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Can prisoners lose their earned remission?

Earned remission allows provincial prisoners to be released prior to their warrant expiry date. Prisoners can be credited with 15 days of remission for each month served, which they can earn by obeying prison rules and conditions governing temporary absences, as well as for participating in programs. Prisoners do not accumulate earned remission while on parole.

Prisoners can lose part or all of their earned remission if they are found to have committed a misconduct of a serious nature. Superintendents can take a prisoner’s earned remission as a disciplinary measure, but they cannot order forfeiture of more than 15 days of earned remission without the Minister’s approval. With the Minster’s approval, Superintendents can also suspend the eligibility of a prisoner to earn remission for up to two months.

If a prisoner has been disciplined by having earned remission forfeited or being suspended from eligibility to earn remission, they can apply to the Minister for a review.

The Minister (or a person appointed by the Minister) has the authority to restore part or all of remission that has been forfeited if satisfied that it is in the interests of the prisoner’s rehabilitation.

Prisoners whose parole is revoked can also lose all of the remission they had earned up to the point that parole was granted. However, the Ontario Parole Board does have authority to re-credit prisoners whose parole is revoked through no fault of the prisoner’s.

Prisoners can also surrender their earned remission to remain confined after their discharge possible date. The Superintendent must be satisfied that it is necessary or desirable that the prisoner remain confined in the jail for medical or humanitarian reasons or to assist with the prisoner’s rehabilitation.

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