ARCHIVED - Government Advances Legislation to End Early Release of Offenders

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OTTAWA, February 16, 2011 — Today, the Honourable Vic Toews, Minister of Public Safety, announced that legislation to abolish Accelerated Parole Review has passed in the House of Commons.

“This Government has committed to act decisively to crack down on crime to protect families and communities,” said Minister Toews. “The measures announced today will make offenders more accountable for their crimes.”

The proposed legislation, the Abolition of Early Parole Act (Bill C-59), would abolish the current system of Accelerated Parole Review and responds to concerns raised by victims' groups and police associations across the country.

Under the current system, Accelerated Parole Review allows non-violent, first time offenders to access day parole at one-sixth of their sentence and full parole at one-third of their sentence if the Parole Board of Canada is satisfied that an offender will not commit an act of violence after being released.

Proposed changes would ensure that first time, non-violent offenders would be eligible for regular day parole at earliest six months prior to their full parole eligibility date.

“This will ensure that sentences and time served adequately reflect the seriousness and consequences of a crime,” said Minister Toews. “This legislation will bring justice to victims, especially to individuals who have been victimized by fraudsters who would have gotten out of jail after only after one sixth of their sentence under the old system.”

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