Parole was first instituted in Canadian justice system by the Ticket of Leave Act of 1899. The Parole Act of 1959 described three criteria the Board should consider before granting parole:
  • the inmate had derived maximum benefit from imprisonment;
  • the reform and rehabilitation of the inmate would be aided by the grant of parole; and,
  • the release of the inmate on parole would not constitute an undue risk to society.

Parole in Canada is administered by the National Parole Board. In recent years, parole had been widely granted to offenders, potentially to relieve prison overcrowding, or to reduce the costs of incarceration. Parole is viewed by many Canadians as a "trial period" in which the system tests the ability of the offender to return to society.

Conditions of Parole: Offenders on parole as well as on statutory release are usually restricted to the area of residence and of work and must remain in Canada. They must keep the peace, be of good behavior, obey the law, report to a parole supervisor and/or the police as required and keep the parole supervisor informed of changes in residence or employment. The Parole Board may set out special conditions, such as abstinence from drug use.

Proposed legislative reforms to parole generally need to strike a balance between the offenders rights, victims rights and public safety.

related issues: probation, crime, criminal law, Corrections Canada, prisons

Position: Parole should only be for special cases, not for all offenders.

Position: Parole should be automatic for all non-violent offenders.

Position: Parole should be abolished - let the sentence fit the crime.