How do offenders submit applications to the Parole Board of Canada?
- Kate Mitchell
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Often, offenders will provide their applications to their parole officers, who then submit the applications to the Parole Board of Canada. However, there is nothing preventing an offender from submitting an application directly to the Board, according to R v Richer, 2019 SKQB 193, at para 15.
Once the Parole Board of Canada receives an application, it has 6 months to hold a parole hearing, according to section 157(2) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (“CCRR“). The clock starts to run from the time the Board receives the application, not from when the offender gives the application to the parole officer.
The issue of parole officers delaying in submitting applications to the Board was discussed in R v Richer, 2019 SKQB 193, in which the offender brought an application for habeas corpus on the basis that the parole officer took over 3 months to submit the application to the Board. By the time the hearing was held, more than 6 months had elapsed from when the offender gave his application to the parole officer. However, the court was clear that the clock does not start to run until the Board receives the application. Since the hearing was held within 6 months of the Board receiving the decision, there was no breach of the CCRR and the application was dismissed.
As such, offenders should be cautious when providing their applications to parole officers. A delay on a parole officer’s end can force an offender to wait additional weeks or even months for a parole hearing.