Simon Says

Bringing clarity to the inner workings of our legal system

Do inmates need to apply for parole?

Inmates are automatically considered for parole or entitled to a hearing in some cases, but in other cases they need to apply. Regardless, inmates should speak with their Parole Officer or Institutional Liaison Officer about their parole eligibility and ensure all paperwork is in order well in advance.

Provincial inmates (those serving sentences of less than 2 years)

The Ontario Parole Board must consider inmates for parole if they are serving a sentence of 6 months or more. Even if an inmate waives their in-person parole hearing, the OPB will still consider the inmate for parole by reviewing the inmate’s file.

Those serving sentences of less than 6 months need to apply to get a parole hearing.

Federal inmates (those serving sentences greater than 2 years)

The Parole Board of Canada must schedule a hearing and consider inmates for full parole within the 6 months prior to their full parole eligibility date.

A federal inmate can waive their full parole hearing by advising the Board they do not wish to be considered for parole. An inmate can also request or consent to postponing their hearing, which is often done, for example, if an inmate wants to complete programming prior to their hearing.

Federal inmates need to apply to be considered for day parole.

Inmates seeking both day parole and full parole will typically have just one hearing. At the end of the hearing, the Board will decide to grant full parole, day parole, or neither.

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