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  Parole Board Decisions Parole Board Decisions

What is a Parole Board of Canada decision?

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) has exclusive authority to make conditional release (parole) decisions for offenders in federal and territorial prisons. Under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), the Board may grant, deny or revoke parole or, under certain circumstances, order the detention of offenders subject to statutory release. The PBC also makes parole decisions for offenders serving sentences of less than two years in provinces that do not have their own parole boards (only the provinces of Quebec and Ontario have their own parole boards).

How does the Parole Board of Canada make parole decisions?

Parole decisions are made by Board members either through an in-office file review (without a hearing) or a face-to-face hearing with the offender and their parole officer.

In addition to standard face-to-face hearings, offenders can request Elder-Assisted Hearings and Community-Assisted Hearings. These hearings involve an Indigenous Elder or advisor and are often held in a circle format.

Can I request a copy of a Parole Board of Canada decision?

Yes — Since November 1, 1992, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) requires the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) to maintain a registry of its decisions along with the reasons for those decisions. Anyone may request, in writing, a copy of these decisions.

The purpose of the registry of decisions is to contribute to public understanding of conditional release decision making and to promote openness and accountability.

For more information, see the PBC Decision Registry fact sheet.

How do I request a copy of a Parole Board decision?

You do not have to be registered as a victim with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) or the Parole Board of Canada (PBC) to request a copy of a PBC decision; PBC decisions are available to any member of the public. However, the PBC may withhold certain information in the decision that could reveal confidential sources of information, put a person's safety at risk, or hinder an offender's return to society as a law-abiding citizen.

Registered victims can request a copy of a PBC decision for the offender who harmed them in the Request Parole Board of Canada Decisions section of their Victims Portal account. Victims may choose to view this information online or to have a copy of the decision sent to them by mail or by facsimile.

Anyone may request a copy of a PBC decision by completing the Request for Decision Registry form and mailing it to their nearest Parole Board regional office.

What information do Board members consider when making parole decisions?

Board members consider all relevant and available information in assessing an offender's risk to re-offend.

Information from the police, courts, Crown attorneys, mental health professionals, correctional authorities, private agencies, and victims of crime is used in assessing an offender's risk to re-offend and whether that risk can be safely managed in the community.

This information can take the form of judges' sentencing comments or recommendations, employment history, and psychological and/or psychiatric assessments, for example.

Board members also refer to actuarial assessments and risk assessment tools.

Related Information

Frequently Asked Questions Glossary
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