Mr. Don Gibbs

Dear Mr. Gibbs:

Thank you for your recent email.  The Ministry of Justice understands your concerns.  Public safety is the top priority of BC Corrections and the Ministry of Justice and to this end, when James William Conway relocated to Abbotsford on August 1, 2015, BC Corrections worked closely with Abbotsford police to ensure a public notification was issued.  This was done to ensure that all residents in Abbotsford were advised that a high-risk offender was moving to the area so that as many people as possible had the information they needed to protect themselves and those they care about.

While BC Corrections is intensively monitoring Mr. Conway along with the Abbotsford Police Department, we would like to take this opportunity to clarify that this residence is not a halfway house operated by BC Corrections.  Rather, Community Living BC (CLBC) holds a contract with a community agency to deliver services at the home, and further questions regarding the zoning of the home should be directed to CLBC.

The Ministry assures you that Mr. Conway is being supervised intensively and that the conditions of his probation will be strictly enforced by police and BC Corrections.  Mr. Conway is under 24-hour house arrest, is on electronic monitoring, must not leave his residence at any time without the supervision of an approved adult and must not be near anyone under the age of 18.  These conditions, along with security features of the home, contribute to an intensive level of supervision of this individual.

Once an offender has completed their custodial sentence that was determined by the Courts, they are released into the community.  If offenders are given a probation order by the Courts, they come under the supervision of BC Corrections, who monitor these individuals to ensure they are meeting their court-ordered conditions while they are in the community.  A breach of any conditions could result in the offender returning to custody.

There is no legal authority for the province or any law enforcement agency, municipal government or other public body to tell offenders in which community they can or cannot live; only the Courts have that authority.  In many cases, offenders choose to return to the area where they were living before their time in custody, or to a community where they have family or supports and resources, such as housing, in place.

Thank you again for raising your concerns.  We are committed to managing offenders throughout the province and we will continue to work closely with law enforcement agencies and community support services to supervise offenders in a coordinated way.

Ministry of Justice
Province of British Columbia

pc:    The Honourable Michael de Jong, MLA
Mr. Simon Gibson, MLA
Mr. Darryl Plecas, MLA
His Worship Henry Braun, Mayor

(Pass the buck until the cows come home.  Who ultimately is to blame for the large number of sexual predators – “likely to re-offend” –  released into our communities?  If no one is to blame then we are a country devoid of leaders worthy of such a name.   –  Gerda)