The Imposition of Residency Conditions Over Fifteen Years

Key Words

Residency, community supervision

There has been a large increase in the rate of imposition of residency conditions over the last fifteen years.

Why we did this study

When offenders are conditionally released to the community, the Parole Board of Canada can impose special conditions if they are necessary to manage risk. In particular, offenders can be required to reside at a specific place when it is determined that without such a requirement, they would present an undue risk to society and be likely to commit a violent offence.

Over time, the imposition of special conditions has increased,Footnote 1 but, despite planning implications for community-based residential facilities, an analysis specific to residency conditions has not occurred.

What we did

Data were collected for all offenders granted conditional release from 1999-2000 to 2013-14 (N = 65,546). Offenders’ files were examined to determine whether a residency condition was imposed upon their first release. This preliminary examination focused exclusively on residency conditions and excluded cases on day parole (a type of conditional release that does not include the explicit imposition of a residency condition but where offenders report each night to a community-based residential facility).

What we found

The imposition of residency conditions has increased considerably over the last fifteen years. While the annual number of releases increased 20% over this time period, the number of releases with a residency condition increased three-fold (that is, over 300%). This overall pattern was confirmed for men and women separately, as well as for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders. Proportionately, though, men offenders and Aboriginal offenders were more likely to be imposed residency conditions.

When Parole Board of Canada members impose special conditions, they consider recommendations made by CSC. Over the 15 years, recommendations and Parole Board decisions followed the same general pattern, but proportionately, the Board has been imposing conditions directly more frequently since about 2011-12.

Number of Offenders Imposed Condition to Reside at a Specific Place (Day Parole Excluded)

Number of Offenders Imposed Condition to Reside at a Specific Place
Text Alternative: Number of Offenders Imposed Condition to Reside at a Specific Place

This figure shows changes in the number of offenders imposed conditions to reside at a specific place between 1999-00 and 2013-14 fiscal years. The number of offenders imposed residency conditions is shown on the left vertical axis, ranging from 0 to 1200. The fiscal year is shown on the horizontal axis, ranging from fiscal year 1999-00 to 2013-14. Changes are shown among the overall offender population (including male, female, and Aboriginal offenders) and excludes offenders released on day parole. The data were not graphed by subgroup because the overall pattern remained the same across males, females, and Aboriginal offenders. Over time, there has been a consistent increase in the number of offenders imposed residency conditions. Between 1999-00 and 2013-14 fiscal years, there was an increase of over 300% in the number of offenders released with a special condition to reside at a specific place, increasing from 305 offenders in 1999-00 to 972 offenders in 2013-14.

Note. Though raw numbers are presented in this figure, examination of the percentage of the offender population imposed residency conditions produced similar results.

What it means

The increase in the imposition of residency conditions over the last fifteen years means that community-based residential facilities are under increasing demand. It is important to ensure that the residential community supervision resources are used as efficiently as possible. Correctional Service of Canada has a number of initiatives to assist offenders in their transition to the community, such as correctional programs and mental health resources, which may assist offenders in more rapidly reaching a point where residency conditions are no longer required.

For more information

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Prepared by: Renée Gobeil & Colette Cousineau


Footnote 1

Ritchie, M., Saddleback, C., & Gobeil, R. (2015). Special conditions and post-release outcomes over time (RS 14-17). Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service of Canada.

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