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How Parole Works in Canada

How Parole Works in Canada

What is Parole?

Let’s start by defining what parole is:

Parole means the release from a Federal Institution under certain conditions which the inmate must follow (these conditions are provided to the inmate before release and also provided to their community Parole Officer).

Types of Parole Release

There are 2 different types of parole release:

  • Day Parole
  • Full Parole.

Day Parole in Canada:

Day parole is usually the earliest date you can be released from prison (an individual can be released earlier if they win a court appeal).

Under Day Parole conditions, an individual is released to a Halfway House.

The individual would spend their days in the community and their evenings at the Halfway House.

Offenders can apply for day parole 6 months before their full parole date (or after 6 months, whichever is greater).

Offenders will need to meet with their community parole officer periodically to make sure they are abiding by their release plan.

Full Parole in Canada:

Under full parole conditions, the individual would serve the rest of their sentence in the community (the individual would no longer need to spend their evening at the halfway house).

Offenders can apply for full parole after serving either one-third of their sentence or seven years (whichever is less).

Offenders will need to meet with their community parole officer periodically to make sure they are abiding by their release plan.

How parole works in Canada

What Is the Purpose of Parole?

There are a few reasons why parole exists:

  1. To assist offenders’ transition back to society through a gradual and controlled release plan
  2. With a realistic release plan, hopefully, the chance to re-offend is reduced
  3. There are a variety of different reasons for crimes committed. The parole board can see individuals on a case by case basis instead of painting all offenders with the same brush
  4. It is cheaper to supervise an offender in the community

Example of Parole Eligibility in Canada:

Let’s say Person A commits an offence and is sentenced to 6 years in Canadian Federal Prison.

Person A will receive a report (actually, numerous reports) outlining their offence and a list of dates when they can apply for parole.

It may look like this (there are other terms on the report that we will cover in another article):

Sentence:  6 Years  0 months 0 days

Sentence Commencement:  2018/01/01

DPE (which means Day Parole Eligibility, Person A can apply for Day Parole 6 months before full parole): 2019/07/01

FPE (which means Full Parole Eligibility, Person A can apply for Full Parole after one-third of their sentence): 2020/01/01