Public Safety Canada

Public Safety Canada

June 16, 2009 12:27 ET

"Protection of Society" to Become Main Objective in Corrections System

Reforms Strengthen Victims' Rights, Offenders' Responsibilities

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2009) - The Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of Public Safety, today introduced in Parliament proposed legislative amendments to strengthen the federal corrections and conditional release system in a way that strengthens victims' rights and increases offenders' responsibilities.

"This Government is taking a new approach to corrections by putting a greater focus on public safety," said Minister Van Loan. "We are also putting the rights of victims first, by proposing changes to help keep them better informed."

Proposed key reforms to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act include:

- The "protection of society" becoming the paramount principle of corrections and conditional release;

- Enshrining in law, a victim's right to participate in parole board hearings;

- Authorizing police to arrest without the need for a warrant, an offender breaking their release conditions; and,

- Emphasizing the importance of taking into consideration the seriousness of an offence in National Parole Board decision-making.

"We are fulfilling our commitment to make key reforms to the current corrections system so that offenders are more accountable for their actions, rehabilitation is more effective, and safety in our communities is paramount in all decisions in the corrections process," added Minister Van Loan.

The Minister was joined at the announcement by the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue.

"The Government's priority is the safety and security of Canadians in their homes and communities. The measures we are proposing today will help to ensure greater public safety for all," said Minister Blackburn.

In December 2007, the Correctional Service Canada Independent Review Panel released its final report outlining recommendations for the Government of Canada. The Government officially responded to the Report in Budget 2008, investing $478.8 million over five years to initiate the implementation of a new vision and set the foundation to strengthen the federal correctional system.

The Corrections and Conditional Release Act provides the legal framework for the correctional system. It was enacted in 1992, replacing the Penitentiary Act and the Parole Act.

An online version of the legislation will be available at www.parl.gc.ca.

For more information, please visit the website www.publicsafety.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Public Safety Canada
    Media Relations
    613-991-0657