What is the OPB?
The Ontario Parole Board (OPB) is an independent, quasi-judicial agency. It is one of five tribunals in the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO) cluster.
What does the OPB do?
The OPB makes parole decisions for applicants serving a sentence of less than two years in a provincial correctional institution. The OPB also decides applications for temporary absences from a correctional institution for greater than 72 hours.
Under the authority of the Ministry of Correctional Services Act, the OPB can:
- Grant parole/temporary absence with conditions that are considered necessary;
- Deny parole/temporary absence;
- Suspend a parolee’s parole and authorize the re-committal of the parolee to custody;
- Lift the suspension of the parole or revoke parole; and
- Cancel a temporary absence that it has granted.
When considering parole and temporary absence applications, public safety is the OPB’s main priority.
What is parole?
Parole is the early release of an applicant from a correctional institution into the community under the supervision of a Probation and Parole Officer. Parole is an opportunity for an applicant to serve the remainder of their sentence in the community under conditions determined by the OPB.
Who is an applicant?
An applicant is the person who committed an offence and for whom parole is being considered. In other settings, applicants may be referred to as “offenders” or “inmates”.
What is temporary absence?
The Temporary Absence program allows an applicant to be away from the institution, without escort, for a defined period of time (in most cases up to sixty days).
Temporary absence is an opportunity for an applicant to prepare themselves for release into the community and may be granted to help the applicant with their rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community or for medical or humanitarian reasons. Temporary absence can be requested without having applied for parole or after parole has been denied.
Corrections in Ontario
Ontario’s Correctional Services is part of the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services (MSCS), which:
- Establishes, maintains, operates and monitors Ontario’s adult correctional institutions and probation and parole offices
- Has jurisdiction over adult offenders under parole supervision, as granted by the OPB, and
- Provides programs and facilities designed to assist in offender rehabilitation.
To learn more about MCSCS and the services and programs they offer, please visit their website here.
Parole in Canada
The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is an administrative tribunal that makes parole and conditional release decisions for applicants serving sentences of more than two years in federal and territorial institutions.
The PBC also has the authority to make parole and conditional release decisions for applicants serving sentences of less than two years in provinces that do not have their own parole boards.
In Canada, there are only two provincial parole boards:
- Ontario Parole Board; and
- Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles.
To learn more about the Commission québécoise des libérations conditionnelles, please visit their website here.
To learn more about the Parole Board of Canada, please visit their website here.
To learn more about the history of parole in Canada, please click here.