What You Need to Know About Parole if You're in Provincial/Territorial Custody

Transcript: What You Need to Know About Parole If You're in Provincial/Territorial Custody

If you are an offender serving a sentence of six months or more and thinking about applying for parole, here is some basic information you need to know-- about the Parole Board of Canada, and the law and procedures that it must follow.

(On screen: How to Apply for Parole: When You're in Provincial/Territorial Custody)

Parole does not mean that your sentence has ended. Parole allows you to serve the rest of your sentence in the community, under supervision.

If you are on parole, you will be expected to follow conditions that will help you return to society as a law-abiding citizen.

The Parole Board of Canada makes parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of six months to two years less a day in provinces and territories where there is no provincial parole board.

Decisions to grant or deny parole are normally made by one Board member without a hearing.

The Parole Board will consider whether you are a risk to society if you are released— and they'll decide if that risk can be managed in the community. They will also review all available information about you, including your complete background and anything that led to your criminal behavior, and any past offences. They will look at any progress you have made participating in programs while incarcerated And they will look at any plans you have for your release, including plans to supervise you in the community by your parole officer.

First, you must complete a detailed parole application and give it to a staff member at your institution who will make sure it is sent to the Correctional Service of Canada and the Parole Board of Canada.

It is important to fill out your application form on time. And make sure you fill out all of the areas on the application If you don't, your parole review could be delayed.

You must give your name and the name of the provincial centre where you are incarcerated.

You must include your Finger Print System number—or FPS —or inmate number.

And you must give the name of your parole officer. If you have not yet met with a parole officer, you should give the name of your assigned case worker.

You will write a brief summary of your plans for parole, along with the name or names of people you have in the community who would support your release.

Don't forget to choose the language you prefer to communicate in, either English or French.

Check off the box in the top right-hand corner of the form that shows the type of parole you are interested in and eligible for—for instance, Day Parole or Full Parole. If you are interested in both, then check both boxes.

Don't forget to sign and date your application! Most important of all, explain to the Board why you feel you deserve to be considered for parole.

When your application is received, a Correctional Service of Canada community parole officer will work with you. This person will prepare your case and provide it to the Parole Board Board no later than three months from the date you applied.

The parole officer will interview you to discuss your plans. They may also interview people in your community who can provide you with support or a place to live while you're on parole.

They will develop a plan to manage your release in the community. This will include where you will live, what programs you will take, any sessions with a psychologist, and how you will build your employment record. You will need to meet regularly with this officer.

Finally, they will prepare a report for the Parole Board and recommend whether you should be granted release. The Parole Board will focus on whether you present a risk to society if you are released, and whether your release will help you to become a law-abiding citizen.

If you are not granted parole and you don't agree with the Parole Board's decision, by law you may appeal it. Your appeal must be sent to the Board's Appeal Division in Ottawa within two months of the date of the decision.

If you are granted parole, you will be released from the institution on a date decided by the Parole Board. You will be expected to meet regularly with your community parole officer, and keep them informed of any changes in your situation. They will monitor your progress in the community.

You must follow all of the conditions on your parole certificate. You must also carry it with you at all times, because it shows proof that you are allowed to be out in the community.

These conditions will normally remain in effect until the end of your sentence if you are granted full parole.

For more information, talk to your case worker, or you can ask for an information pamphlet on how to apply for parole.

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