Conditional Release - Glossary

Conditional Release


Provincial parole boards: Only Québec and Ontario have their own parole boards.

Criminal records: A criminal record is created every time a person is convicted of a criminal offence. It leaves a record of the offence and the conviction. These records can serve to justify harsher sentencing for new offences. Not long ago, a criminal record would follow a person for the rest of his or her life. Now, it is possible to be pardoned, meaning that all federal departments and organizations that hold information regarding a specific sentence must keep this separate from other information and cannot disclose this information without the authorization of the Minister of Public Safety Canada.

Recidivism: Commission of a new offence after being convicted of a similar offence.

Parole hearing: Anyone who wishes to observe a hearing must apply at least 60 days prior to the hearing to allow for a security check, as required by law, before a visitor can be admitted to an institution. Most people who have applied in writing to attend an NPB hearing will be allowed to attend as observers. In fact, hearings are not closed to only those with a vested interest in the case.

Life sentence: In 1976 the death penalty was removed from the Criminal Code and replaced by life imprisonment with no consideration for parole for 10 to 25 years.