Release from custody

Correctional Services

Release from custody

Release from custody can occur at several points in the sentencing process as follows:

  • the parole eligibility date;
  • the discharge possible date; and
  • the final warrant expiry date.

Parole eligibility

  • Parole is early, conditional release from custody granted by the Ontario Parole Board.
  • It allows only a carefully screened offender to serve the latter portion of his/her sentence under supervision in the community.
  • In Ontario, an offender serving a sentence of up to two years less a day can apply for parole consideration to the Ontario Parole Board. (An offender serving a sentence of more than two years in federal penitentiaries has his/her application for parole considered by the National Parole Board.)

Parole eligibility date

  • This is the earliest date an offender may be released from custody by the Ontario Parole Board.
  • An offender becomes eligible for parole after serving one-third of the aggregate or combined sentence and if he/she has met the criteria set by the Board.
  • Release is not a right, it is earned. If released on parole, a parolee serves the balance of the term of imprisonment in the community, under the terms and conditions set down by the Ontario Parole Board, until the full sentence is completed.
  • Parole can be ordered at any time where there are compelling or exceptional circumstances, regardless of whether the offender has reached the one-third mark or not.

Discharge possible date

  • This is the earliest possible date an offender may be released from custody taking into account all earned remission.
  • The discharge possible date is equal to approximately two-thirds of the offender's aggregate or combined sentence.

Final warrant expiry date

  • This is the latest date on which all of the sentences expire.

This date may be extended if an offender:

  • has been on bail pending an appeal of his/her sentence; or
  • is unlawfully at large after parole has been suspended or after escaping from custody.