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It is important to know the difference between parole and statutory release. Parole is a discretionary type of conditional release, which means that Parole Board of Canada members evaluate the risk an offender poses to the community before they release him or her.
Statutory release is a mandatory release by law. It is not parole and is not a decision of the Parole Board of Canada. By law, most offenders (except those serving a life or indeterminate sentence) must be released by the Correctional Service of Canada with supervision after serving two thirds of their sentence, if parole has not already been granted.
Offenders on statutory release are required to follow standard conditions that include reporting to a parole officer, remaining within geographic boundaries, and obeying the law and keeping the peace.
Probation orders following statutory release for provincial offenders are supervised by the British Columbia Corrections Branch.
The Correctional Service of Canada has the authority to refer offenders in federal custody eligible for statutory release to the Parole Board of Canada for review if, in their opinion, there are reasonable grounds to believe that the offender is likely to commit an offence causing death or serious harm to another person, a sexual offence involving a child, or a serious drug offence while on parole before the end of their sentence. These offenders may be kept in prison until the end of their sentence.
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Statutory release can be withdrawn and the offender returned to jail if they do not obey the conditions of their release.