Facilitation of Victim Participation in PBC Hearings (COVID-19)
In an effort to protect the health and safety of the public, offenders, Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Board members and staff in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the PBC is currently conducting its hearings remotely via videoconference or teleconference, as applicable, outside of correctional institutions.
These actions are consistent with the decision of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) to suspend visitors from its institutions, and align with current advice from public health officials around social distancing and prevention in relation to COVID-19.
We remain committed to ensuring victims’ voices are heard during this unprecedented situation. PBC has implemented technological and procedural enhancements in order to provide victims, as an interim measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ability to participate at PBC hearings via telephone. Victims will be able to listen to the hearing and present their statement for Board members to consider in their decision-making. Information on how to participate in a hearing via telephone will be provided directly to victims by PBC Regional Communications Officers ahead of the scheduled hearing. To attend a hearing, a victim must complete and submit a Request to Observe a Hearing form to the PBC.
For victims who prefer not to attend a hearing, the PBC continues to accept victim statements in various formats, including audio or video recording.
Victims will also continue to receive all legislated information to which they are entitled. Victims who are not able to attend a parole hearing can request to listen to the audio recording of certain hearings. They can also request a copy of the written decision.
Registered victims can also access information from both PBC and CSC at anytime through the Victims Portal.
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