Data and information for this report came from numerous sources: Financial information was provided by Financial Services. The Human Resources Division provided human resources information on staff and the Chairman's Office provided information on Board members.
Minor variances may occur when presenting percentage statistics as a result of rounding. The snapshot of the offender population was taken on April 13, , to ensure all year-end data had been entered into OMS.
The federal incarcerated population increased 0. Introduction The Parole Board of Canada PBC or "the Board" , as part of the criminal justice system, makes independent, quality conditional release and record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations.
The Board contributes to the protection of society by facilitating, as appropriate, the timely reintegration of offenders as law-abiding citizens.
The Board makes conditional release decisions for federal offenders, as well as for provincial offenders in provinces and territories that do not have their own provincial boards. Only the provinces of Ontario and Quebec currently have their own parole boards that make parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years.
The PBC has four programs activities: Conditional Release Decisions is the Board's largest program activity. Conditional Release Openness and Accountability is the second largest program activity at the Board. It focuses on the provision of information to victims and other interested parties within the community, as well as coordinating victims' and other observers' attendance at PBC hearings, providing assistance to victims in preparing their victim statements and providing access to the Decision Registry.
Record Suspension Decisions and Clemency Recommendations, the third program activity at the Board, involves the review of record suspension and clemency applications and the rendering of record suspension decisions and clemency recommendations.
Internal Services, although a separate program activity, exists to support the Board's main activities by providing procurement, accommodation, and financial management services, as well as human resources.
The report presents information using easy to read graphs as well as text and provides links to detailed statistical tables which are found in the Appendix. To review the Board's performance summary by strategic outcome and financial expenditures, please consult the Department Performance Reports.
In addition, the Board faced an increasingly diverse offender population with increasingly violent criminal histories, increased mental health needs and more frequent gang affiliations.
Crime Rates  In , police-reported crime in Canada continued its declining trend: Compared to , crime rates decreased in all provinces and territories with the exception of the Yukon, where the rate increased in Violent crime rates decreased, overall, nine percentage points across the country in The crime severity index, a measure of the severity of offences, decreased nine percentage points in compared to the previous year.
The crime severity index was the highest in the three territories and the lowest in Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec. Overall, the crime severity index decreased in census metropolitan areas in , with the exception of Edmonton, where it remained unchanged.
Barrie, Guelph and Quebec City had the lowest crime severity indexes in , while Regina, Saskatoon and Kelowna had the highest.
The violent crime severity index decreased in all provinces and the territories with the exception of the Yukon and Newfoundland and Labrador, where it increased slightly. Victimization rates In addition to the Uniform Crime Survey measuring police-reported crime, the Government of Canada administers the General Social Survey every five years, collecting information on self-reported victimization on a calendar year basis.
The General Social Survey, examining self-reported victimization of Canadians in 10 provinces, concluded that the rates of victimization remained relatively stable in comparison with the previous findings in . Three out of ten self-reported victimizations were violent in nature. Younger Canadians years of age reported higher rates of violent victimization than older Canadians over 55 years of age , despite being more satisfied with their personal safety from crime.
The majority of Canadians who used a crime prevention method were previously victimized. Almost a quarter of Canadians reported living in the neighborhoods, where issues of social disorder, including vandalism, drug use, prostitution and public intoxication were reported as a problem. Specifically, feeling safe meant not being afraid when walking alone at night in their neighbourhood or using public transportation, including waiting for the bus or a train after dark.
Most Canadians also stated that they felt safe in their homes at night. The rates of victimization of Aboriginal people in Canada were examined separately for Aboriginals living in the Canadian provinces and those living in the territories.
According to the GSS survey, the rates of self-reported victimization among Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces continued to exceed those of the non-Aboriginal population: Aboriginal women were three times more likely than non-Aboriginal women to report being a victim of sexual violence.
Incidents involving violent spousal abuse involving an Aboriginal woman were more likely to be reported to the police compared to incidents involving a non-Aboriginal victim, partly due to a higher frequency of spousal abuse in the Aboriginal communities and more severe forms of violence and injuries Ibid. The findings also indicated that the severity of spousal violence had been increasing with the frequency of incidents.
The majority of all violent incidents reported by Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces were more likely to be related to alcohol or substance abuse and less likely to involve a weapon compared to violent incidents involving the non-Aboriginal population.
On average, about one-third of violent incidents had been reported to the police. Similarly to the victimization rates of Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces, the majority of self-reported violent incidents of Aboriginal people in the territories were related to alcohol or drug use .
Public confidence in the criminal justice system The General Social Survey demonstrated that while Canadians were satisfied overall with their safety in their own neighbourhoods; however public trust and confidence in the criminal justice system remained relatively low.
General perceptions were that the police, the courts and the prison system were doing generally good or average job. Aboriginal people in the Canadian provinces and territories had generally favourable perceptions of the local police services in relation to aspects covered by the survey.
However, they were less likely than non-Aboriginal Canadians to state that the police treated people fairly and responded promptly to calls. When compared to non-Aboriginal Canadians, Aboriginal people were less likely to have favourable opinions of the police, the courts and the prison system.
Aboriginal people across Canada, as well as the non-Aboriginal population, had less favourable opinions of the criminal courts than of the local police, particularly in relation to the duration of the process, as well as helping the victims of crime. Previous contacts with the criminal justice system had a significant impact on how Canadians perceived the services provided by the criminal justice partners.
Overall, those who had contacts with the police or the criminal courts at some point in their lives prior to the survey were more critical of them than those without personal experience.
In relation to the Parole Board of Canada, social perceptions continued to be that the system had released the wrong individuals, and conditional release programs remained a controversial issue for at least a third of Canadians. Slightly fewer of them agreed that the system was doing a good job supervising offenders under supervision. Measures were announced this past year in relation to victims rights and offenders' accountability.
The changes to the Criminal Code were as follows: A victim surcharge was imposed automatically on all offenders at the time of sentencing. The surcharge is paid to the provincial or territorial government where an offender is sentenced and is used to help fund services for victims of crime. The changes that will affect the Board were as follows: The bill authorizes the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to coordinate, at the request of an official of a designated provincial or municipal program, the activities of federal departments, agencies and services in order to facilitate a change of identity for persons admitted to the designated program.
The bill sets out the ability for the Commissioner of the RCMP to enter into an agreement or arrangement with another federal department to facilitate sharing of information. On March 28, , Bill C Abolition of Early Parole Act abolished accelerated parole review for first-time federal non-violent offenders. The APR on file review with one Board member was eliminated; these parole reviews required a hearing with two Board members. Following the implementation of the bill, court challenges in the Pacific and Quebec regions contested the retroactive application of the law.
On October 10, , as a result of another court challenge in British Columbia, Liang v. Canada , the British Columbia Supreme Court reinstated APR for first-time federal offenders who committed an offence prior to March 28, , and were sentenced after that date. Whaling stating that the Abolition of Early Parole Act violated s. This resulted in the reinstatement of the accelerated parole review in all regions across Canada. Accelerated parole review will continue to apply to offenders who met the APR eligibility criteria and were sentenced prior to March 28, in other regions, when the Abolition of Early Parole Act came into force.
Implications for the Board The federal government's law and order agenda and focus on strengthening the security of Canadians have implications for the PBC.
It is important to note that the offender population usually mirrors trends in crime rates and the crime severity index, with the effect being seen approximately two years later. While the crime rates and the crime severity index have been decreasing over the past five years, the offender population has increased.
This pattern indicates that there are more complex events at play, which the crime rates analysis alone cannot sufficiently explain. Introduction of minimum mandatory sentencing, longer sentences for certain offences, and variances in admissions and releases due to legislative changes all play a role.
Federal Offender Population as of April 13, Figure 1. The trends show that the federal incarcerated offender population has been increasing almost five times faster than the federal conditional release offender population annualized rates of 1. Annual Changes in the Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations [ full description of Annual Changes in the Federal Incarcerated and Conditional Release Populations ] The annual increases in the federal incarcerated and conditional release populations usually mirror each other.
In the s, the increases in the federal incarcerated offender population as a rule were followed by similar increases in the federal conditional release offender population approximately three years later. In the s, the increases in the federal incarcerated offender population were followed by increases in the federal conditional release population two years later.
This difference is possibly related to shorter average sentences when compared to 20 years ago. The decrease in the Ontario region and increases in the Atlantic, Quebec and Pacific regions were primarily related to interregional transfers due to prison closures.
Across Canada, the day parole population decreased Increases in the provincial parole populations were reported in the Atlantic and Prairie regions, while the population decreased in the Pacific region. Over the last five years, Aboriginal and Black offenders as a proportion of the federal offender population were more likely to be incarcerated than on conditional release, whereas White and Asian offenders were more likely to be on conditional release than incarcerated.
Over the last five years, the proportions of federal offenders serving sentences for murder and schedule I offences have been relatively stable, with annual variations less than a percentage point. The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II offences increased 0.
The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for non-scheduled offences has decreased 1. Following the decreases in the proportion of federal admissions of these offenders To better analyse the offence profile of the federal offender population, a more detailed review is provided below. In the last five years, the proportions have remained relatively stable for incarcerated offenders serving sentences for murder and schedule I-sex offences, with annual variations less than a percentage point.
The increase follows the 0. The proportion of the federal incarcerated offender population serving sentences for schedule II offences increased one percentage point from No increases in federal admissions of these offenders were reported in the other regions. The proportion of the federal incarcerated population serving sentences for non-scheduled offences decreased 1. Of particular importance were the changes affecting former APR-eligible offenders, those first-time federal offenders serving sentences for schedule II and non-scheduled offences.
Due to the effect size of these groups, the proportions of other offenders were affected as a result. The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-sex offences on day parole increased 1. The proportion of federal offenders serving sentences for schedule I-non-sex offences on day parole increased 1. The proportion of federal offenders on day parole serving sentences for schedule II offences decreased 1.
The increasing proportions of federal admissions of these offenders in the last three years did not translate into increases in the proportion of these offenders on discretionary release.