Oct 25

My parole has been denied. What are my options?

If your parole has been denied by the Parole Board, you have two options: 1) reapply for a new parole hearing, or 2) appeal the Board’s decision.

If you are denied parole, and you do not want to appeal the Board’s decision, you will need to wait to reapply for parole. Federal prisoners generally must wait one year before reapplying for day parole, and the Board may require two years before conducting another full parole review. However, those convicted of violent offences may have to wait up to five years to have another parole hearing.

Provincial prisoners may need to show a change of circumstances or present new information to receive a new hearing.

How do I appeal my denial of parole?

Prisoners can appeal if they are denied parole. The appeal needs to be sent to the Parole Board of Canada’s Appeal Division (for federal prisoners) or to the Chair of the Ontario Parole Board (for provincial prisoners). The appeal must be filed within two months from the hearing date (due to COVID-19, this time frame has temporarily been extended to three months). Appeals that are submitted late will only be accepted at the discretion of the Vice-Chairperson of the Appeal Division.

Decisions can be appealed based on:

  • a failure to observe a principle of fundamental justice
  • an error in law
  • a breach of a policy
  • a decision based on erroneous or incomplete information, and/or
  • a jurisdictional error

The Appeal Division is not limited to the grounds of appeal argued in the prisoner’s appeal submissions. The Appeal Division may order a new hearing based on a ground not mentioned in the appeal submissions.

Prisoners will receive written reasons from the Appeal Division describing why their appeal was or was not granted. Decisions of the Appeal Division can be challenged by filing an application for judicial review in the Federal Court. A notice of application typically needs to be filed within 30 days.

The criminal defence lawyers at Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh have many years of experiences appealing parole decisions of provincial parole boards and the Parole Board of Canada. If you or someone you know needs assistance in appealing a parole decision, please give us a call at 416-613-0416 to set up a consultation with one of our criminal lawyers.