Photographs of Federal Penitentiaries
Mountain Institution is a medium-security facility located in the upper Fraser Valley near the community of Agassiz British Columbia, approximately 140 kilometres east of Vancouver. Mountain Institution shares the penitentiary compound with Kent Institution. Mountain opened in 1962 and incarcerates about 300 offenders.
Parking is available on site. Handicapped parking is located immediately to the right upon entering the parking lot.
All visitors including victims and observers must report to the security desk located at the main entrance. Please ensure you have a photo identification with you.
Visitors are required to sign in a visitor's log. Observers and victims will be greeted by a Parole Board of Canada (PBC) Regional Communication Officer, or a Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Victim Liaison Co-ordinator, who will escort them to the waiting room and the hearing room.
A visitor card will be given to you and it must be worn so as to be visible to institutional staff at all times during the visit.
Institutional security staff may ask you to place your personal belongings in a locker. Please note that cameras and recording devices are not permitted in a parole hearing.
Visitors must pass through a metal detector and a search of person or personal belongings may occur at that time.
Building where parole hearings are held.
This is the waiting room area. A pre-hearing briefing is done by a PBC Regional Communications Officer or a CSC Victim Liaison Co-ordinator. The conditional release decision-making process will be explained to you and your questions will be answered. Visitors are in the waiting room before the hearing, during the Board Members deliberation and after the hearing is over. Observers have access to designated washrooms.
This is the observer's gallery within the parole hearing room. Observers, including victims, will enter the room directly from the waiting room (lower left-hand side). The offender enters the hearing room from the door shown at the upper right-hand of the picture.
PBC parole hearing participants include: The Board Members, the CSC Parole Officer, the offender and his assistant. The assistant is someone of the offender's choosing, i.e. a family member or a lawyer. A victim may present a statement to the Board Members and may choose to read it or to present it on a videotape or an audiotape. A security officer is present during the hearing. The entire proceedings are tape-recorded.
The PBC Hearing Officer introduces the participants and ensures procedural safeguards are respected. Board Members then begin the parole hearing. Board Members start the hearing by asking the CSC Parole Officer to present the case and to make recommendations. Board Members then interview the offender regarding his criminal and social history, institutional behaviour and results of programming and release plans. The offender's assistant may speak after Board Members are finished with the offender's interview. Observers and the victims are seated at the back of the room.
When Board Members have completed their interview with the offender, everyone must leave the room in order for Board Members to deliberate. Observers return to the waiting room where they can ask questions about what they have observed.
When Board Members have made their decision, everyone returns to the hearing room. The Board Members will announce their decision to the offender and will provide reasons for that decision. The hearing is now over. The observers return to the waiting room where they may ask questions or clarifications regarding the decision.