About Victim Services and relevant legislation
Correctional Service of Canada’s Victim Services
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) strives to provide victims of federal offenders with the information they need to have an effective voice in the federal correctional system. We want to make sure that victims are treated with:
- fairness, and
CSC has a dedicated team of staff at National Headquarters and at all 5 Regional Headquarters who work with victims to ensure they can exercise their rights in the corrections and conditional release process. Victim service officers:
- provide victim notifications
- receive victim statements,
- answer victims' questions about federal corrections and parole supervision, and
- provide general information about CSC's restorative justice programs and victim-offender mediation services
As well, victim services officers make referrals to local, provincial, territorial, and other federal victim service agencies.
Legislation related to victims of crime
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights lays out four different statutory rights for victims:
Right to Information
Victims of crime have the right to information about the offender such as the date, destination and conditions attached to the offender's release under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) and about available programs and services including restorative justice programs.
Right to Protection
Victims of crime have the right to reasonable and necessary measures to protect them, including victim protection conditions such as non-contact and geographic restrictions attached to the offender's release.
Right to Participation
Victims of crime have a right to convey relevant information for correctional authorities, such as the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada to take into account in making decisions about the offender.
Right to Restitution
Victims of crime have the right to have the court consider making a restitution order for their financial losses and to have any unpaid amount enforced through a civil court.
The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights also made a number of amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, such as establishing the Victim Complaints Mechanism and providing victims access to a current photograph of the offender prior to certain releases, and more.
Furthermore, the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights also requires the Correctional Service of Canada to consider statements from victims that convey their opinion about upcoming decisions.
The Corrections and Conditional Release Act
The Corrections and Conditional Release Act is the legislation that governs the corrections and parole system in Canada.
The Corrections and Conditional Release Act allows victims of crime to have access to information about the offender(s) who harmed them and to have the opportunity to provide information for consideration in decisions made by the Correctional Service of Canada regarding the management of the offender’s case. The Act includes timelines for providing victims with information about the offender’s release (date, destination and conditions) or changes to release information in advance, unless it is not practicable to do so. The Act also includes a requirement to impose conditions to protect victims who have submitted statements, and to provide written reasons if conditions are not imposed.
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