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Electoral Member
Jun 6, 2002
Federal audit shows lax parole system

Parole officers fail to keep tabs on high-risk offenders, survey reveals

By Dean Beeby
Canadian Press

OTTAWA ? Federal parole officers are not adequately monitoring high-risk offenders who've been released from prison, says a newly released audit. Only six of 66 parole offices across the country met the minimum standards of supervision required by Correctional Service Canada.

The study, completed in January, examined 727 case files to determine whether parole officers were conducting the required number of face-to-face meetings with prisoners who were out on conditional release. Most of the cases involved the highest-risk offenders, who are supposed to have either two or four face-to-face contacts with their parole officers each month.

Only six offices made the grade, in Kelowna, B.C., Brandon, Man., Rouyn- Noranda, Que., Hull, Que., Sydney, N.S., and Corner Brook, Nfld. The other 60 offices fell short of the standard. On average, the offices did not hold the required meetings almost 10 per cent of the time. No reason was given for the violations, whether lack of staff or the refusal of some parolees to abide by the rules.

The audit was obtained by The Canadian Press under the Access to Information Act. A previous study carried out in 1999 found an even lower level of compliance with the rules, though the auditors noted that the most recent assessment was more thorough and therefore the better numbers may not represent an improvement. The audit also raised concerns about how often parole officers were in contact with a parolee's employer, landlord and others known as "collateral contacts," each of whom can help verify the facts about an ex-prisoner's life outside prison. "For one case, there was only one collateral contact made over a seven-month period," the audit found. "In the past, members of Boards of Investigation had determined that a lack of collateral contacts or poorly conducted contacts was a concern in sensational incidents involving conditionally released prisoners."

The worst performing parole offices, where the required face-to-face contacts were not being carried out about 25 per cent of the time, were in Abbotsford, B.C., Prince George, B.C., Thompson, Man., Peel, Ont., and London, Ont. A spokeswoman for Correctional Service Canada said that parole offices are expected to follow the rules about contacts. "For higher risk offenders, definitely, the compliance has got to be . . . 100 per cent," Michele Pilon-Santilli said in an interview. The department and the auditor-general of Canada are each further auditing Canada's parole programs. Their reports are expected next year. Pilon-Santilli said that since the January audit, the department has created a new parole program in which 100 high-risk offenders who have been released have been placed under more intense supervision. They're required to have eight face-to-face meetings with parole officers each month. The new program, begun in March, is currently undergoing a three-month review to determine its effectiveness, she said. There have been several high-profile crimes involving parolees this year. Conrad Brossard, 54, was charged earlier this month in the death of Cecile Clement, 55, a woman he may have met at a nursing home where he was doing community work while on parole. Career criminal and parole violator Daniel Lamer, 37, died on Ontario's Highway 401 in February after a shootout that wounded a provincial police officer.


New Member
Jun 9, 2002
Is anything safe in the country? It seems we're always having problems with law. The terrorists came through canada, we have fugitives running around unmonitored... Child molesters get out of jail and strike again.

When will all of this stop?