What You Need to Know About Parole if You're in Provincial/Territorial Custody
What is Parole?
Parole is a form of release granted by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) that allows offenders serving sentences in provincial or territorial custody to serve the rest of their sentence in the community.
Parole does not mean your sentence has ended. Your parole eligibility date will determine when the PBC will consider you for parole. Being eligible for parole does not mean that it will be granted. If you are granted parole, you will be placed under the supervision of a community Parole Officer. This Parole Officer will monitor you in the community. You will have to follow conditions that will help you return to society as a law-abiding citizen.
helps prepare you for full parole by allowing you to participate in community activities. You are eligible to apply for day parole after serving one-sixth of your sentence. You must return nightly to a halfway house or a provincial/territorial jail, unless otherwise authorized in writing by the PBC. Day parole continues until your Earned/Institutional Release Date, unless you have also been granted full parole, at which time your sentence will be considered complete.
allows you to serve the rest of your sentence in the community under supervision by a Parole Officer. You are eligible to apply for full parole after serving one-third of your sentence. You must show the PBC that you have a plan to address any risk you pose to the community. You will not normally have to return to a halfway house unless a residency condition is imposed. You may live at your home or at a residence approved by your Parole Officer.
Who Can Apply?
Most provincial offenders may apply for parole. The PBC is not required to review your case if you are serving a sentence of less than six months or if you apply so late in your sentence that there is not enough time for the PBC to make a decision.
How do I Apply?
To be considered for parole, you must complete and send a parole application to a staff member at the institution where you are incarcerated. The staff person will make sure it is sent to the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and PBC.
Who Decides if I Get Parole?
The PBC has the legal authority to grant or deny parole. Board members with training and expertise will review all available and relevant information about you. They will decide if you pose a risk to public safety if released, and they will decide if that risk can be managed in the community. The protection of society is the most important consideration in all release decisions.
Board members will assess three factors—your social and criminal history, including your understanding of the offence and any past offences; your institutional behaviour/benefit from programs; and your release plan.
Is There a Hearing?
No. Typically, your parole application will be considered and decided upon by one Board member, without a hearing. By law, the Board has the right to decide when a hearing is necessary.
When your application for parole is received, you will be assigned to a CSC community Parole Officer. This Parole Officer will prepare your case for the PBC no later than three months from the date on your application. You will be interviewed about your release plan, and so will people in your community who may provide you with support or a place to live while on parole. The Parole Officer will develop a supervision plan to manage your release into the community. The plan may include living in a halfway house, participating in programs, seeing a psychologist and getting/keeping a job. If released, you will have to meet regularly with your community Parole Officer.
By law, the PBC must provide you with the information it will use when making a decision on your case. This information must be provided to you by your Parole Officer before your review, in the official language you choose. When you receive the information, you will have the right to communicate with the PBC in writing before any decision is made.
You will receive a copy of the PBC's parole decision and the reasons for it. If you are granted parole, the community Parole Officer will provide you with a parole certificate that allows you to be in the community. You must carry it at all times. It will contain standard conditions you must follow when released. Special conditions may also be added, depending on the nature of your offence.
If you disagree with a decision, by law you may appeal it. Appeals must be sent to the Board's Appeal Division in Ottawa within two months of the date of the decision:
Parole Board of Canada
c/o Appeal Division
410 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0R1
Once you are released from the institution, you will be expected to keep your Parole Officer informed of any changes in your situation.
For more information about how to apply for parole, please speak to your case worker at your institution.
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