5 Things to know about statutory release residency conditions
- Kate Mitchell
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The Parole Board of Canada has the power to impose conditions on federal prisoners on statutory release. Below are a few things to know about the Board’s powers with respect to residency conditions:
- The Board can impose a residency condition on a prisoner on statutory release in order to facilitate the prisoner’s reintegration. This means the prisoner would be required to reside in a community-based residential facility or psychiatric facility.
- A residency condition can only be imposed if it is decided that the prisoner would present an undue risk to society by committing, before the expiration of their sentence, one of a particular set of offences. These offences are set out in Schedule I to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and are largely violent offences, but they also include some organized crime offences. It must be determined that the risk of committing one or more of these offences would be undue without a residency condition. In making this determination the Board will consider all relevant information, including potential for violent behaviour, stressors in the release environment, psychological/psychiatric information, information about attempts by the prisoner to mitigate their risk of future violent behaviour, and information the prisoner is or will participate in treatment/interventions to prevent violence.
- The Board can impose a residency condition to a private home. Note that this only applies if Correctional Service Canada has designated it as a community-based residential facility. A residency condition to a private home may be considered appropriate where the prisoner is seeking release to a small or remote community, as well as when no other community-based residential facility can provide specific services the prisoner needs (for example, geriatric care).
- Residency conditions are imposed for a specific period of time. The Board will provide a decision that will explain why the condition was imposed for the period outlined.
- Prisoners can challenge residency conditions. Decisions of the Board can be appealed to the Appeal Division, which must be done generally within 60 days of when the decision was made. Prisoners can also apply to the Board to remove or vary a residency condition. The Board is only requires to conduct such a review every 6 months.
If you need assist with challenging a residency condition, contact us.