Can a parole hearing be held after an offender’s parole eligibility date?
- Kate Mitchell
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Offenders serving sentence of 2 years or more are entitled to a full parole hearing and can also apply for day parole. Offenders are advised of their eligibility dates during the intake process.
An offender is entitled to a full parole review within the 6 months before their eligibility date, and day parole hearings are generally to be held within 6 months of the application being received. That said, parole hearings won’t necessarily go ahead on or before an offender’s day or full parole eligibility date.
An offender may request a postponement for a number of reasons. For example, an offender may choose to postpone if:
- New information was provided to the offender within 15 days of the hearing
- Treatment or programming won’t be complete by the time of the hearing
- The offender’s assistant is not available on the hearing date
The Parole Board of Canada will generally grant postponements. A new hearing is then scheduled, generally within four months of the original hearing.
A postponement is different than withdrawing an application. If an application is withdrawn, then a new application is needed and new correctional documents will need to be prepared. This tends to cause more delay than a postponement, but withdrawing an application may be more appropriate in certain circumstances.
Even if an offender wants to proceed with a parole hearing, the Board may adjourn the hearing.
Before a parole hearing starts, the Board may administratively adjourn the hearing to get missing information. Once the review has begun, the Board has the ability to adjourn to get further information relevant to the review or for more time to render a decision.
Regardless, the Board can adjourn a parole hearing for no more than 2 months. After the adjournment, the Board will either resume the hearing or render a decision (depending on the circumstances).