What happens if an offender breaches a parole condition?
- Kate Mitchell
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If offenders don’t follow their parole or statutory release conditions, then their parole or statutory release can be suspended.
Note that parole or statutory release can also be suspended for other reasons, including:
- To prevent a breach of a condition;
- To protect society; or
- If an offender receives an additional sentence (other than a conditional sentence being served in the community or an intermittent sentence) are automatically suspended.
If there are concerns, an offender may be arrested and held in custody. After, the inmate’s case must be reviewed, and either the suspension will be cancelled (meaning the offender is then released) or the case is referred to the Board to decide if parole should be revoked. Note that a suspension cannot be cancelled if it is the result of the offender receiving an additional sentence. Instead, the case must be referred to the Board for a post-suspension hearing.
The cancellation or referral to the Board must be done within 14 days of recommitment (if the offender has a sentence less than two years) or within 30 days of recommitment in any other case. The Board has up to 90 days to hold a post-suspension hearing.
There are three possible outcomes at a post-suspension hearing before the Board:
- If the Board accepts that the offender will present an undue risk to society, by reoffending before the expiration of their sentence, and that the risk is not manageable, then parole or statutory release must be terminated or revoked;
- If not, then the Board must cancel the suspension (and release the offender); or
- If the offender is no longer eligible for parole or statutory release, the Board must terminate or revoke parole of statutory release.
Even if the offender’s suspension is cancelled and the offender is re-released, the Board may change the conditions of release, reprimand the offender, or delay the release up to 30 days.
Speak to a corrections lawyer for advice regarding your specific case.