Sentence Administration and Parole

AuthorNancy T Charbonneau and Kathryn E Ferreira
Sentence Administration and Parole
Nancy T Charbonneau and Kathryn E Ferreira
Conditional release is any release from imprisonment to the community
subject to conditions and supervision for a specied time, not exceeding
the end of the sentence that has been imposed. is term encompasses
statutory release, various forms of parole, and temporary absences from
the prison.
As set out in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, “[t]he pur-
pose of conditional release is to contribute to the maintenance of a
just, peaceful and safe society by means of decisions on the timing
and conditions of release that will best facilitate the rehabilitation of
oenders and their reintegration into the community as law-abiding
Statutory release is a legislated release that happens for most prisoners after they
have served two-thirds of their sentence inside. (It does not apply to those serving life
or other indeterminate sentences or those detained by the Parole Board of Canada
until their warrant expiry date due to an assessed high risk to commit certain serious
SC , c , s ., online:. [CCRA].
Sentence Administration and Parole | 201
citizens.” us, parole boards must decide whether to grant or deny
parole, what conditions to impose on conditional release, whether to
revoke or maintain a release, and whether to detain prisoners so that
they must serve their entire sentence in custody. Temporary absence
decisions fall either to the parole board, the warden of the penitentiary,
or the superintendent of the jail depending on the type of temporary
absence, the length of the temporary absence, and the point of the pris-
oner’s incarceration as set out in legislation. All of these decisions have
at their heart an assessment of a prisoner’s risk of reoending.
Parole is one of the most powerful tools in the rehabilitation and
reintegration of oenders as it often motivates prisoners to take their
sentence seriously by oering increased liberty during the sentence.
Typically, prisoners must manage their behaviour while incarcerated in
order to earn a parole release and must present a prosocial attitude dur-
ing their time in the community to maintain their release to the end of
their sentence. Time spent under supervision in the community before
the end of a sentence leads to greater safety for all persons. is per-
iod of living positively in the community with structured support and
while under supervision is often key in assisting parolees to develop the
skills needed to live prosocially on a permanent basis.
While on a parole release or any other form of conditional release,
parolees continue to serve their sentences as these releases are subject to
conditions and may be suspended and revoked at any time.
Ibid, s .
The provisions dealing with escorted temporary absences (ETAs) and unescorted tem-
porary absences (UTAs) for federal oenders are set out in the CCRA, above note , ss 
&  (work releases) and ss –. The regime for provincially incarcerated oenders var-
ies by province and is set out in provincial legislation: see, for example, in Ontario, Ministry
of Correctional Services Act, RSO , c M., ss –, online:
See Graham Stewart, Brief, “The Future of Parole-Presumptive Gradual Release” (
June ) [For submission to the Parole Board of Canada Academic Think Tank on
Community Corrections ], online:
of-parole-brief-by-graham-stewart. “[R]ecidivism studies have found that the percent-
age of safe returns to the community is higher for supervised oenders than for those
released with no supervision,” referencing Larry Motiuk, Colette Cousineau & Justin
Gileno, The Safe Return of Oenders to the Community: Statistical Overview (April
) at , online:/sr-safe_return_e.pdf.

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