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Introduction. 1

There are two different types of Parole. 1

1. Day Parole. 1

2. Full Parole. 1

Conditions of Release. 2

Decision Making Process. 2

Appealing a Parole Board Decision. 3

Temporary Absences. 3

Statutory Release. 3








There are different types of release for incarcerated individuals in Canada: conditional releases (parole), temporary absences, and statutory releases. This pamphlet focuses on parole. For information on temporary absences and statutory releases, see page 3 of this booklet.


A conditional release (parole) allows incarcerated individuals to serve part of their sentence in the community under the supervision of a parole officer. While on a conditional release you must live by the conditions of the release and if the conditions are not met, the National Parole Board (NPB) has the authority to end the release and send you back to a penitentiary.




Day parole allows for release of inmates into the community to participate in community activities to prepare for full parole under the supervision of a parole officer. The inmate must return to the penitentiary, halfway house or other NPB authorized location every night.




If you are serving a determinate sentence of two years or more, you are eligible for day parole 6 months before you are eligible for full parole or after six months, whichever is greater.


If you are serving a life sentence you are eligible for day parole 3 years before you are eligible for full parole or after three years, whichever is greater.



Allows inmates to serve the remainder of the sentence in the community under the supervision of a parole officer. It is at the discretion of the NPB to grant your parole. You do not have to return nightly to an institution but you must report regularly to a parole officer (or police, in some cases) and abide by certain conditions.




Eligibility for full parole generally begins after you have completed 1/3 of the sentence or 7 years of the sentence, whichever is less.


If you are serving a life sentence or indeterminate sentence for murder, or are found to be a Dangerous Offender by the court, then the law sets Parole Eligibility for Full Parole as follows:

  • 1st degree murder charge: 25 years must be served
  • 2nd degree murder: 10-25 years must be served (judge decides)
  • Life sentence imposed as the maximum penalty: 7 years must be served
  • Dangerous Offenders: 7 years, with a review every 2 years thereafter

Conditions of release are the rules that you must follow while you are on parole or statutory release in the community. The conditions should take the goal of community protection into consideration.


The standard conditions listed in Section 161(1) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations are:

  • To travel directly to your residence and report to your parole supervisor immediately and thereafter as instructed
  • To remain at all times in Canada within the boundaries set by your parole supervisor
  • To obey the law and keep the peace
  • To inform your parole supervisor if you are arrested or being questioned by the police
  • To keep your release certificate and the ID card given to you and to produce them upon request to any peace officer or parole supervisor
  • To report to the police if you are instructed to by your parole supervisor
  • To advise your parole supervisor of changes in your address, occupation, domestic or financial situation, or any other change that may reasonably be expected to affect your ability to comply with the conditions or your parole
  • To not own, possess or control weapons (except with the authorization of your parole supervisor)
  • If you are on DAY PAROLE: to return to the penitentiary from which you are released at the date/time that was provided to you in the release certificate.

A Parole Officer will ensure that you follow these conditions and if they are not being followed, or the Parole Officer believes you present a risk of breaching these conditions, or pose a risk to the public, you may be returned to prison.


Decisions are made after a face-to-face hearing in the institution where you are incarcerated before a panel of 2-3 board members. Hearings are all recorded. You have a right to have an assistant (friend, family, etc. . .) or lawyer help you at the hearing. Anyone over 18 can apply to attend the hearing, this must be done at least 60 days before the hearing as a security check will be required by law before anyone is allowed into the institution to watch the hearing, or generally to visit.  All decisions and the reasons for the decision are kept in a registry, and anyone who can show an interest in the case can apply in writing to have access to the decision.


Before the hearing you must get information from the Parole Board about how they will be making their decision. After the hearing you must get the reasons for the decision and an opportunity to appeal the decision.


Factors considered in the decision making process include: 

  • Information about your past like education, employment, criminal history, victim statements, family and community involvement.
  • An assessment of your current life including any drug and alcohol use, mental health issues, behaviour and attitude, programs you are participating in and/or have completed.
  • As assessment of your release plans including available community supports, accommodation, employment, and planned conditions to be enforced by the parole officer upon your release.

You, or someone on your behalf, may appeal a Parole Board decision within 2 months of the original decision by sending a written notice to the Board. The written notice should state the grounds for the appeal and should include any supporting documents that you may have.


The Appeal Division will only overturn the Parole Board’s original decision where it finds that the decision was unreasonable and unsupported by the information available at the time the decision was made.


There are three types of temporary absences: Escorted, unescorted, and work releases.


Temporary absences allow incarcerated offenders the opportunity to access the community for a number of different reasons, including medical, administrative, and personal among others.


The Parole Board and the Correctional Service of Canada will consider whether the offender poses an undue risk to society during the absence and whether the absence would fit within the offender’s correctional plan.


If you are not granted parole but have served 2/3 of your determinate sentence, and a detention hearing has not determined that you pose an ongoing risk to society, you would serve the last third of your sentence in the community as if you were on full parole.


You would be under supervision and under conditions that are similar to being on full parole. However, statutory release is not the same thing as parole. It is a release by law and the Parole Board is not involved in this process.


Offenders serving life sentences are not eligible.



Correctional Service of Canada (……………………………….613-992-5891

Delivers programs for inmates of penitentiaries, and prepares cases and makes recommendations for inmates when they go before the Parole Board for parole consideration.


National Parole Board (…………………………………….........780-495-3404

Makes decisions on inmates’ parole and imposes conditions for offenders subject to long term supervision orders. Responsible for the pardons program.


Correctional Investigator (……………………………………..1-877-885-8848

         Investigates complaints against Correctional Services Canada.