During the five-year period between 2009/10 and 2013/14, the successful completion rate for offenders released on APR day parole was slightly higher (88.7%) than for offenders released on regular day parole (87.9%).

  • In comparison with the previous year, successful completion rates on federal day parole improved slightly in 2013/14 for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, schedule II offences and non-scheduled offences, and decreased slightly for those serving sentences for murder and schedule I-non-sex offences.

  • Between 2009/10 and 2013/14, successful completion rates on federal day parole were the highest for Asian offenders (averaging 95%) and the lowest for Aboriginal offenders (averaging 84%). In 2013/14, successful completion rates decreased for Aboriginal and Black offenders and increased for Asian and White offenders and offenders in the Other category.

  • In 2013/14, successful completion rates on federal day parole improved to 90% for male offenders and to 91% for female offenders in comparison with the previous year.

  • In 2013/14, successful completion rates on federal day parole improved in the Atlantic (to 87%), Prairie (to 86%) and Pacific (to 92%) regions, decreased in the Quebec region (to 91%), and remained unchanged in the Ontario region (at 92%). The Quebec region has had the highest successful completion rate on federal day parole over the past five years (92%) and the Atlantic region, the lowest (84%).

  • In 2013/14, the revocation with violent offence rate on federal day parole remained the same as in the previous year at 0.2%. The rate increased slightly for offenders serving sentences for murder, and decreased for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, schedule I-non-sex and scheduled II offences. The rate remained unchanged for offenders serving sentences for non scheduled offences.

  • In the last five years, the rate of violent reoffending on day parole was below the national average (of 0.3%) in the Prairie region and above the national average in the Pacific region. The rates in the Atlantic, Quebec and Ontario regions were the same as the national average.

  • In the last five years, the revocation with violent offence rate, on average, was the highest for Black offenders (0.4%) and the lowest for Asian offenders (0.1%).

  • Offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences had the highest rate of violent reoffending in the last five years (0.6%), while offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences had the lowest (0.05%); two offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences had their federal day paroles revoked because of a violent offence.

Provincial Day Parole

  • In 2013/14, the successful completion rate on provincial day parole increased slightly to 85%. The rates decreased in the Atlantic (to 74%) and Prairie (to 93%) regions and increased in the Pacific region (to 87%).

  • One provincial offender in the Atlantic region was convicted of a violent offence on day parole in 2013/14.

  • In the last five years, the rates of violent reoffending on provincial day parole were very low. Between 2009/10 and 2013/14, three offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences and two offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences, all males, had their provincial day paroles revoked because of a violent offence.
Outcome on Full Parole

Outcome on full parole is measured separately for offenders serving determinate sentences and for offenders serving indeterminate sentences. Indeterminate sentences are considered ‘successful completions’ for statistical purposes when the offender dies. For this reason, these cases are shown separately from those of offenders serving determinate sentences.

Federal Full Parole: Determinate Sentences

  • The successful completion rate on federal full parole has been improving over the last five years, reaching 85% in 2012/13 and remaining at that level in 2013/14.

  • In the last five years, the successful completion rate on APR full parole was on average two percentage points lower than the rate on regular full parole (79%; 81%).

  • In the last five years, the successful completion rates on federal full parole were the highest for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences (averaging 93%) and the lowest for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences (74%). In 2013/14, the rate improved for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex (to 79%) and non-scheduled (to 86%) offences, while the rates decreased for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex (to 91%) and schedule II offences (to 86%) compared to 2012/13.

  • In 2013/14, the successful completion rates on federal full parole increased for Aboriginal (to 74%), Asian (to 93%) and White (to 86%) offenders and decreased for Black offenders (to 82%) and offenders in the Other category (to 87%).

  • In 2013/14, the successful completion rates on federal full parole decreased slightly for male offenders (to 84%) and increased for female offenders (to 92%).

  • Compared to 2012/13, the successful completion rates on federal full parole improved in 2013/14 in the Quebec region (to 88%) and decreased in the Atlantic (to 80%), Prairie (to 80%) and Pacific (to 88%) regions. The rate remained relatively unchanged in the Ontario region (at 89%).

  • In the last five years, the rates of violent reoffending on federal full parole were above the national average (of 0.7%) in the Quebec and Pacific regions, while the rates in the Atlantic, Ontario and Prairie regions were below the national average.

  • In the last five years, the rates of violent reoffending on federal full parole were the highest for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences (2.1%) and the lowest for offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences (0.2%). Compared to five years ago (2009/10), the rate remained the same for sex offenders and offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences, while it decreased for other offenders.

  • When looking at the five-year period (2009/10-2013/14), the rates of violent reoffending on full parole for Aboriginal and White offenders were above the national average. Aboriginal offenders reported the highest revocation with violent offence rate (1.2%) in the last five years, and offenders in the Other category, the lowest (0%).

  • In 2013/14, the rate of violent reoffending by male offenders on federal full parole decreased slightly (to 0.3%). No female offenders had their federal full parole supervision period revoked for violent reoffending in 2013/14.

Federal Full Parole: Indeterminate Sentences

  • Between 1994/95 and 2013/14, 2,521offenders serving indeterminate sentences had completed 2,918 federal full parole supervision periods. As of April 13, 2014, 55% of the supervision periods were still active (supervised), 19% had ended because the offender had died while on parole, 15% were revoked for a breach of condition, 7% were revoked as the result of a non-violent offence, and 4% were revoked as the result of a violent offence.

  • The average length of federal full parole supervision periods for offenders serving indeterminate sentences was 12.3 years.

Figure 40. Revocation Rates for Federal Offenders Serving Indeterminate Sentences on Full Parole (between 1994/95 and 2013/14)

Revocation Rates for Federal Offenders Serving Indeterminate Sentences on Full Parole (between 1994/95 and 2012/13)
  • Over the last 20 years, the majority of revocations for breach of condition and revocations with offence for offenders serving indeterminate sentences on full parole occurred within the first five years of the federal full parole supervision periods, and the number of revocations gradually decreases afterward. Thus, the likelihood of having a supervision period revoked drops significantly the longer the offender stays on full parole.

  • Over the last 20 years, offenders serving indeterminate sentences on full parole were 1.7 times more likely to have died than to have had their supervision periods revoked for having committed a new offence.

  • Over the last 20 years, offenders serving indeterminate sentences on full parole were 4.4 times more likely to have died than to have had their supervision periods revoked because of a violent offence. The ratio almost doubles for those offenders who were on full parole over five years (7.9).

Figure 41. Comparison of Revocation Rates for Offenders on Federal Full Parole between 1994/95 and 2013/14

Comparison of Revocation Rates for Offenders on Federal Full Parole between 1994/95 and 2012/13
Note: Between 1994/95 and 2013/14, the average length of full parole supervision periods for offenders serving determinate sentences was 23.9 months compared to 12.1 years for offenders serving indeterminate sentences.
  • Compared to offenders serving determinate sentences on full parole, offenders serving indeterminate sentences on full parole were 16% less likely to have had their supervision periods revoked because of a breach of condition, 39% less likely to have had their supervision periods revoked because of a new non-violent offence, but twice as likely to have had their supervision periods revoked because of a new violent offence.

Provincial Full Parole

  • In 2013/14, the successful completion rate for provincial full parole increased to 92%. Increases were reported in the Atlantic (to 91%) and Prairie (to 88%) regions and a decrease was reported in the Pacific region (to 94%).

  • Averaged over the last five years, the Pacific region reported the highest successful completion rate on provincial full parole (87%), with no violent reoffending reported. The Atlantic region reported the lowest successful completion rate (78%) and the highest revocation with violent offence rate (0.8%) among the three regions.

  • In the last five years, the rates of violent reoffending on provincial full parole were generally very low. One offender serving a sentence for a schedule I-non-sex offence and two offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences had their provincial full paroles revoked because of a violent offence.
Outcome on Statutory Release
  • Over the last five years (from 2009/10 to 2013/14), the successful completion rate for offenders on statutory release increased to 62%, while the revocation for breach of condition rate increased to 29%.

  • In the last five years, offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences were the most likely to successfully complete their statutory release supervision periods (77%), and offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences, the least likely (57%).

  • Over the last five years, Asian offenders were the most likely to successfully complete their statutory release supervision periods (77%), and Aboriginal offenders were the least likely (53%).

  • Female offenders were more likely than male offenders to successfully complete their statutory release supervision periods in the last five years.

Figure 42. Revocation with Violent Offence Rates on Statutory Release by Offence Type

Revocation with Violent Offence Rates on Statutory Release by Offence Type
  • In 2013/14, the revocation with violent offence rate on statutory release decreased to 1.1%, driven by the drops in the rates for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences (-1.4%) and those serving sentences for non-scheduled offences (-0.5%). Despite decreases for these groups of offenders, their revocation with violent offence rates on statutory release were among the highest, averaging 2.9% over the last five years for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences and 1.4% for those serving sentences for non-scheduled offences. Violent reoffending on statutory release was the lowest for drug offenders (0.5%) and sex offenders (0.7%) in the last five years.

  • Averaged over the last five years, Aboriginal offenders had the highest revocation with violent offence rate on statutory release (2.1%), though decreasing, and Asian offenders had the lowest (0.2%).

  • In the last five years, the rates of violent reoffending on statutory release were the highest in the Quebec (2.7%) and Pacific (2.7%) regions (above the national average), and the lowest in the Ontario (1.1%) and Atlantic (1.5%) regions (below the national average). The rate in the Prairie region was the same as the national average (2.0%).

Figure 43. Successful Completion Rates for Statutory Release With and Without a Prior Day and/or Full Parole on the Same Sentence

Successful Completion Rates for Statutory Release With and Without a Prior Day and/or Full Parole on the Same Sentence
  • Over the last ten years, the successful completion rate on statutory release for offenders who had a day and/or full parole supervision period prior to a statutory release supervision period on the same sentence was on average 11% higher than the rate for offenders who had no prior supervision period (65% v. 54%). Two possible explanations for this are:
    1. Offenders that had a day or full parole supervision period prior to statutory release are less likely to reoffend and this is part of the reason they had the prior parole supervision periods.

    2. Offenders that had a day or full parole supervision period prior to statutory release have learned from their time in the community and are thus more likely to successfully complete statutory release.
  • In the last ten years, the successful completion rate on statutory release was the highest for offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences, averaging 73% for those without a prior day and/or full parole supervision period and 79% for those with a prior day and/or full parole supervision period. The lowest successful completion rate was reported for offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences, averaging 50% for those without a prior day and/or full parole supervision period and 62% for those with a prior day and/or full parole supervision period.

  • In the last ten years, violent reoffending on statutory release was considerably lower for offenders who had a prior day and/or full parole supervision period (2.9%) than for those who did not (3.8%). Approximately, seven out of ten revocations with a violent offence on statutory release were for offenders who did not have a prior day and/or full parole supervision period prior to their statutory release. Similar findings were reported for all offence types, genders, races and regions.

  • Averaged over the last ten years, Aboriginal offenders had the lowest successful completion rate on statutory release where there was no prior parole release (48%), while they had the highest revocation for breach of condition rate (36%). For those Aboriginal offenders who had prior parole release, the successful completion rate was much higher (60%), while the revocation for breach of condition rate was lower (26%).

Post-Warrant Expiry Readmission

The post-warrant expiry readmission analysis provides an important insight into the offender’s ability in the long term to live a crime-free life in the community after completion of his or her sentence. This information is useful for strategic planning and assessment of the effectiveness of the law, policy and operations.

Figure 44. Post-Warrant Expiry Readmission on a Federal Sentence (as of March 31, 2014)

Post-Warrant Expiry Readmission on a Federal Sentence (as of March 31, 2014)
  • Ten to fifteen years after sentence completion (for sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03), 26% of offenders had returned on a federal sentence as of March 31, 2014.

  • Over the long-term (for sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03), offenders released at warrant expiry were over four times more likely to be readmitted on a new federal sentence than offenders who completed their sentences on full parole. Offenders released on statutory release were only slightly less likely to be readmitted on a federal sentence after their sentence completion than offenders released at warrant expiry.

  • When looking at the readmission rate for a violent offence (for sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03), offenders released at warrant expiry were ten times more likely to return to a federal institution because of a new violent offence than offenders who completed their sentences on full parole, and over one and a half times more likely than offenders who completed their sentences on statutory release.

  • Over the long term (for sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03), offenders who completed their sentences on full parole were more likely to be readmitted on a new federal sentence for a non-violent offence than a violent offence, while offenders released at warrant expiry and those who completed their sentences on statutory release were more likely to be readmitted for having committed a violent offence than a non-violent offence.

Figure 45. The Post-Warrant Expiry Readmission Rate 10 to 15 years after Sentence Completion* (%)

Offense Type Full Parole Statutory Release Warrant Expiry
Schedule I-sex 2.9 13.0 27.4
Schedule I-non-sex 8.3 33.1 39.4
Schedule II 7.4 26.2 33.3**
Non-Scheduled 12.2 45.8 54.5**
* For sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03.
** Low numbers
  • Over the long term (for sentences completed between 1998/99 and 2002/03), offenders serving sentences for non scheduled offences who completed their sentences either on full parole, statutory release or were released at warrant expiry were the most likely to be readmitted on a new federal sentence, and schedule I-sex offenders were the least likely.

  • Over the long term, of offenders who completed their sentences either on full parole, statutory release or were released at warrant expiry, Aboriginal offenders were the most likely to be readmitted on a new federal sentence.

  • During the same time period, offenders from the Atlantic region who completed their sentences on either full parole (12%) or statutory release (38%) had the highest rates of readmission on a federal sentence, as did offenders who were released at warrant expiry in the Quebec region (45%). The lowest rates were reported in the Pacific region for offenders who completed their sentences on full parole (6%) or were released at warrant expiry (29%), and in the Ontario region for offenders who completed their sentences on statutory release (29%).

Conditional Release Openness and Accountability

The Parole Board of Canada is responsible under the CCRA for the provision of information to victims of crime and assistance to those who wish to observe PBC hearings or to gain access to the decision registry. Effectiveness in these areas of service and support is a crucial part of the Board's efforts to be accountable to the public and to build credibility and understanding of the conditional release program.

On June 13, 2012, Bill C-10 entrenched in law the right of victims to present a statement at parole hearings, previously a matter of PBC policy. Increased public awareness and various campaigns in previous years promoting victim rights may have contributed to increases in the number of PBC contacts with victims, victims presentations at hearings as well as decisions requested from the Decision Registry by victims.

In reviewing the information within this section, it should be noted that there will be some variances between regions and some significant changes within regional numbers. This is a result of different recording methods between the regions as well as the efforts the Board has made over the last few years to improve information services for victims and the public and to improve its data collection methods.

Information Services to Victims

Figure 46. Parole Board of Canada Contacts with Victims

Parole Board of Canada Contacts with Victims
  • In 2013/14, the Parole Board of Canada had 22,323 contacts with victims, a decrease of one percent from the previous year. Contacts with victims increased in the Quebec (+5%), Ontario (+8%) and Prairie (+3%) regions, while they decreased in the Atlantic (-3%) and Pacific (-14%) regions.

  • In the last five years, the PBC has had over 110,000 contacts with victims. The Pacific region had the highest proportion (28%), followed by the Ontario (25%), Prairie (17%), Quebec (17%) and Atlantic (13%) regions.

  • As of March 31, 2014, the number of victims that had registered to receive information from the PBC and CSC was 7,838, a 3% increase from the previous year.

Observers at Parole Board of Canada Hearings

Figure 47. Observers at PBC Hearings

Observers at PBC Hearings
  • In 2013/14, the number of hearings with observers increased (to 1,618; +12%), as did the number of observers at the Board’s hearings (to 4,014; +14%) compared to 2012/13.

  • In 2013/14, the number of hearings with observers increased in the Quebec (+14%), Ontario (+13%) and Pacific (almost tripled) regions, and decreased in the Atlantic (-4%) and Prairie ( 26%) regions compared to the previous year.
  • In the last five years, over fourteen thousand observers attended PBC hearings.

Victims Speaking At Hearings

Since July 1, 2001, victims of crime have been permitted to read prepared statements at PBC parole hearings. On June 13, 2012, the right of the victims to present a statement at parole hearings was entrenched in law.

  • In 2013/14, victims made 264 presentations (at 142 hearings), 10 more presentations than the previous year.

  • The majority of presentations were done in person (92%) followed by presentations via video conferencing (5%), audiotape presentations (3%) and DVD/videotape presentations (1%).

  • The major offence of victimization for victims making presentations in 2013/14 was most likely to have been murder, sexual assault or manslaughter.

Access to Decision Registry

  • In 2013/14, the number of decisions sent from the decision registry increased 8% (to 7,192) compared to 2012/13. Increases were reported in the Atlantic (+20%), Ontario (+43%) and Prairie (+10%) regions, whereas the number decreased in the Quebec (-9%) and Pacific (-5%) regions.

  • In the last five years, over thirty thousand decisions have been sent from the decision registry.

Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations

The Record Suspension and Clemency program involves the review of record suspension applications, the ordering of record suspensions and the making of clemency recommendations.

Record Suspension Program

A record suspension, formerly a pardon, allows people who were convicted of a criminal offence, but have completed their sentences imposed and demonstrated they are law-abiding citizens for a prescribed number of years, to have their criminal records kept separate and apart from other criminal records.

The Criminal Records Act (CRA) originally created in 1970 grants the Parole Board of Canada exclusive jurisdiction to order, refuse to order, or revoke record suspensions for convictions under federal acts or regulations of Canada.

On March 13, 2012, Bill C-10 amending the CRA, replaced the term “pardon” with the term “record suspension” and increased the waiting periods for a record suspension to five years for all summary convictions and to ten years for all indictable offences. Individuals convicted of sexual offences against minors (with certain exceptions) and those who have been convicted of more than three indictable offences, each with a sentence of two or more years, became ineligible for a record suspension.

Following the implementation of Bill C-10, the Record Suspension program continued processing pardon applications received on or before March 13, 2012, as well as processing record suspension applications received after that date.

Decision Trends

  • In 2013/14, the Board received 14,253 record suspension applications and accepted 9,632 applications (or 68%). In the previous year, 2012/13, the Board received 19,523 record suspension applications, having accepted 58% for processing.

Figure 48. Pardon and Record Suspension Applications

Pardon and Record Suspension Applications

As record suspensions are not fully comparable with pardons (the eligibility criteria for a record suspension are different than for a pardon), direct comparisons between the year-end reports would be inaccurate. It was reported that the numbers of record suspension applications in 2012/13 and 2013/14 were much lower than the numbers of pardon applications in the previous years, in part due to the decrease in the number of citizens eligible to apply for record suspensions (effect of C-10) and in part due to the increase in the processing fee.

  • In the last ten years of receiving pardon applications (between 2002/03 and 2011/12), the PBC had been receiving on average more than 25,000 pardon applications a year and accepting more than 20,000 for processing (or 78%).
  • In 2013/14, the PBC made 8,866 pardon decisions for applications received in previous years, resulting in 93% of pardons granted, and 7% of pardons denied.
  • The average processing time of a pardon application accepted for processing increased in 2013/14 to 28.3 months.
  • In 2013/14, the PBC made 9,292 record suspension decisions; 92% of record suspensions were ordered and 8% were refused.
  • In 2013/14, the average processing time of a record suspension application accepted for processing was 5.5 months for those where the final decision was to order a record suspension, and 9.3 months for those where the final decision was to refuse to order a record suspension.

Performance and Outcome

Figure 49. Pardon/Record Suspension Revocation/Cessation Rate

Pardon/Record Suspension Revocation/Cessation Rate
  • In 2013/14, the number of pardons and record suspensions revoked and those ceased to exist, decreased from the previous year to 1,257 (-26%). It included 664 pardons and 5 record suspensions revoked by the PBC (53%); 579 pardons (46%) that ceased to exist on RCMP authority; and 8 pardons and 1 record suspension that ceased to exist on PBC authority (1%).

  • Over the last 15 years, the cumulative pardon/record suspension revocation/cessation rate has remained relatively low; however it increased minimally in 2013/14. The increases in the rate in the last three years were due to the decreasing numbers of pardons granted and record suspensions ordered, while the number of pardons revoked in the same time period was higher than in the previous years. Despite these new developments, the pardon/record suspension revocation/cessation rate has been relatively low, indicating that over 95% of pardoned citizens and those who received record suspensions have remained crime free.

Clemency Program

The clemency provisions of the Letters Patent and those contained in the Criminal Code are used in exceptional circumstances, where no other remedy exists in law to reduce exceptionally negative effects of criminal sanctions.

Clemency is requested for a number of reasons, with employment being by far the most frequently used. Other reasons include: perceived inequity, medical condition, immigration to Canada, compassion, financial hardship, etc.

  • In 2013, the PBC received 40 Royal Prerogative of Mercy (RPM) requests, 12 requests fewer than the previous year.

  • In the last five years, 15 clemency requests have been granted, five have been denied and 102 requests have been discontinued. The majority of requests were discontinued either because the applicant did not provide sufficient information or proof of excessive hardship to proceed with the request or the Minister determined that the clemency request did not warrant investigation as the criteria had not been met.

  • In the last five years, 15 clemency requests have been granted, five have been denied and 107 requests have been discontinued. The majority of requests were discontinued either because the applicant did not provide sufficient information or proof of excessive hardship to proceed with the request or the Minister determined that the clemency request did not warrant investigation as the criteria had not been met.

  • At the end of 2013, there were 106 clemency cases in process.

Internal Services

As the Government of Canada is committed to the continuous examination of its expenditures to ensure responsible spending, the Board must ensure that its programs are managed effectively and efficiently.

PBC Reference Levels

Figure 50. PBC Reference Levels

PBC Reference Levels
  • In 2013/14, the total PBC expenditures amounted to $50.4 million, or a $3.9 million increase compared to 2012/13.

  • The Board has one strategic outcome which is "Conditional Release and Record Suspension Decisions and Decision Processes that Safeguard Canadian Communities". The Board applies its resources to four program activities: Conditional Release Decisions, Conditional Release Openness and Accountability, Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations, and Internal Services. Conditional release decision-making is the most resource intensive area, accounting for 73% of the Board’s expenditures in 2013/14.

  • The $2.8 million in expenditures for the Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations program activity is net of revenue. The fee to process a record suspension application is $631. The respendable revenue for the PBC is $470 per application. In 2013/14, PBC accepted 9,622 record suspension applications which generated total revenues of $6,071,482. The PBC portion was $4,522,340.

Human Resources Management

  • As of April 2, 2014, the Board staff consisted of 456 employees, 81% females and 19% males. The highest proportion of female staff was in the Atlantic region (12:1), and the lowest proportion was at the National Office (3:1).

  • For 59% of employees the first official language was English and for 41% of employees it was French. Fifty-one percent (51%) of staff were bilingual.

  • As of April 2, 2014, four percent of the Board’s staff were Aboriginal and eight percent were visible minorities. Employees with disabilities accounted for four percent of the Board’s staff.

  • As of April 11, 2014, the Board had a total of 68 Board members (42 full-time and 26 part-time).

  • Women represented 29% of all Board members.

  • The first official language of 76% of Board members was English, while French was the first official language of 24% of Board members. Sixteen percent (16%) of Board members were bilingual.

[1] Statistics Canada. Juristat Article. Police-Reported Crime Statistics in Canada, 2013 (85-002-X). Catalogue no. 11-001-X.

[2] Brennan, S. (2011). Canadians' perceptions of personal safety and crime, 2009. Juristat. Statistics Canada catalogue number 85-002-X. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11577-eng.htm (consulted on April 8, 2013).

[3] Brennan, S. (2012). Victimization of older Canadians, 2009. Juristat. Statistics Canada catalogue number 85-002-X. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11627-eng.htm (consulted on April 8, 2013).

[4] Perreault, S. (2011). Violent victimization of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, 2009. Juristat. Statistics Canada catalogue number 85-002-X. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2011001/article/11415-eng.htm (consulted on April 8, 2013).

[5] Perreault, S. & Mahony, T.H. (2012). Criminal victimization in the territories, 2009. Juristat. Statistics Canada catalogue number 85-002-X. http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/85-002-x/2012001/article/11614-eng.htm (consulted on April 8, 2013). Please note that due to methodological and data collection difficulties, a sample from Nunavut is not considered statistically representative of Nunavut's Aboriginal population.

[6] The bill will come into force on a day to be fixed by order of the Governor in Council.

[7] Excluded from offender populations are escapees, those on bail and those who are unlawfully at large (UAL) from supervision. The tables in the appendix provide information on exclusions for the most recent year where appropriate.

[8] Corrections and Conditional Release Act, 1992, c.20, s.102; 1995, c.42, s.27 (f).

[9] Among other end results, successful completion includes cases where the offender died.

[10]  A supervision period can also end by becoming inoperative. Parole can become inoperative if an offender who is on conditional release (day parole or full parole) receives an additional sentence for an offence under a federal act, and the day on which the offender is eligible for parole is later than the day he/she received the additional sentence. These release periods are excluded from the outcome rates because they are not a reflection of behaviour on conditional release.

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