The case of the polite parole violator

See all posts about dumb crooks and kooky crimesIn the dead of winter, when you’re three sheets to the wind, tired and far from home, a police station can look like an inviting crash pad, particularly if you’re a man of limited means. That might be the explanation for the bizarre behaviour of a paroled federal prisoner who showed up at the HQ of the constabulary in the Friendly City, as Belleville, in eastern Ontario, is known. Police noted, dryly, that:

At approx 4 a.m. an extremely intoxicated male attended the front desk of the police station advising that he was breaching his parole conditions and proceed (sic) to list all of the conditions being breached

While it clearly wasn’t a hot crime story, someone at the Belleville PD with a wry sense of humour thought to put the story out in a release (read it after the jump).

The tale of the polite and oh-so-helpful parole violator was tacked on to the bottom of this routine release, issued January 18, that included the usual mundane stuff about fender benders and drunk drivers:

A Belleville officer told me that the ex-con was violating three conditions, though she couldn’t say what they were. He was not on conditional release living in Belleville, and his parole officer was located in Ottawa, so it’s a reasonable inference that he may have been on a roadtrip that went awry. The officer surmised that it may have been a simple case of needing a warm place to sleep it off. Unfortunately, it could also mean a trip back to a pen.

The case is notable for one other reason. It’s a demonstration of the strange interplay of Corrections and law enforcement. Even though the ex-con showed up and confessed to police that he was breaching his parole conditions, police couldn’t arrest him. They don’t have that legal power. The coppers have to call Corrections and wait for penitentiary authorities to issue a warrant suspending the offender’s release (a warrant of apprehension and suspension) and ordering him into custody. Corrections has 30 days after that to decide whether to recommend that his release be revoked, though the final decision comes from the National Parole Board. The entire process after suspension is thoroughly explained at this site.

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