The Parole Board of Canada has granted day parole to Stephen Reid, but only to attend a substance-abuse program, Patrick Storey, parole board spokesman, confirmed Thursday.
As soon as a treatment bed becomes available, Reid will be granted day parole, Storey explained. Reid, 62, is serving an 18-year sentence that began in 1999, after he robbed the Royal Bank on Cook Street.
In the 1970s and 1980s, Reid was a member of the notorious Stopwatch Gang, which used stopwatches to carry out about 100 bank robberies yielding a haul of $15 million.
Reid had requested full day parole, which would have allowed him to live in a halfway house for six months and could have been extended if things went well.
The board instead gave Reid “a very focused day parole and that’s just to attend the [60-day] program,” Storey said.
“When the treatment program is finished, he returns to William Head Institution.”
The parole board’s decision reflects its desire to be cautious in providing Reid with access to the community, Storey said.
Reid can then re-apply for day parole, and board members will take into consideration his performance in the substance-abuse program. Often, after six months, day parole is extended through an administrative action rather than a hearing, Storey said.
Storey could not reveal the specific treatment program Reid will attend.
Reid had previously been granted day parole in January 2008 but that was revoked on Nov. 6, 2010, after he was found in a traffic stop to be driving an uninsured vehicle with 18 clear plastic bags containing 3,600 contraband American cigarettes.
Reid told parole officials he was abusing prescription drugs and heroin, and used another person’s urine during a drug test.
“You said you had been a drug addict for 41 years and did not know what to do to stop,” the parole board said at the time.
Storey said he wasn’t sure when Reid made his latest application for day parole.
“Normally, it takes some months to process an application and it would have taken a while to schedule a hearing,” he said.
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