Government of Canada to Fix the Problem of Early Parole for Criminals

TORONTO, ON — Dave MacKenzie, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety, on behalf of the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, announced today that the Government of Canada plans to fix the problem in the parole system that allows early release of criminals.

“Our Government puts the rights of victims and law-abiding Canadians first.  Today’s announcement is another step in implementing our tackling-crime agenda,” said Mr.  MacKenzie. “The current practice of releasing criminals into our communities early is not acceptable”.

The current system of Accelerated Parole Review allows criminals convicted of non-violent offenses to obtain parole after serving only one-sixth of their sentence and full parole after serving just one-third. Moreover, parole in such cases is virtually automatic; the National Parole Board is powerless to stop the release of a criminal, even when they believe the criminal will offend again.

The Government will respond to concerns raised by victims’ groups and police associations across the country, and to the Correctional Service of Canada’s Independent Review Panel’s recommendations to work towards a system of earned parole.

In June 2009 the Government introduced legislation proposing reforms to the corrections system to hold offenders more accountable for their actions, to make rehabilitation more effective, and to make the protection of society paramount in all decisions in the corrections process.