Commissioner's Directive

Maintenance Allowance for Offenders


  1. To assist offenders to become self-supporting and to encourage participation in community programming, by ensuring that when necessary, they are provided with financial assistance for travel expenses and a living allowance to meet their basic needs.


  1. The operational manager shall approve provisions in accordance with this directive and relevant regulations.


  1. An offender granted a release shall be eligible for payment of all reasonable transportation, food and, where applicable, lodging expenses.
  2. An offender released on a temporary absence with or without escort or for the purposes of work release shall be eligible for payment of all or part of any reasonable similar expenses while travelling between the institution from which he or she is released and the destination approved by the releasing authority.
  3. Payment of expenses for an offender released on a temporary absence or work release shall be subject to the requirement that he or she contribute toward the defrayment of the expenses by remitting an amount from the Inmate Trust Fund to the institutional head in charge of the institution from which he or she is released. This amount must be reasonable, considering:
    1. the remittance at no time reduces the monies deposited as required by directives concerning inmates' monies;
    2. the amount of money standing to the inmate's credit in the Inmate Trust Fund;
    3. the intention of the inmate to use the money standing to his or her credit in the Inmate Trust Fund for purposes outlined in the Regulations and approved by the institutional head;
    4. the extent to which the institutional head believes that the temporary absence is essential to the inmate's reintegration into the community.


  1. Offenders, regardless of the type of release granted, may be provided with a living allowance to meet their basic needs. However, offenders on full parole or on statutory release without a residency requirement must be enrolled in a fulltime community-based correctional program that has been identified in their Correctional Plan.
  2. The maximum rates payable for an offender shall be the Treasury Board rate for incidentals associated with private accommodation and 35% of the current rates for meals where meals are not provided for the offender, and Treasury Board's daily incidental expense allowance where meals are provided.
  3. The amount of the provision shall be based on the following criteria:
    1. the individual needs of the offender, as demonstrated by a budget presented orally or in writing by the offender;
    2. the availability to the offender of cooking facilities in the facility in which he or she resides;
    3. the degree of the offender's participation in program activities administered by the Service, as evaluated by the operational unit manager;
    4. the amount of effort and motivation demonstrated by him or her in seeking and maintaining employment, or participating in a treatment program as evaluated by the operational unit manager;
    5. the degree of financial responsibility demonstrated by the offender, as evaluated by the operational unit manager; and
    6. the availability of an alternative source of financing for which the offender is eligible.


  1. Reimbursement shall be required from the offender for provision provided as outlined for which he or she subsequently is in receipt of funds from another source. The amount to be reimbursed shall be determined in a manner that takes into account the needs and expenses of the offender.

Original signed by
Willie Gibbs,
Acting Commissioner


For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.