Changes coming to parolee supervision after woman's death

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By Angela MacKenzie, CTV Montreal

MONTREAL — Changes are coming to the way offenders are supervised while on parole in Quebec following a federal probe into the circumstances surrounding the murder of 22-year-old Marylene Levesque.

The young woman was stabbed to death in 2020. Convicted murderer Eustachio Gallese pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in Levesque's death, and will serve 25 years in prison before being eligible for parole.

The investigation raised many questions about the decision to release Gallese on day parole, as well as the lack of safety regulations when it comes to prostitution laws. 

One revelation in the investigation was that part of the parole strategy suggested by Gallese’s officer allowed him to meet women to respond to his "sexual needs." 

Members of the Parole Board of Canada said they did not authorize this permission and did not support this strategy, imposing a special condition to report all intimate and non-intimate relationships.

The investigation led to a report from a National Joint Board of Investigation made up of five people, including two criminologists from outside the prison system. 

Responding to recommendations in that report, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) announced it will make several changes including:

  • Changing its direct supervision model in Quebec. It currently allows for some Community Residential Facilities (CRF) to not only provide accommodation and support to offenders, but to also supervise offenders. As of March 31, 2021, the CSC said it will take over all aspects of community supervision from the Maison Painchaud CRF, and will also review other contracts with CRFs in Quebec with the goal to return all direct supervision responsibilities for federal offenders back to the CSC. 
  • It will revise its policy for collecting information related to an offender’s history, and will also implement a formal monitoring mechanism. 
  • It will also implement mandatory training around intimate partner violence which will be added to the existing continuing development training parole officers and their supervisors receive. 

The CSC said it is also conducted a nationwide review to make sure all supervision strategies were “sound, appropriate, consistent with legislation policies, and serve to protect public safety” and found no similar cases. Its added that since Levesque’s murder, employees directly involved in the supervision and oversight of Gallese have been assigned other duties and are no longer supervising offenders.  

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