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Another small step for Victims of Crime

 

 

Bill C-489, an Act to amend the Criminal Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (restrictions on offenders), will come into force on September 20, 2014

The Bill amends the Criminal Code to require a court to consider making an order prohibiting certain offenders from being within two kilometers or less of a victim’s home or any other place specified in the order.  It also creates mandatory conditions prohibiting anyone on a conditional sentence or on probation from having contact with a victim or other person identified in the order or from going to any place specified by the judge, unless the victim consents in writing to having contact with the offender.

 

The Bill also amends the Corrections and Conditional Release Act to ensure that victim’s safety and security concerns are taken into consideration by either the Parole Board of Canada or Correctional Service Canada when making a release decision about the offender.  According to Bill C-489, a victim can submit a statement describing “harm and the continuing impact of the crime-including safety concerns-or commenting on release” and that this statement is to be considered by the releasing authority when imposing conditions of release: “the releasing authority shall impose any conditions that it considers reasonable and necessary to protect the victim or the person, including that the offender abstain from having any contact, inducing communication by any mean with the victim, or from going to any place.”

 

If the releasing authority does not impose any of these conditions where there is a victim statement of security concerns on file, then a written reason shall be provided to the victim.

The  text of the bill is available on line. Visit  www.victimsfirst.ca  for details of the Ombudsman’s’ recommendations for change and her June 11 submission to parliament on bill C-489.