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Victim's Right to Information

If you are a victim of a crime, you have a right to information about the person who harmed you.

  • Information about an offender confined to a federal institution, may be provided by the Correctional Service of Canada.
  • Information about an offender confined to a provincial correctional centre may be obtained from the British Columbia Corrections Branch through the Victim Safety Unit.
  • The Parole Board of Canada may provide information for federal offenders on parole matters.

This information is not available to you automatically. You must request it in writing from the Correctional Service of Canada, the Parole Board of Canada, or other agencies. The Victim Safety Unit (see below) can assist you in applying to the appropriate body.

An informational video for victims of crime is available on the Parole Board of Canada website. The video shows victims how a parole hearing works and directs victims to other PBC information.

The Information You Can Receive

When you make a request for information you may receive:

  • the offender’s name
  • the offence and the court which convicted the offender
  • the date the sentence began and length of sentence
  • the offender’s eligibility and review dates for temporary absences, day paroles and full parole.

The Corrections and Conditional Release Act stipulates that the Correctional Service of Canada or Parole Board of Canada may use discretion in releasing other information about the offender. If they find that the interest of the victim receiving certain information outweighs the offender’s right to privacy, the victim may receive the following information:

  • the offender’s age
  • the location and name of the penitentiary where the sentence is being served
  • the date, if any, on which the offender is to be released on unescorted or escorted temporary absences, parole or statutory release
  • the date of any Parole Board of Canada hearings
  • any conditions attached to the offender’s temporary absence, parole or statutory release
  • the offender’s destination when released on any temporary absence, parole or statutory release and whether the offender will be in your area while travelling to that destination
  • whether or not the offender is in custody and, if not, why not
  • whether or not the offender has appealed a Parole Board of Canada decision and the result of that appeal.
  • the reason for a waiver of the right to a hearing if the offender has given one.

Additional Information You Can Collect

In addition, anyone demonstrating an interest in a specific case may request a decision from the Parole Board of Canada’s Decision Registry, including the reasons for decisions related to an offender’s parole, return to prison, and the decisions made by the Parole Board of Canada’s Appeal Division. The Parole Board of Canada may exempt information in these written decisions that could reveal a confidential source of information, jeopardize a person's safety, or hinder an offender's return to society as a law-abiding citizen.

Personal information about a victim is never given to the offender. However, any information that is provided by you for consideration in a decision about parole must be shared with the offender.

Register for Victim Notification- The Victim Safety Unit

To register for the victim notification service and other general information, call the Victim Safety Unit at 604-660-0316 in the Lower Mainland or 1-877-315-8822 toll-free from anywhere in Canada. Or download and fill out the form below.

Download the Victim Safety Unit Notification Application Form here.

Fill out the application and return it to the address enclosed on the form. Following the registration of your application, you will be notified if the offender is moved to another institution or when the offender is released from jail for any reason. This service is provided by the Victim Safety Unit and VictimLink BC, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Did You Know?
The National Sex Offender Registry provides rapid access by police to current vital information about convicted sex offenders. The Registry increases public safety by helping in the investigation of crimes of a sexual nature and identifying possible suspects known to live near to the offence site. People convicted of a sex offence may be ordered by the court to register annually and every time they change address or legal name. Information such as addresses and telephone numbers, offence, alias(es), identifying marks and tattoos of convicted sex offenders are included in the national database. Police agencies in every province and territory can access the database and use the information there to help keep the public safe.

Important Reading

For information on victim rights and access to information, read the Government of Canada publication Victims of Crime: Staying informed

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