British Columbia
Review Board
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Number of Accused

The total number of accused under the Board’s jurisdiction has declined in the last five years.  There are slightly more accused supervised in the community than in custody at the Forensic Psychiatric Hospital.

Breakdown of New Cases

New cases that are deferred by the court to the Board include both not criminally responsible (NCR) accused, as well as accused who have been found unfit to stand trial (UST).  In the past year, new cases increased from 55 to 72, largely as a result of a substantial increase in UST verdicts.

Case Closure by Reason

This graph indicates that the main reasons for case closure are absolute discharge (in the case of NCR accused) or matters where an unfit accused has been returned to court, and subsequently found to be fit. Besides these, a case may be closed due to death, interprovincial transfer, charges being stayed, an appeal, or a consolidated verdict.

New and Closed Cases

This graph shows the new NCR accused, as well as cases that have been closed as a result of an absolute discharge.  In 2019-20, there were slightly more NCR cases closed than coming into the system, thus reducing the number of NCR accused under Review Board jurisdiction.

The next graph shows the number of new unfit accused, as well as the number of accused where the Board was of the opinion that the accused was fit to stand trial and ordered the accused to be sent back to court for trial of the issue.  In 2019-20, there was a substantial increase in the number of new unfit accused.  The number of accused returned to court also increased, but at a lower rate, thus increasing the number of unfit accused under Review Board jurisdiction.

Total Accused by Verdict Type

This graph tracks the total accused under the Board’s jurisdiction, broken down by verdict type. The NCRMD and historical (pre-1992) not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRI) verdicts have been combined. While unfits are a relatively small portion of the cases under our jurisdiction, there has been a significant change in this last year.

Total Hearings by Type

This chart shows the total number of hearings in a year, as well as the breakdown by type. Although the majority of hearings are held annually, in some cases the Board orders that the next hearing be prior to the normal 12 months (known as short orders).  Additional hearings are also held where the accused’s liberty has been restricted by the Director for more than seven days, or where the court has ordered that an accused be returned to custody for breach of their release conditions.  Early hearings may also be held at the request of the Director, or in the discretion of the Board.  This means that the total number of hearings is often more than the total number of accused under the Board’s jurisdiction.

Dispositions and Cases

This graph depicts the number of dispositions (hearings and extensions) versus the number of cases under Review Board jurisdiction.  The number of cases is made up of the number of accused persons under Board jurisdiction at the end of 2017-18 and the number of new accused deferred by the court to the Board in 2018-19.  Because cases are sometimes reviewed more than once per year, the total case number is not always an accurate reflection of workload.

Accused Demographic Breakdown

The demographic breakdown of Review Board accused has remained relatively stable over the last five years. Most accused under the Board’s jurisdiction are male, over 18, and live in the Lower Mainland.