This Private Member’s Bill, introduced by Mr. Dave MacKenzie, Member of Parliament for Oxford in March 2013, amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) to extend the Parole Board of Canada’s authority to approve or deny escorted temporary absences for offenders serving a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.
- The Bill eliminates the automatic transfer of releasing authority for escorted temporary absences from the Parole Board of Canada to the Correctional Service of Canada at day parole eligibility. The Parole Board of Canada remains the decision-making authority for escorted temporary absences after an inmate has reached day parole eligibility.
- Transfer of releasing authority for escorted temporary absences now occurs only if three criteria are met: 1) the inmate has passed day parole eligibility; 2) the Parole Board of Canada has granted the inmate a rehabilitative escorted temporary absence (e.g., for family contact); and 3) the inmate successfully completes the escorted temporary absence. If these three criteria are met, decision-making authority will transfer from the Parole Board of Canada to the Correctional Service of Canada.
- Decision-making authority would be immediately transferred back to the Parole Board of Canada if the inmate fails to successfully complete a subsequent rehabilitative escorted temporary absence.
- The Correctional Service of Canada retains authority to authorize escorted temporary absences for medical reasons, judicial proceedings, and Coroner’s inquests at any time in an inmate’s sentence.
- The amendments to the escorted temporary absence scheme only apply to offenders serving a minimum sentence of life imprisonment.