Counting the days

Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services

Date: 2011

An inmate called the Ombudsman because he was eligible for parole in one week and he was afraid his request for a parole hearing would not be submitted on time. His Institutional Liaison Officer had not met with him to begin the process, which takes four to six weeks. Ombudsman staff discovered that delays in processing parole hearing requests were routine at the institution. As a result of the Ombudsman’s inquiries, the responsible manager was directed to clear up the backlog to ensure inmates were given the opportunity for parole hearings before their parole eligibility dates. Additional staff were hired and two senior probation and parole officers were assigned to work with the Institutional Liaison Officers to help improve their performance. An agenda and checklist were developed to ensure their work was on track. The Ombudsman was also assured that the institution would more closely monitor staff workloads to avert future delays.