National Office for Victims 2021 Highlights
The NOV works to improve victims’ experiences with federal corrections and conditional release systems and represent their voices in federal correctional policy development.
The annual Highlights summarizes the NOV’s activities over the previous year and its future priorities.
Find out more:
Public Safety Canada
National Office for Victims
269 Laurier Ave. W.
Ottawa ON K1A 0P8
Partnerships and engagement
The National Office for Victims (NOV) continues to provide a victim’s perspective in federal correctional policy development intended to assist victims in exercising their rights in the corrections and conditional release system. Through regular engagement and outreach with victims and their advocates, the NOV seeks a diversity of views, experiences and concerns about federal correctional laws, policies, and procedures that impact the wellbeing of victims of crime across Canada.
By collaborating with Portfolio partners at the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), the NOV continues to raise awareness about information services available to victims of federal offenders and opportunities to participate in the post-conviction stage of the criminal justice system. The NOV also partners with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Canada Border Services Agency in support of the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights (CVBR), which enshrined statutory rights for victims to information, protection, participation and to seek restitution.
Webpage views of the NOV’s content increased by 214% from 2019–2020
The past year was a challenging one for people the world over. COVID‑19 pandemic restrictions changed how services were delivered and business was conducted. The NOV was no exception. Our traditional outreach activities were limited and our ability to fulfill requests for hard copies of our information products was impacted.
In 2020–21, NOV received 3,055 requests for hard copy publications from victims, victim service providers and the general public, which represented an 84% decrease in requests from the previous year. Conversely, webpage views of the NOV’s content increased by 214% from 2019–2020, likely due to our key audiences shifting their practices and accessing our material online.
Together, we are looking in detail at these suggestions to determine… what future reforms might be considered
The NOV listened to concerns raised by victim stakeholders at National Victims Roundtables held between 2016 and 2020. Over the past year efforts were made by NOV and its partners, CSC and the PBC, to review all policy suggestions made at these Roundtables to improve victims’ rights and their interactions with the federal corrections and conditional release system. Together, we are looking in detail at these suggestions to determine what falls within existing policy, procedures and legislation, and what future reforms might be considered. By continuously engaging with stakeholders and reviewing existing policy, the government seeks to better meet victims’ needs and increase confidence in the criminal justice system.
At the 2016 and 2019 Roundtables, we heard there is a need for “clearer” information on how federal sentences are meted out. In response to these suggestions, the NOV developed a new online information product entitled Sentence Calculation: An Explanation of the Basics of Sentence Calculation with Examples and five Fast Fact Sheets to assist victims, victim service providers, and the general public better understand how federal sentences, handed down by courts, are calculated and how eligibility dates are determined in accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA).
The fact sheets, released in November 2021, describe how release eligibility dates are determined for:
- Offenders Serving a Single Fixed Sentence with Long Term Supervision;
- Offenders Serving Life Sentence for 1st Degree Murder;
- Offenders Serving an Indeterminate Sentence;
- Offenders Serving Multiple Concurrent Sentences; and
- Offenders Serving Multiple Consecutive Sentences.
Additionally, NOV released the 2019-20 Public Safety (PS) Portfolio Report on Victim Complaint Resolution Mechanisms, which is compiled annually in support of the implementation of the CVBR. This report provides an overview of the federal victim complaints processes within the PS Portfolio and the types of CVBR complaints received as well as a summary of how the complaints were resolved and resulting changes to internal processes, when necessary.
We also host monthly PS Portfolio Victim Services meetings to share updates and collaborate on victim issues
Another aspect of NOV’s work involved participation in Federal/Provincial/Territorial Working Groups on subjects related to victims of crime and restorative justice to provide a federal correctional perspective through a victim lens. We also host monthly PS Portfolio Victim Services meetings to share updates and collaborate on victim issues, plan joint activities, network, and coordinate input amongst our Portfolio partners on departmental initiatives in support of the Minister of Public Safety Canada.
The NOV will focus on the following priorities in the coming year:
- ensuring the continued implementation of the CVBR;
- developing and revising information products for victims of federal offenders;
- reaching out to diverse groups of victims to advance policy development; and
- continuing to bring a victim lens to federal correctional policy development.
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