Area of Law: Criminal Law
Answer Number: 765
Statutory releaseRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 765
Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, an inmate has the right to be released from prison after serving two-thirds of his or her sentence. This type of early release is called statutory release.
It is different from parole where the Parole Board of Canada has the discretion to grant or deny parole after evaluating the risk an offender poses to the community if released.
Offenders on statutory release are inmates who either did not apply for early release on parole, or who were denied release on full parole. As well, offenders serving life or indeterminate sentences are not eligible for statutory release.
Offenders on statutory release are supervised in the community by Correctional Service Canada (CSC) Parole Officers and will be returned to prison if they are believed to present an undue risk to the public. Although most inmates are legally entitled for statutory release after completing two-thirds of the sentence, CSC may recommend an offender be denied statutory release, if they believe there are reasonable grounds that the offender is likely to:
- commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person;
- commit a sexual offence involving a child; or
- commit a serious drug offence before the end of the sentence.
Under these circumstances, the Parole Board may decide to keep the offender in prison until the end of the sentence, or the Board may include additional conditions to the statutory release. Examples of standard conditions include obeying the law, reporting a change of address or employment and not possessing weapons. Examples of additional conditions may include abstaining from alcohol and drugs, and not associating with certain individuals.
If you have been charged with any criminal offence, you should consult a lawyer.
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