Management High Risk Offenders

 

The Management of High Risk Offenders in our Community:

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service is committed to enhancing the safety and quality of life for all persons in our community. This commitment includes the management of high risk offenders within the City of Sault Ste. Marie and Township of Prince.

The supervision of offenders who are serving part or all of their sentence in the community is the responsibility of Federal or Provincial Corrections.  This supervision is enhanced through an exchange of information between police and the correctional agencies. In addition, where these offenders are assessed as being high risk offenders, it is in the best interests of the community that the police have involvement in the supervision, management, and investigation of such offenders.

Who are High Risk Offenders?

Individuals are identified as high risk offenders when there is evidence to show that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there is a high likelihood that the individual will commit an offence causing serious harm and would include such persons as:

* offenders detained in custody until warrant expiry where it has been determined that they are determined likely to commit a further offence involving serious bodily harm or death, a sexual offence against a child, or a serious drug offence prior to the warrant expiry (Warrant Expiry Inmate Release), or

* an offender who has been placed on the High Risk Offender National Flagging System who, in the opinion of Crown counsel, has been identified as posing an ongoing serious threat to society.  The High Risk Offender National Flagging System may include habitual offenders, dangerous sexual offenders, dangerous offenders serving a determinate sentence and/or an indeterminate sentence, long-term offenders, warrant-expiry inmate releases, and judicial restraint orders pursuant to section 810.1, 810.01, and 810.2 C.C., or

* an individual assessed by correctional authorities or mental health authorities who presents a high risk to commit a sexual offence or an offence likely to cause serious bodily harm or death to another person (factors would support placement in an intensive supervision correctional plan, or

* an individual in which the court has been satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to fear that the individual will cause personal injury or damage.

An individual may be assessed as a High Risk Offender based on the individual’s psychological state and behavior; such as in domestic violence cases even though the individual may not have a prior criminal record or have ever been convicted of a serious personal injury offence.


What does the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service do when they become aware of a potentially High Risk Offender?

Whenever the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service becomes aware of the presence of a potential High Risk Offender within the City of Sault Ste. Marie and/or Township of Prince, our internal High Risk Offender Review Team will conduct an assessment and consider the following criteria:

Past behaviour including the circumstances of any convictions with regard to offence history and pattern;
Any breaches of probation and parole;
Existing controls regarding the behaviour or activities of the offender;
Participation in past or present treatment programs;
Relevant psychiatric, psychological, or social assessments;
Correctional Institution records;
Planned activities;
Risk and access to past or potential victims; and
Interpersonal relationships and supports.

If the internal High Risk Offender Review Team assesses the offender as a high risk, a decision is then made as to the appropriate course of action to be undertaken by the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service.  The four primary options available to the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service in managing high risk offenders are: judicial restraint orders, internal notification and monitoring, targeted public notification, and general public notification. These options are not mutually exclusive and may be used in conjunction with one another.

Judicial Restraint Orders

Under Sections 810(1) and 810(2) of the Criminal Code of Canada, the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service can make application to a Provincial Court Judge to have a high risk offender placed on a Judicial Restraint Order for a period of up to one year during which the high risk offender is bound by specific conditions.  Some of these conditions might include:

Report for regular interviews;
Advise of changes in address;
Advise of employment changes;
Not associate or communicate with named people;
Not attend named locations;
Abstain from using alcohol; and
Abstain from using drugs.

Throughout the time that a high risk offender is bound by a Judicial Restraint Order the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service may use approved monitoring techniques.  Any breach of the conditions of the Judicial Restraint Order may result in a charge being laid against the high risk offender under section 811 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

At the expiration of the one year period the internal High Risk Offender Review Team will re-assess the level of risk posed by the offender, including their compliance with the Judicial Restraint Order. The internal High Risk Offender Review Team may, where warranted, apply to renew the order for another year.

Internal Notification and Monitoring

Some offenders may be assessed by the internal High Risk Offender Review Team as being high risk; however, the high risk offender may have several conditions imposed on them which are appropriate for monitoring their level of risk.  In such a situation the internal High Risk Offender Review Team would take steps such as:

Alerting all members of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and related agencies of the individual’s presence in the City of Sault Ste. Marie and/or Township of Prince;
Notification of past victim(s);
Flagging the individual on the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service's records system and with the Canadian Police Information Centre so that any contacts are brought to the internal High Risk Offender Review Team’s attention;
Regular interviews with the high risk offender; and
Periodic surveillance and checks regarding the individual’s compliance with their conditions.

Public Notifications – Targeted and General

The Police Services Act of Ontario grants a Chief of Police authority to make public notifications regarding the personal information about an offender for specific reasons. These reasons are outlined in Section 41(1.2) of the Police Services Act and include protecting the public and victims of crime.

Section 2(1) of the Police Services Act specifically authorizes a Chief of Police to disclose personal information about an offender who has been assessed to pose a significant risk to others or property.

The decision to make any type of a Public Notification is made only by the Chief of Police, or designate, based upon the belief that making such a notification will reduce the risk posed by that offender.  The Chief of Police reviews the report produced by the internal High Risk Review Team and decides what information is to be released. The information that the Chief of Police releases may include, but is not limited to:

High risk offender’s name, age, and physical description;
A photograph of the high risk offender;
High risk offender’s general residence location or specific address;
Any conditions to which the high risk offender is subject because of parole, a probation order, or a judicial restraint order; and
A synopsis of the high risk offender’s criminal history, including victim typology.

Assisting Victims of High Risk Offenders

A significant responsibility of the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service in dealing with high risk offenders is assisting victims.  This service is coordinated through Victim Services Algoma (Ministry of the Attorney General) and this agency is made up of non-police personnel with training and experience in the area of victim assistance. Members of Victim Services Algoma, in conjunction with the internal High Risk Offender Review Team, encourage victims to participate in developing safety plans to ensure that they are able to live as comfortably and unhindered as possible in their community. Victim Services Algoma is also able to provide referrals to counselling and treatment providers to assist victims in dealing with the emotional turmoil that often accompanies these past traumatic events.

Consulting with our Community in dealing with High Risk Offenders

The Sault Ste. Marie Police Service recognizes that the successful accomplishment of these responsibilities is greatly enhanced through consultation and cooperation with the community.  To this end the Sault Ste. Marie Police Service consults and receives input from representatives from:

* Algoma Remand and Treatment Centre (ARTC)
* Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
* Children’s Aid Society (CAS)
* Community Living Algoma (CLA)
* Community Mental Health Association (CMHA)
* John Howard Society
* Ministry of the Attorney General – Crown Attorney’s Office, Sault Ste. Marie
* Probation and Parole (Federal)
* Probation Services (Provincial)
* Victim and Witness Assistance Program (VWAP)
* United Way

 

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