Offenders with Long Term Supervision Orders Assigned Residency Conditions at Release

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Key Words

long term offender, long term supervision order (LTSO), residency, community supervision

Why we did this study

A very small number of offenders present a high risk of re-offence even after the end of their sentence. Legislation exists to allow for these offenders to be imposed a long term supervision order (LTSO), a period of additional community supervision of up to 10 years at the end of their sentence. In addition, many offenders with LTSOs are given a residency condition at release – that is, are required to live in a halfway house.

In the last decade, the number of offenders with LTSOs has increased, as has the proportion who receive residency conditions.

What we did

We therefore conducted a study to better understand if and how residency conditions contribute to the management of the risk presented by offenders with LTSOs.

We examined all offenders with LTSOs released to the community by August 2011. The 347 with a residency condition were compared to the 120 without one in areas such as demographics, risk and need, and both suspensions and returns to custody (that is, revocation of conditional release as well as breach of LTSO and other new offences).

What we found

In general, offenders with and without a residency condition were very similar. This was true for demographic characteristics, victim information patterns, and mental health.

However, those assigned a residency condition were judged by their parole officers to present higher levels of risk and of need, though the two groups returned to custody (due to revocations of conditional release or breaches of LTSO and other new offences) at the same rates.

After statistically controlling for differences in reintegration potential, offenders with LTSOs with a residency condition may be less likely to be suspended. Nonetheless, the overall pattern of findings suggests that residency conditions are not contributing to managing the risk presented by offenders with LTSOs.

Notably, two factors which were peripheral to the offender – the region where release occurred and how recently the offender was released – were both also related to whether residency was imposed.

What it means

Findings suggest that decisions to impose residency conditions may not be sufficiently rooted in risk.

From a correctional theory perspective, imposition of restrictive conditions should be based on sound principles and research, and there may be room for improvement in this area with respect to the imposition of residency conditions on offenders with LTSOs. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has undertaken relevant initiatives in this domain (specifically, education programs) that may lead to improvements if they are expanded.

For more information

Gobeil, R. (2012). Offenders with Long Term Supervision Orders Assigned Residency Conditions at Release. Research Report R-285. Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service of Canada.

To obtain a PDF version of the full report, or for other inquiries, please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the website for a full list of research publications.

Prepared by: Renée Gobeil