Protecting Canadian Families from Repeat Violent Offenders

Last week, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced our Government’s intent, in keeping with the commitment made in the 2013 Speech from the Throne, to introduce legislation to further protect Canadian families by ending the practice of automatic early release for repeat violent offenders.

Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, federal offenders serving fixed-term sentences are allowed to serve the final third of their sentence in the community under supervision and subject to conditions.

Our Government believes that this is the wrong approach when it comes to repeat violent offenders. Therefore, under the proposed legislation, these offenders will no longer be granted statutory release after serving only two-thirds of their sentence. These measures reflect our Government’s ongoing commitment to keep our streets and communities safe while ensuring that the rights of victims are placed over those of criminals.

With these amendments, repeat offenders will be exposed to correctional programming in penitentiaries for a longer period of time to change behaviour which contributes to reoffending.

This builds on our past measures to get tough on crime. We’ve strengthened sentences for sexual offences against children, serious gun crimes and impaired driving. We’ve enabled the courts to end sentence discounts for multiple murderers, and repealed the Faint Hope Clause which allowed offenders serving life sentences to apply for parole after 15 years.

Our latest measures to end automatic early release will build on our record by keeping repeat violent offenders in prison longer. The safety of Canadians will always be taken seriously by our Conservative Government.