Role of Board members in conditional release

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is an independent administrative tribunal whose members make conditional release (parole) decisions for offenders serving federal sentences of two or more years, and for offenders serving sentences of less than two years in provinces and territories without their own parole boards (only Ontario, Quebec and Alberta have their own parole boards). The PBC's Board members also make decisions on whether or not to grant record suspensions.

As required by the CCRA, PBC Board members reflect the diversity of Canadian society. They come from many different walks of life, such as criminology, law, police, social work, medicine, education, business, and private and public service management. Board members are trained in risk assessment and conditional release decision-making.

PBC Board Members are the primary decision-makers in conditional release decisions and are independent in their decision-making. Their task is always challenging. They are required to make decisions that are consistent with the protection of society and that are limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to the purpose of conditional release.

Board members conduct a thorough risk assessment in all cases. Board members consider all relevant information from a wide range of sources in their decisions. This includes information from victims, parole officers, police, the courts, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and others.

Public safety is the primary consideration in all Parole Board of Canada conditional release decisions.

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