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Bringing clarity to the inner workings of our legal system

What is earned remission?

Earned remission allows offenders serving custodial sentences to be release prior to the end of their sentences.

Earned remission for federal inmates (those serving sentences of 2+ years) was abolished for those sentenced after November 1, 1992. It was replaced with statutory release, which results in offenders being released from prison upon serving 2/3 of their sentences. This applies unless a detention order is sought to keep an offender in prison until his or her warrant expiry date.

Earned remission still applies to provincial inmates (those serving sentences less than 2 years). Provincial inmates don’t automatically get released at 2/3, and instead they earn credit for good behaviour. Provincial inmates earn 15 days of remission for each month by obeying prison rules, abiding by conditions of temporary absence, and participating in programs. For partial months, inmates can still earn time, which is calculated on a pro rata basis.

For example, if an offender serving a 6 month sentence demonstrates good behaviour, the offender will be released on earned remission after serving 4 months. For each month, the offender earned 15 days, which took 60 days (2 months) off the time to be served.

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