Section 84 Early Release Program / Ronathahi:io (they have a good path)
Ronathahi:io is a program under the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne, Akwesasne Justice Department, according to section 84 of the Correctional and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) legislation. This section allows an Onkwehon:we (aboriginal) inmate the opportunity to serve part of his/her sentence in the community, providing the community agrees.
In accordance with section 84 legislation Correctional Services Canada (CSC) must provide:
- adequate notice of the inmate’s parole application
- give the community an opportunity to propose a plan for the inmate’s release to, and integration into the Onkwehon:we (aboriginal) community.
What is the Community Review Panel?
A Community Review Panel (CRP) is appointed by Mohawk Council of Akwesasne under Mohawk Council Resolution 2005/2006-071 to represent the community and be the body to receive applications and make decision on said applications.
Who is eligible?
- To be an eligible candidate under the Ronathahi:io release program, the offender:
- Must be a first time offender or case by case reviews subject to the provisions of the Correctional and Conditional Release Act (CCRA)
- Has been classified low risk/moderate risk to re-offend
- Must have a medium to high reintegration rating
- Is an enrolled member of the Mohawks of Akwesasne
- Must have served one sixth of his/her sentence to be eligible for day parole, or
- Is eligible for accelerated Parole Release
What is the process?
- The offender must write a letter of request to the Akwesasne community via Justice Designee asking for the Community Review Panel (CRP) to be involved in his/her release planning and supervision.
- A confirmation letter will be sent from the Justice Designee informing the inmate that the letter has been received. The offender must sign a disclosure form in order to have his/her paperwork released to the Justice designee and the CRP members for his/her review.
- An information package will be enclosed. The offender fills out the paperwork, signs forms and returns the documents to the Justice Designee.
- The review will begin as soon as all the documents are in their possession. (arrest record, criminal record, pre-sentence report, court transcript, assessments and institutional records.)
- The Justice Designee will review the offender’s records, contact the review panel members and set up the date and time for the review, contact potential employers, parents, significant other, and/or victims.
- If it is found that the offender’s present charge is a drug offence, a letter will be sent to the offender informing him/her that a drug offence will need to be addressed in the Akwesasne Mohawk Court.
- The process will be given to the offender. This will need to be addressed before the offender can continue with the request for early release.
- All necessary paperwork and application to deal with the drug conviction will be dealt with in accordance to the Drug and Banishment Law enacted by MCR 1999/2000-098. If the offender is not eligible for a unescorted pass to attend Mohawk Court, he/she may appoint someone to present his/her case for him/her.
The Community Review Panel:
- CRP will interview all applicants documentation accumulated during his/her incarceration
- CRP will interview applicant’s family, supporters, potential employers and the victim or victims
- CRP will make recommendations to the offender’s correctional release plan and will make recommendations to the conditions the offender will need to abide by while in the community
- A representative from the review panel will go to the institution to work with the Institutional parole officer and the offender to finalize the correctional release plan
- The applicant will take that Correctional plan to his/her National Parole Board hearing
- If the NPB approves of the plan, then the applicant will be released into the community
- The successful applicant will report to his/her Parole Officer and the police department in the community that he/she is residing upon his/her release
- There will be culturally appropriate programming recommended
- The Ronathahi:io Parolee will serve the remainder of his/her sentence under supervision in his/her community and a federal Parole Officer
Note: The applicant can apply once for the Ronathahi:io Early Release