What is parole?

After part of the sentence is served in the institution, parole allows an offender to leave the institution and to live in the community under the supervision of a parole officer. There are conditions that the offender must observe, for example, abstaining from alcohol or drugs, not associating with known criminals, or attending counselling or treatment programs. If these conditions are broken, the offender will return to prison. 

Parole is not granted automatically. It is a privilege not a right. The offender is eligible to apply for parole; however, the National Parole Board makes the decision about whether parole will be granted or not. The Board reviews the case and assesses the risk that the offender may present to the community if he or she is granted a conditional release. Because the Board is concerned about community safety, the question they keep in mind is, “Is the offender likely to commit a new offense between that release and the end of the prison sentence?” 

Mennonite Central Committee Canada. (2011). Getting through the maze: A guidebook for survivors of homicide.

Was this article helpful?

Recent Articles