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How long does it take to process a temporary absence permit application?

Prisoners in provincial correctional facilities in Ontario are eligible to apply for temporary absence permits. These allow prisoners to be released into the community for some period of time, which could be anywhere from several hours up to 60 days.

The decision to grant or deny an application can be made by the Ontario Parole Board, the Superintendent of the correctional facility the prisoner is incarcerated, or select other individuals in the Ministry.

Prisoners need to submit an application in writing to the Superintendent. There is a specific application form that generally needs to be filled out. Prisoners should ask the Temporary Absence Permit Coordinator for a copy, or another staff member.

Once an application is submitted, the Superintendent needs to either refer the case to the Ontario Parole Board or make a decision. Unfortunately, there is no strict deadline for the Superintendent to process an application and either refer it to the Board or make a decision. So it may take weeks or even months for the Superintendent to take any action.

The Superintendent can refer applications for temporary absences of 72 hours or longer. Once the Board receives a referral, the Board must review the matter within 30 days.

As a result of all of this, it can be hard to predict how long it will take for an application to be processed. In some cases, it can take only a few days or weeks for a decision to be made, but in other cases it can take much longer (potentially several months). There is no guarantee that an application will be decided before the prisoner’s parole, discharge possible date, or warrant expiry.

Before going into custody, prisoners should consider whether they may want to apply for temporary absences and gather any potentially relevant documents. Having a clear and organized application may help reduce delays in processing the application.

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