Women Parole Applicants

Helpful Information about the Parole Process

What is parole?

Parole is a type of conditional release that is granted by the Parole Board of Canada (PBC).

Parole gives you a chance to serve part of your sentence in the community, under the supervision of a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) Parole Officer.

If granted, there are conditions you need to follow while on parole.

What are the different types of parole?

There are two types of parole – day parole and full parole.

Other types of conditional release

Temporary absences are usually the first type of release that you may receive. Temporary absences may be escorted (ETA) or unescorted (UTA). You may be considered for this type of release for various reasons (for example, personal development, contact with family, medical reasons or community service). For more information, talk to your Primary Worker.

Statutory release (SR) is a release that happens by law once you have served 2/3 of your sentence. While it is not a decision of the PBC, the Board is responsible for imposing conditions on your statutory release that you must follow. You are not eligible for statutory release if you are serving a life or indeterminate sentence.

When am I eligible for parole and how do I apply?


For full parole, you are normally eligible at 1/3 of your sentence, or 7 years, whichever one is less.

You are normally eligible for day parole 6 months before your full parole eligibility date.

Eligibility timeframes may be different depending on your sentence length or if you are serving a life or an indeterminate sentence.

If you do not know your parole eligibility dates, you can ask your Parole Officer.

Applying for day parole:

To apply for day parole, you need to complete an application form.

Applying for full parole:

The PBC will automatically schedule you for a full parole review one month before your full parole eligibility date. You will be notified by the PBC in writing when your review date has been scheduled.

There may be circumstances when you may need to apply to be considered for full parole.

Note: Parole application forms ask you to provide your release plans, your possible community supports and reasons for applying. Ask your Parole Officer for an application form. Once you fill it out, they will send it to the PBC.

Why should I apply for parole?

Parole helps you to reintegrate into the community, gradually and safely, with supports while under supervision.

It provides you with a chance to:

If you are not granted parole, the reasons will be provided at the hearing and in the PBC’s written decision. This can help you focus on those areas identified to prepare you for your next parole hearing and your eventual safe return to the community.

How do Board members make their decision?

PBC Board members make the decision to grant or deny parole by way of a parole hearing or by an in-office file review (sometimes called a paper review). In most cases, the first day or full parole review will be done through a hearing.

Whether or not the decision is made through a hearing or file review, Board members will consider all relevant information available to them, including:

What is a parole hearing?

Parole hearings may take place in person or by video conference. A parole hearing provides an opportunity for Board members to assess risk by having a conversation with you about your strengths, progress and the areas they may want to learn more about. The PBC is committed to providing you with a respectful, inclusive and safe space to help facilitate the conversation.

What is a culturally-responsive hearing?

The PBC recognizes the important role that culture and community play in the journey to successful reintegration.

Indigenous offenders, and non-Indigenous offenders committed to an Indigenous way of life, may request culturally-responsive hearings (Elder-Assisted Hearings and Community-Assisted Hearings) which include the participation of an Elder or Cultural Advisor. Elders or Cultural Advisors provide important information (for example, information related to culture, traditions, and/or ceremonies) to Board members and may facilitate ceremonies on request, such as a smudge. They do not participate in the decision-making.

Speak to your Parole Officer for more information, or request a copy of the PBC pamphlets Elder-Assisted Hearings and Community-Assisted Hearings.

Preparing for a parole hearing

Once your review is scheduled, you will get a letter from the PBC with detailed information.

It is important that you take the time to review the information you receive. You can also ask your Parole Officer for help with any area(s) that you do not understand.

Who will be there:

Parole Hearing Room - Diagram
  1. PBC Board Members
  2. PBC Hearing Officer
  3. CSC Parole Officer
  4. Offender
  5. Offender Assistant
  6. Correctional Officer
  7. Observer: General Public
  8. Observer: Media
  9. Offender Support Person
  10. PBC Regional Communications Officer
  11. Victim
  12. Victim Support Person
Elder-Assisted Hearing - Diagram
  1. PBC Board Members
  2. PBC Hearing Officer
  3. CSC Parole Officer
  4. Offender Support
  5. Offender Assistant
  6. Offender
  7. CSC Elder
  8. Indigenous Liaison Officer/Indigenous Community Development Officer
  9. Victim Support Person
  10. Victim
  11. PBC Elder
  12. PBC Regional Communications Officer and observers, if applicable.

*Note: Hearing participants usually sit in the inner circle and observers in the outer circle due to their non-participatory role in the hearing. In consultation with the PBC Elder, determination regarding seating arrangements is at the discretion of the Board members. Victims, victim assistants and offender support may request to sit inside the circle.

What will happen:

Helpful tips:

Remember to always answer honestly. There are no right or wrong answers, or trick questions.

Understand your rights:

You have the right to:

What can I expect after the PBC has made a decision?

A final important reminder…

A hearing can be a stressful event. Knowing what to expect and spending a bit of time preparing may help you feel more at ease with the process.

In the absence of a hearing, your voice can also be heard by the PBC by writing a submission to the Board to be considered in the decision-making process.

For more information or if you have any questions, talk to your Primary Worker and/or Parole Officer.

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