The Honourable Steven Blaney, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, introduces legislation to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to end statutory release for repeat violent offenders.
Under Statutory Release, eligible criminals are released at two thirds of their sentence and serve the last third of their sentence in the community under supervision and subject to conditions. Criminals may also be detained in custody past their Statutory Release eligibility date – including until the end of their sentence – if the Parole Board of Canada determines that the criminal is likely to commit another serious offence.
The Government has determined that this is the wrong approach when it comes to repeat violent offenders. Therefore, under the proposed legislation, repeat violent offenders will no longer be granted statutory release after serving two-thirds of their sentence. These measures reflect the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to keep our streets and communities safe while ensuring that the rights of victims are placed over those of criminals.
Under this legislation:
- Criminals who have previously received a sentence of five years or more, which includes a serious violent component, and who then commit another violent offence for which they receive a new sentence of two years or more, would not be eligible for full Statutory Release on the new sentence.
- Criminals who are barred Statutory Release at the two-thirds mark of their sentence would remain eligible for 6 months of community supervision prior to the end of their sentence.
- The amendments will allow repeat offenders to be exposed to correctional programming in penitentiaries for a longer period of time to change behaviour which contributes to reoffending.
- Existing mechanisms to address very high-risk criminals, such as the Parole Board of Canada’s authority to detain an offender until the very end of their sentence or the ability of local police to seek restrictions under a court-imposed peace bond order even after warrant expiry, will remain unchanged by this Bill.
- Criminals sentenced to serve life or indeterminate sentences will remain ineligible for statutory release under all circumstances.