How do new charges impact an offender’s parole eligibility?
- Kate Mitchell
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If an offender receives new charges and is convicted, it may push back the offender’s parole eligibility date.
How parole eligibility dates are calculated is a correctional law matter dealt with in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. The parole eligibility rules for those convicted of additional sentences are set out in sections 120.1, 120.2, and 120.3.
The method used to calculate the new parole eligibility date depends on whether the additional sentence is concurrent or consecutive.
Note that the general rules discussed below apply in most situations, but the calculation is more complicated if the offender is serving a life sentence, receives additional sentences on multiple occasions throughout their sentence, and/or receives a consecutive sentence imposed on only a portion of the current sentence.
Consecutive sentences are served back-to-back, meaning the length of the sentence is determined by adding the individual sentences together.
If an offender receives an additional consecutive sentence, then the offender needs to serve the remaining balance of the parole ineligibility period for their current sentence plus the parole ineligibility period for the new sentence.
An offender received a 3 year sentence, which means the offender would be eligible for full parole after serving 1 year.
But 6 months into the sentence, the offender received an additional 3 year sentence that is to be served consecutively.
The offender must serve the remaining 6 month parole ineligibility period on the current sentence, plus 1 year of parole ineligibility on the new sentence.
Concurrent sentences are served at the same time.
The sentences get merged, and the parole ineligibility period is the later of:
a) The parole eligibility date of the current sentence, and
b) The parole eligibility date of the merged sentence.
An offender received a 3 year sentence on January 1, 2019, which means the offender would be eligible for full parole after serving 1 year.
But 6 months into the sentence, the offender receives an additional 3 year sentence that is to be served concurrently.
a) Parole eligibility date of the original sentence: January 1, 2020
b) Parole ineligibility of the merged sentence: March 1, 2020
This is 14 months from the date of the first sentence. The 6 months served on the original sentence are added to the 3 years for the new sentence, and the PED is 1/3 of this total.
Since B is the later of these dates, the offender would be eligible after serving 14 months.