Joint National Board of Investigation: Correctional Service of Canada - Parole Board of Canada
Date: October 26, 2020
Branch / Agency: CSC
- Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of Ms. Lévesque for their loss.
- A Joint National Board of Investigation, including two external co-chairs, was convened by the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada, to examine the circumstances that led to this tragic event.
- Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 and public health restrictions in Quebec, this work was delayed. However, travel and interviews for the Joint National Board of Investigation resumed on September 8, 2020.
- The Joint National Board of Investigation has now completed interviews and expects to conclude its work this fall.
- The results of the investigation will be shared, along with any recommendations to be implemented, once the Joint National Board of Investigation is completed.
Federal offender Eustachio Gallese has been serving a life sentence since December 16, 2006. He was convicted of murdering his spouse. The index offence occurred on October 21, 2004. He was first granted Day Parole (DP) on March 26, 2019. On September 19, 2019, his DP was continued while Full Parole was denied. On January 23, 2020, his DP was suspended due to his suspected involvement in another murder. He was charged and convicted of First-Degree Murder on February 27, 2020, in the death of Marylène Lévesque. Gallese remains in federal custody.
Boards of Investigation
Boards of Investigation (BOIs) can be convened jointly by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC). BOIs can be conducted for offenders who are charged with a serious offence and when a preliminary review of the case reveals questions as to whether the law, 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. CSC 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 allow for a thorough review of the actions taken by the PBC/CSC. They are not criminal investigations.
Gallese Joint National BOI – Current Status
The Joint National CSC-PBC BOI into the events surrounding the murder of Marylène Lévesque by offender Eustachio Gallese was convened on February 3, 2020. Preparation, review work and some interviews have already been conducted by the BOI. Based on public health guidance, the COVID-19 situation forced travel, interviews, and meetings related to the work of the Board of Investigation to be suspended on March 20, 2020.
The BOI resumed on September 8, 2020, and interviews are now completed. These interviews are necessary to ensure information collection that is both comprehensive and crucial to optimizing the impartiality, integrity and transparency of the findings and recommendations of this investigation.
Upon completion of the Joint National BOI, the results of the investigation will be shared along with any recommendations to be implemented.
The Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security
Senior officials from PBC and CSC appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security (SECU) on March 10, 2020, regarding their study on “Parole Board and the circumstances that Led to a Young Woman’s Death.” SECU reviews legislation policies, programs and expenditure plans of government departments and agencies responsible for public safety and national security, policing and law enforcement, corrections and conditional release of federal offenders, emergency management, crime prevention and the protection of Canada's borders.
Parole Decision-Making Process
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), PBC members must ensure the following when making a conditional release decision: (1) that the protection of society be the paramount consideration in the determination of any case; and, (2) that the Board make the least restrictive determination consistent with the protection of society.
The CCRA outlines that the Board consider two things when granting parole:
- That the offender will not, by reoffending, present an undue risk to society before the end of their sentence; and
- The release of the offender will contribute to the protection of society by facilitating the offender's reintegration to the community as a law-abiding citizen.
Board members conduct a thorough risk assessment in all cases. They consider all relevant and available information in assessing an offender's risk to re-offend, such as mitigating, neutral, and aggravating factors; as well as information presented during the hearing or review, in order to render a final decision.
In 2018-2019, 99.9 per cent of offenders on day parole completed their supervision period without committing a violent offence.
Prepared by: Jessica Martineau, Officer, Parliamentary Relations, 613-943-1726
Approved by: Kirstan Gagnon, Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, 613-995-6867
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