Simon Says

Bringing clarity to the inner workings of our legal system

Can federal inmates be transferred to another province?

Yes. The Correctional Service of Canada has the authority to transfer inmates to institutions across the country.

If the offender doesn’t want to move, then it’s known as an involuntary transfer.

What is the process for an involuntary transfer?

  • A parole officer will complete an Assessment for Decision that will outline why a transfer is recommended
  • The offender will be provided with the Assessment for Decision, notice of the transfer recommendation, and any information to be used in making the decision
  • The offender will be granted time to prepare a rebuttal
  • A decision will then be made about whether to transfer the inmate or not

This typically occurs before the inmate is transferred, but (in the case of an emergency transfer) may be done after the transfer.

Can involuntary decisions be challenged?

Involuntary transfers can be frustrating for inmates, who may be moved far from their friends and family.

While CSC has authority to transfer inmates, this doesn’t mean that all inmate transfers are lawful. If the reasons for the transfer are unreasonable, then it may be possible to challenge the transfer. Note that in correctional law, “unreasonable” has a particular meaning.

Given how quickly transfer decisions are made and carried out, it may not be possible to challenge the decision until after the inmate has been transferred.

Borys Law has been able to use habeas corpus to successfully challenge some involuntary transfer decisions. For more information about bringing a habeas corpus application, contact us.


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