Victim Information and Assistance

The aim of the National Office for Victims is to give victims a more effective voice in the criminal justice system by providing information that explains how victims can participate in the federal corrections and conditional release process, request information about the offender who harmed them, and be informed about the parole and correctional decisions concerning that offender.

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights

On July 23, 2015, the majority of the provisions of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights came into force. Additional information on this legislation can be found on Canada.ca.

The Canadian Victims Bill of Rights creates four statutory rights for victims of crime: the right to information, the right to protection, the right to participation and the right to restitution. It also informs victims of how they can file a complaint if they feel that their rights have been infringed or denied by a federal department or agency. Learn how to file a complaint with Public Safety Canada about a right under the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights.

The remaining amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act contained in the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights came into force on June 1, 2016.

How the National Office for Victims can help you

The National Office for Victims is a single, national point of contact for victims who have concerns about offenders and questions about the federal correctional system and the Canadian justice system.

Whether you are working for a victim services' organization in one of Canada's provinces or territories, have been the victim of a crime, or have had a family member become a victim of crime, the National Office for Victims can help. Our office offers information about federal corrections issues, the conditional release system, and provides information to victims and the general public.

By calling our toll-free number, you will reach a staff member who can answer your questions or direct you to the federal or provincial program that is best able to help you.

We will provide information about federal corrections and the conditional release system, and can refer you to people who can help you directly. For example, we can link you with victims' services in your province or territory.

Definitions

Victim: The Corrections and Conditional Release Act defines a victim as  someone who was harmed or who suffered physical or emotional damage as the result of an offence. If a victim has died, is ill, or is otherwise unable to act for him or herself, the victim's spouse, common-law partner, relative, dependant or anyone who has in law or fact custody or is responsible for the care or support of the victim may request and receive information on behalf of the victim.

To receive information, an individual must register with either the Correctional Service of Canada or the Parole Board of Canada.

Federal offender: A federal offender is someone who has been sentenced to two years or more in a penitentiary. The Correctional Service of Canada is responsible for federal offenders.

Provincial offenders: A provincial offender is someone who is serving a sentence of less than two years. The correctional service in the province or territory where the offender was sentenced is responsible for provincial offenders. The Parole Board of Canada may grant, deny or revoke the parole of all offenders except those serving less than two years in Ontario and Quebec. Ontario and Quebec have established provincial parole boards that grant, deny or revoke parole for offenders serving less than two years in their provinces.

Toll-Free Calling for Victims

Victims may call 1-866-525-0554 free of charge from anywhere in Canada or the United States.

Publications

A large part of the National Office of Victims' mandate is to publish and distribute information products letting victims, organizations that help victims, and members of the general public know what services are available through the federal government. Our publications include:

To order National Office for Victim publications, please complete the Publication Order Form.

For More Information

For additional information on federal services and information for victims of crime, please visit the victims of crime page on Canada.ca.



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