Federal Offender Eustachio Gallese
Branch/Agency: Parole Board of Canada
- First and foremost, our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Marylène Lévesque.
- A joint Board of Investigation, featuring two external co-chairs, is being conducted by the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada. It will examine whether proper legislation and policy were followed by those involved in this case.
- This investigation will review the circumstances in this case and present recommendations, as required. We will share the results of this investigation and any recommendations to be implemented.
- On February 5th, the Government also supported a unanimous motion in the House to call on the Public Safety Committee to look into the circumstances that led to this tragic event.
- Public safety is the paramount consideration in all Parole Board of Canada conditional release decisions.
Parole Board Appointments:
We are committed to a merit based process that ensures that the most qualified are selected to represent our agencies.
Board Member Training
- Board members are only assigned to make a decision when they have completed their training and have the confidence of their Regional Vice-Chairperson.
- We maintain very high standards for the people that are appointed and they are trained in their work.
Eustachio Gallese is currently serving a life sentence (started on December 16, 2006) for the murder of his spouse Chantale Deschesnes on October 21, 2004. He was first granted day parole on March 26, 2019. At a parole hearing held on September 19, 2019, his day parole was continued while full parole was denied. On January 23, 2020 while on day parole he was charged in the murder of 23-year old Marylène Lévesque in Quebec. The investigation is ongoing.
Boards of Investigation
At the PBC, Boards of Investigation (BOIs) are conducted at the request of the Chairperson, who pursuant to section 152(4) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, may appoint a person or persons to investigate and report on any matter relating to the operations of the PBC. BOIs can be convened jointly with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), but can also be done internally by the PBC, when an offender on a PBC-granted conditional release is charged with a serious offence. BOIs can also be conducted for offenders on statutory release who are charged with a serious offence and when a preliminary review of the case reveals questions as to whether the law, PBC policies or the duty to act fairly were respected. The purpose of a BOI is to identify areas of systemic concern that must be addressed, such as the need to obtain complete information, training on risk assessment and compliance with the law, policy and procedures. The PBC follows up on the recommendations formulated by BOIs by analysing them and by bringing amendments and clarifications to its policy and training programs in order to reduce the likelihood of such incidents in the future. BOIs are administrative investigations that allows for a thorough review of the actions taken by the PBC/CSC. They are not criminal investigations intended to blame those who have accomplished their tasks dutifully and have rendered decisions in compliance with legislation and policy. Furthermore, in accordance with sections 154 and 154.1 of the CCRA, Board members who acted in good faith cannot be held criminally or civilly liable for their decisions.
Governor-in-Council (GIC) Selection Process for the PBC
The appointment process for Board members is done through the GIC Selection Process. In 2016, a new process for GIC appointments was implemented throughout the government to ensure that appointments are open, transparent and merit-based. Of interest, the GIC process adopted for the whole of government was similar, for the most part, to the model used by the PBC.
The new process has resulted in an increased number of applicants for Board member positions at the PBC, as well as a greater diversity of candidates who apply. The modifications have also rendered the selection process more transparent and democratic. The more rigorous process and the larger number of applicants have, however, increased the length of the selection process.
All offenders in federal custody, including those serving indeterminate sentences, become eligible for parole at some point during their sentence. Offenders serving life sentences or indeterminate sentences released on parole remain under supervision by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) for the rest of their lives. Eligibility - 6 months before full parole eligibility date (PED) or 6 months into the sentence, whichever is greater. For offenders serving life sentences, 3 years before PED. Day parole allows an offender to participate in community-based activities in preparation for full parole or statutory release. Offenders on day parole usually undertake community work, hold jobs, and/or follow courses as prescribed by correctional authorities. Offenders on day parole must return nightly to a community-based residential facility or halfway house unless otherwise authorized by the PBC. In addition to standard conditions of day parole, the Board may also impose special conditions that an offender must abide by during release. While on day parole, offenders are under the supervision of a Correctional Service of Canada Parole Officer. An offender can be returned to prison at any time if they violate their parole conditions, commit a new offence, or the offender is deemed to pose an increased risk to the community.
Parole Decision-Making Process
Parole hearings involve a thorough risk assessment conducted by independent PBC Board members. They assess whether or not the offender will present an undue risk to society if released into the community, and whether the release will contribute to public safety by facilitating the offender's reintegration into the community. Board members consider a wide range of information in assessing an offender's risk to re-offend. Information from the police, courts, Crown attorneys, mental health professionals, correctional authorities, private agencies, and victims of crime is used in assessing an offender's risk to re-offend and whether that risk can be safely managed in the community. Board members also refer to actuarial assessments and risk assessment tools in determining an offender’s risk to re-offend. Public safety is the paramount consideration in all Parole Board of Canada conditional release decisions.
In 2018-19, 99.9 per cent of offenders on day parole were not convicted of a violent offence during their supervision period.
Prepared by: Mark Prieur, Director, Public Affairs and Partnerships, 613-954-6547
Approved by: Harold Massey, A/Executive Director General, 604-870-2462
- Date modified: