Of course if the Tories call for an election, this all goes out the window…

PRISON, PAROLE CHANGES SEEN

The Toronto Sun
Wed 20 Apr 2005
BY KATHLEEN HARRIS

THE LIBERAL government will table a revamped prison and parole package today in Ottawa that puts a sharp focus on victims.

The Corrections and Conditional Relief Act, which is the legal framework for Canada’s corrections system, is expected to pour millions of dollars to assist victims of crime. It would also include a new program to help victims and their family members attend parole hearings.
The pledge will come on top of $25 million earmarked in February’s budget for the victims’ centre run through the Justice department.

Previously tabled legislation that died before the last election aimed to tighten the accelerated parole review process and streamline the temporary absence process. It would also permit the release of terminally ill offenders on humanitarian grounds.

The Sun reported last November that the federal government shied away from helping needy victims get to parole hearings after costs were pegged at about $1.7 million a year.

Government documents had indicated the travel, salaries and operating costs for a victims assistance program would be about $6.5 million for the first five years, with annual ongoing costs projected at $1.7 million.

Bill would tighten parole rules

The Gazette
(Montreal)
Wed 20 Apr 2005
CanWest News Service

The Liberal government will introduce a bill today to tighten up parole for offenders and boost support for crime victims.

MP Roy Cullen, parliamentary secretary to Public Safety Minister Anne McLellan, confirmed his government will reintroduce many of the same reforms that were contained in two previous Liberal bills that died on the order paper.

“This would advance the interests of victims of crime and it will also tighten up some of the provisions around accelerated parole,” Cullen told CanWest News Service.

The new bill is expected to enshrine the right of victims to make statements at National Parole Board hearings.

It is also expected to exclude mobsters and child pornographers from being eligible to have their parole reviewed after serving one-sixth of their sentence.

And it would increase the scrutiny of a variety of parolees convicted of violent offences.
Cullen said the new bill will contain measures to address the spirit of a private member’s bill tabled by Sudbury, Ont., Liberal MP Ray Bonin.

Bonin wants an ombudsman’s office for crime victims. Under his proposal, the office would investigate and review policies and decisions of Corrections Canada and the National Parole Board, and look into problems experienced by crime victims.

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