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5 Things to know about the Parole Board of Canada

1. The Parole Board of Canada (“PBC”) is an independent administrative tribunal. The PBC is separate from Correctional Service Canada (“CSC”). CSC is responsible for managing prisoners’ sentences, and CSC makes recommendations to the PBC regarding parole, temporary absences, etc. However, the PBC makes the finally decision.

2. Board Members come from a range of backgrounds. These include criminology, policing, business, education, law, social work, etc.

3. The PBC’s primary concern is risk. Board Members at parole hearings are tasked with assessing risk, which is done by asking prisoners questions and reviewing correctional documents. The PBC takes into account information provided by victims, parole officers, judges, psychologists, psychiatrists, probation officers, etc.

4. The Board has up to 60 members, and members are appointed to specific regions (Atlantic, Quebec, Ontario, Prairies, or Pacific). There are full-time and part-time Board Members, and Board Members are appointed for 3-5 years.

5. The PBC handles more than just parole. In addition to parole, the PBC is responsible for making decisions about record suspensions, expungements, and clemency (Royal Prerogative of Mercy).

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