CSC encourages victims to provide a Victim Statement to express how the offender’s crime has impacted their lives. These statements can include relevant information about the offender along with any safety concerns the victim may have.
CSC considers this information through the course of the offender’s sentence in:
- decisions related to the offender’s security level;
- decisions about whether the offender should be released on a temporary absence or a work release;
- evaluations of the offender's programming needs and overall risk of re-offending;
- recommendations to the PBC about whether the offender should be granted conditional release and what special conditions, if any, should be placed on the offender.
You can provide information about an offender to CSC anonymously by calling 1-866-780-3784 any time of the day or night.
If members of the victim's family plan to send in a statement, they need to sign the statement and provide their contact information. In order for a statement to be considered, the person submitting the statement must meet the definition of victim and give permission for the information in it to be shared with the offender.
Preparing a Victim Statement
In a victim statement, you can:
- Describe the harm or loss you suffered.
- Describe the ongoing impact of the offence (including any safety concerns).
- Comment on the potential release of the offender.
- Ask that the offender not contact you or that the offender not be allowed to go to specific locations if you are worried about your safety.
It is not always easy to write about the harm or loss you suffered as a result of an offense. The following tips may help:
- Try to keep your statement short. Tell us what is most important for us to know.
- Address the statement to CSC and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) if you would like both agencies to consider your statement. Depending on the type of release being considered, both may need the information you provide. CSC will forward statements to the PBC for their consideration in decisions that they are responsible for under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act.
- Refer to the ongoing impact of the offence on your family, your personal relationships and daily life. This can include the physical harm (ongoing medical needs, disabilities), financial loss (costs you have had to pay) and/or any emotional or psychological harm you have suffered.
- Describe any concerns you have for your safety, as well as your family's or your community's safety.
- If you have concerns about risk or safety issues, consider asking that conditions be imposed on the offender's release. You could ask that the offender have no contact with you or your family and/or ask that the offender not be permitted to go to specific places.
- All information about an offender that is considered when making a decision about them must be shared with the offender. This includes any statements you send us. Please note that personal information such as your address and phone number is removed from your statement before we share it with the offender.
- Don't include unnecessary information about yourself or other people. For example, if you have changed your name since the offence, you can still use your old name. If you have moved, don't give any details about where you are now.
- Also, remember that, if you refer in your statement to any information that CSC has provided you about the offender, they could realize that you have registered to receive this information. More specifically, if you mention information we provide you in a Correctional Plan Progress Report, the PBC may require CSC to share that report with them and with the offender prior to the parole hearing.
- The statements must not contain threats or profanity.
Victims can give verbal or written information to CSC at any time. You do not have to be a registered victim to send in information for CSC to consider. However, CSC only contacts registered victims about upcoming decisions in an offender's case. If you are a victim, you may want to consider the benefits of registering.
Victims can also choose to present a Victim Statement at a PBC hearing. To learn more about the role of victims at parole hearings, call toll-free 1-866-789-4636 or visit the Parole Board of Canada Web site.
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