Federal Ombudsman For Victims Of Crime Pleased To See Government Of Canada Act On Office's Recommendations
OTTAWA (Ontario), June 17, 2009 - The Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime, Steve Sullivan, congratulated Canada's Minister of Public Safety, Peter Van Loan, yesterday on his proposed legislative amendments that will address important victims' issues with the federal corrections and conditional release system.
"The impact of Canada's correctional and conditional release system on victims is an issue that my office has made a priority since our inception," explained Sullivan.
"We've made several recommendations to the Government on this matter and I am pleased to see today that victims are being made a priority and that their concerns are being addressed."
In its first year, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime (FOVC) made a number of recommendations to the Government on amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, including providing more information about offenders to victims and holding offenders more accountable when it comes to restitution for victims.
The legislative amendments proposed will positively impact victims by ensuring they are provided with more information. Specifically, the amendments will ensure that victims:
- receive information on the reason(s) for offender transfers with, whenever possible, advance notice of transfers to minimum security institutions;
- are given information on offender program participation and any convictions for serious disciplinary offences;
- are provided with the reasons for a temporary absence from a correctional facility; and
- are informed of reasons why a parole hearing was postponed or cancelled.
The amendments also take steps towards holding offenders more accountable to victims by making the payment of any court-ordered restitution a required part of any offenders' correctional plan.
"Victims have often expressed to our office they want a greater a voice in the corrections and parole system," said Sullivan.
"The changes proposed will go a long way to addressing the concerns we raised with the Government on behalf of the victims who contact us."
Created in 2007, the Office of the Federal Ombudsman for Victims of Crime helps victims to address their needs, promotes their interests and makes recommendations to the federal government on issues that negatively impact victims.
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