When considering an applicant for parole, the OPB welcomes input from, and the participation of, victims of crime. The OPB recognizes the role of victims in the criminal justice system and believes victims are an important part of the early release decision-making process.
In addition to information the OPB receives from the police, the courts and corrections, the OPB welcomes information from the victim of the offence to help render decisions. This information will be considered along with all the other information to which the OPB has access.
Victims may provide a written submission or attend the applicant’s parole hearing and give an oral statement. Victims may, but are not required, to give an oral statement if they attend a parole hearing. Victims may also provide information to an OPB Case Management Officer who will ensure the OPB members receive the information before making a decision.
A victim submission is the victim’s opportunity to tell the OPB about the physical, financial and emotional impact the offence has had on them, their family, and their community.
The victim may also tell the OPB about any recommendations that they or their family may have on whether parole should be granted, and, if parole is granted, what conditions the OPB should consider imposing on the applicant in order to protect the victim and the community at large.
Attending a Hearing
Victims who wish to attend or participate in hearings must contact a Case Management Officer as soon as possible after receiving notification of the hearing date and request authorization to attend the hearing.
All hearings will be held in provincial correctional facilities and attendees will need to go through a security screening prior to being granted permission to attend the hearing. The institution has the right to deny access due to security reasons even after the OPB has approved attendance at the hearing.
Victim Notification System
Victims should register with VNS to receive automated voicemail messages whenever there is a change in an applicant’s status, including notification of parole hearings and release from custody. To register with VNS, please contact the Ministry of the Attorney General’s (MAG) Ontario Victim Support Line.
Ontario Victim Support Line
Victims should contact the Ministry of the Attorney General’s (MAG) Ontario Victim Support Line to discuss a specific applicant. Victims can determine whether that applicant has a scheduled parole hearing or whether that applicant has been released. Victims may also call for information on local victim supports and services, or for general information on the criminal justice system.
Ontario Victim Support Line:
Toll Free Tel.: 1-888-579-2888
Funding for Victims to Attend Hearings
The Victim’s Justice Fund is a fund created by the Ontario Government that provides victims with some financial assistance for expenses incurred while attending parole hearings in the province. For more information about the Victim’s Justice Fund, please visit the Ministry of the Attorney General’s website here.
A Guide for Victims and their Families
OPB’s Parole in Ontario: A Guide for Victims and their Families provides detailed information on the role of victims of crime in the parole hearing and decision process.
Please contact us if you would like a copy of the guide.