What is parole?

Parole is a carefully constructed bridge between incarceration and return to the community. It is a conditional release, and contributes to the protection of society by allowing some offenders to continue to serve part of their sentence outside of the institution in the community under the supervision of a Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) parole officer, and subject to conditions.

Parole does not mean that offenders are completely free, without supervision. It does mean that offenders have an opportunity, under the supervision and assistance of the CSC parole officer, to become contributing members of society, providing they abide by the conditions of their release. If the conditions of parole are not met, the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has the power to revoke the parole and return the offender to prison.

Why parole?

The majority of offenders are serving fixed-length sentences. This means they will eventually be released back into the community once their sentence ends.

Parole contributes to public safety by helping offenders re-integrate into society as law-abiding citizens through a gradual, controlled, and supported release with conditions.

Who is responsible for parole?

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC), an independent administrative tribunal which reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Safety, has exclusive authority, under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), to grant, deny, and revoke parole for offenders serving sentences of two years or more.

The PBC also makes parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years in all provinces and territories except Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, which have their own parole boards.



Over the past 10 years:

  • 93 % of offenders granted day and full parole by the PBC have not committed a new offence while on parole;
  • 99 % have not committed a new violent offence while on parole

Page details

Date modified: