Manitoba has had a similar process since 1995 when the Manitoba Community Notification Advisory Committee was established with its primary objective being to balance the right of the offender to privacy with the right of the community to protect itself. The committee decides whether it is necessary to provide information either to the general public or to certain individuals when a high risk sexual offender is or will be residing in the community. The committee makes a recommendation to police based on the offender's criminal record, the threat he poses, and several other pertinent criteria.
Nova Scotia has recently (in 1999) developed its High Risk Offender Information Protocol that calls for the creation of a committee which would advise the commanding chief of police in a community as to the appropriateness of notification. The police chief may then decide against notification or may, alternatively, choose to notify the community of the presence of a high risk offender, selectively notify an individual (a victim or witness who may fear for their personal safety when an offender is released), or notify a community group (Nova Scotia Department of Justice, 1999).
In Newfoundland, the High Risk Offender Information Protocol was approved by the provincial government in 1996. The information sharing policy is to be used "in carefully defined circumstances" (Newfoundland Department of Justice, 1996, p.1), taking into account the best interest of the community and the offender's right to privacy. When an offender classified as 'high-risk' is released from prison, the RCMP may refer the case to the provincial Community Notification Advisory Committee. This committee is similar to those established in other provinces, and is composed of members of the public as well as representatives of the justice system. When the committee decides that notification is appropriate in a certain case, it advises the local police authorities on how notification of the public of the presence of a high-risk offender is to proceed- the scope and duration of the notification is detailed by the committee in its report(Newfoundland Department of Justice, 1996). The chief or commanding officer of the police force that is issued a recommendation by the Community Notification Advisory Committee can reject any recommendations made, however, and makes the ultimate decision to notify the public (and how to go about such notification) when an offender is released and is thought to pose a threat to the safety of the community.
The province of New Brunswick has also developed a protocol, but has only dealt with one case as of July, 1999. The protocol applies in three situations: where Correctional Services Canada informs the police of the imminent expiry of a sentence served by a high-risk offender; where provincial corrections officials notify the police of the upcoming release of a high-risk offender; or where the police are made aware of the presence of a high-risk offender by an independent source (Solicitor General of New Brunswick, 1998). According to the protocol, notification may be appropriate when an offender has served his sentence to warrant expiry and is thus not subject to community supervision, has indicated the community in which he intends to reside, and is seen to pose a significant threat to the community or to a person or group within that community (New Brunswick Department of Justice, 1999).
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