Halifax Regional Police Supt. Don Spicer called yesterday’s announcement that the federal Tories will seek to reform the parole process for non-violent offenders “a great step towards public safety.”
At a press conference in Halifax yesterday, Rob Moore, a parliamentary secretary to Justice Minister Peter Van Loane, said the government “plans to fix the problem in the parole system that allows the early release of criminals.”
Currently, those convicted of non-violent crimes such as fraud or identity theft are eligible for parole after serving one sixth of their sentence through a process known as accelerated parole review. Moore said the government plans to respond to concerns raised by victim’s groups and police associations to move towards a system based on earned parole.
“There has been growing concern in our community about offenders not serving their full sentence,” Spicer said. “The elimination of accelerated parole review will help reassure citizens that the time served by offenders of non-violent crimes is commensurate with the harm inflicted on the victims and the community at large.”
Van Loane said yesterday the change would cost $60 million, which he described as a bargain compared to how much fraudsters steal.
– with files from The Canadian Press