Bill C-10: Safe Streets and Communities Act

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1:

What is the Safe Streets and Communities Act?

Answer:

The Safe Streets and Communities Act is a new law that was introduced in the House of Commons as Bill C-10 in September 2011. Bill C-10 was passed in the House of Commons and received Royal Assent in March 2012, becoming the Safe Streets and Communities Act. This legislation groups together nine bills that were dealt with separately during the previous session of Parliament.

This legislation consists of five parts (Part 3 has the greatest impact on CSC):

  • Part 1 creates a new act entitled the Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act;
  • Part 2 amends the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) and the Criminal Code;
  • Part 3 amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), the International Transfer of Offenders Act and the Criminal Records Act;
  • Part 4 amends the Youth Criminal Justice Act; and
  • Part 5 amends the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act.

Part 3 of this legislation makes changes to the CCRA’s Principles, which guide CSC. In addition, Part 3 makes reforms in four main areas of the CCRA:

  • Enhancing sharing of information with victims;
  • Increasing offender responsibility and accountability;
  • Strengthening the management of offenders and their reintegration; and
  • Modernizing disciplinary actions.

Q2:

When did it come into force?

Answer:

The section relating to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) came into force on June 13, 2012.

Q3:

How are victims of crime impacted?

Answer:

The Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) already clearly recognizes the interests of victims of crime and the role they play in the corrections and conditional release process. The Safe Streets and Communities Act takes this one step further and enshrines in law the victim’s right to present a statement at a Parole Board of Canada (PBC) hearing. The definition of victim has also been broadened. Finally, the legislation has expanded the range of information that may be disclosed to victims by CSC and the PBC.

Q4:

How has the definition of victim changed?

Answer:

The definition of victim has been expanded to include anyone who has custody of, or is responsible for, the victim’s dependents in cases where the victim is dead or is not able to act for himself or herself.   People who meet this definition will now be eligible to receive information about the offender who committed the offense in accordance with section 26 of the CCRA.

This will result in a wider range of people who will be eligible to register as victims to receive services from CSC.

Q5:

What are the types of information CSC can now share with victims?

Answer:

CSC can now provide the following information to victims in addition to the information already allowed under section 26 of the CCRA:

  • the name of the institution where the offender is incarcerated;
  • the reason why an offender is transferred from one institution to another, including advanced notice, whenever possible, of transfers to minimum-security institutions;
  • information about the programs in which the offender is participating or has participated;
  • any serious disciplinary offences committed by the offender; and
  • the reasons for any temporary absence.

Q6:

How do changes to the Parole Board hearings impact victims?

Answer:

Safe Streets and Communities Act www.pbc-clcc.gc.ca

Q7:

How are victims being informed of these new changes?

Answer:

CSC’s Victim Services Unit will send a letter to all registered victims who currently receive information from CSC. Due to the number of people registered to receive information, our Victim Services Officers will be contacting each registered victim over the course of the coming year to determine if they wish to receive the new information and, if so, to provide it.

If you would prefer to receive your information before you hear from your Victim Services Unit, please contact your Victim Services Officer.

If you are not registered to receive information but would like to, please contact the Victim Services Unit in your region.