Prisons and Reformatories Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. P-20)
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Act current to 2023-05-17 and last amended on 2015-07-19. Previous Versions
Prisons and Reformatories Act
R.S.C., 1985, c. P-20
An Act respecting public and reformatory prisons
Marginal note:Short title
1 This Act may be cited as the Prisons and Reformatories Act.
- R.S., c. P-21, s. 1
2 (1) In this Act,
- designated authority
designated authority means a person or organization designated under section 7.2; (autorité compétente)
- lieutenant governor
lieutenant governor means lieutenant governor in council; (lieutenant-gouverneur)
Minister[Repealed, 1995, c. 42, s. 79]
prison means a place of confinement other than a penitentiary as defined in Part I of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act; (prison)
prisoner means a person, other than
(a) a child within the meaning of the Juvenile Delinquents Act, chapter J-3 of the Revised Statutes of Canada, 1970, as it read immediately prior to April 2, 1984, with respect to whom no order pursuant to section 9 of that Act has been made, or
(b) a young person within the meaning of the Youth Criminal Justice Act with respect to whom no order, committal or direction has been made under paragraph 76(1)(a) or section 89, 92 or 93 of that Act,
who is confined in a prison pursuant to a sentence for an offence under a provision of an Act of Parliament or any of its regulations, or pursuant to a committal for failure or refusal to enter into a recognizance under any of sections 83.3 and 810 to 810.2 of the Criminal Code; (prisonnier)
sentence includes a youth sentence imposed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act consisting of a custodial portion and a portion to be served under supervision in the community subject to conditions under paragraph 42(2)(n) of that Act or under conditional supervision under paragraph 42(2)(o), (q) or (r) of that Act. (peine)
(2) Where a prisoner is temporarily outside a prison but under the direct charge, control or supervision of an officer or employee of a prison, the prisoner is in custody for the purposes of this Act and any other Act of Parliament.
- R.S., 1985, c. P-20, s. 2
- R.S., 1985, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 29
- 1992, c. 20, s. 216
- 1995, c. 42, s. 79
- 1997, c. 2, s. 1, c. 17, s. 39
- 2002, c. 1, s. 196
- 2012, c. 1, s. 198
- 2015, c. 20, s. 29, c. 29, s. 13
2.1 For greater certainty, this Act applies in respect of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- 1995, c. 42, s. 80
- 2015, c. 3, s. 172
Committal, Reception and Transfer of Prisoners
Marginal note:Warrant of committal
3 Where a person is sentenced or committed to imprisonment in a prison, it is sufficient compliance with the law, notwithstanding anything in the Criminal Code, if the warrant of committal states that the person was sentenced or committed to imprisonment in a prison for the term in question, without stating the name of any particular prison.
- R.S., c. P-21, s. 3
- 1976-77, c. 53, s. 45
4 (1) [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 30]
Marginal note:Transfers between provinces
(2) The governments of the provinces may enter into agreements with one another providing for the transfer of prisoners from a prison in one province to a prison in another province.
Marginal note:Effect of transfer
(3) A prisoner transferred under an agreement made pursuant to subsection (2) shall be deemed to be lawfully confined in the receiving prison and is subject to all the statutes, regulations and rules applicable in the receiving prison.
- R.S., 1985, c. P-20, s. 4
- R.S., 1985, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 30
5 (1) and (2) [Repealed, 1992, c. 20, s. 205]
Marginal note:Effect of transfer
(3) Any person transferred under this section or under an agreement made pursuant to lawful authority is deemed to be lawfully confined in the receiving prison and is subject to all the statutes, regulations and rules applicable in the receiving prison.
- R.S., 1985, c. P-20, s. 5
- R.S., 1985, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 31
- 1992, c. 20, s. 205
- 1995, c. 42, s. 81
6 (1) Subject to subsection (7.2), every prisoner serving a sentence, other than a sentence on conviction for criminal or civil contempt of court where the sentence includes a requirement that the prisoner return to that court, shall be credited with 15 days of remission of the sentence in respect of each month and with a number of days calculated on a pro rata basis in respect of each incomplete month during which the prisoner has earned that remission by obeying prison rules and conditions governing temporary absence and by actively participating in programs, other than full parole, designed to promote prisoners’ rehabilitation and reintegration as determined in accordance with any regulations made by the lieutenant governor of the province in which the prisoner is imprisoned.
Marginal note:Computing remission credits
(2) The first credit of earned remission pursuant to subsection (1) shall be made not later than the end of the month next following the month the prisoner is received into a prison and thereafter a credit of earned remission shall be made at intervals of not more than three months.
(3) Where a prisoner was received into a prison before July 1, 1978, the date of the first credit of earned remission referred to in subsection (2) is August 31, 1978 and the subsequent intervals run from that date.
(4) Every prisoner who, having been credited with earned remission, commits any breach of the prison rules is, at the discretion of the person who determines that the breach has been committed, liable to forfeit, in whole or in part, the earned remission that stands to the credit of the prisoner and that accrued to the prisoner after July 1, 1978.
(4.1) Where the parole of a prisoner who has been credited with remission is revoked under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the prisoner shall forfeit that remission.
(4.2) A prisoner whose parole has been terminated under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act is not liable to forfeit any remission with which the prisoner was credited pursuant to this Act.
Marginal note:Effect of remission
(5) Where remission is credited against a sentence being served by a prisoner, other than a prisoner to whom subsection 127(1) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act applies, the prisoner is entitled to be released from imprisonment before the expiration of the sentence.
Marginal note:Transfer from penitentiary to prison
(6) Where a prisoner is transferred from a penitentiary to a prison, otherwise than pursuant to an agreement entered into under paragraph 16(1)(a) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the prisoner is credited with full remission under this section for the portion of the sentence that the offender served in the penitentiary as if that portion of the sentence had been served in a prison.
(7) Where a prisoner is transferred from a penitentiary to a prison pursuant to an agreement entered into under paragraph 16(1)(a) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the prisoner is entitled to be released, in accordance with section 127 of that Act, on the day on which the prisoner has served the period determined in accordance with that section and a period of imprisonment equal to any remission that the offender fails to earn or forfeits and that is not recredited under this Act.
Marginal note:Transfer or committal to prison
(7.1) When a prisoner is transferred from a youth custody facility to a prison as the result of the application of section 743.5 of the Criminal Code, the prisoner is credited with full remission under this section for the portion of the sentence that the offender served in the youth custody facility as if that portion of the sentence had been served in a prison.
Marginal note:Exceptional date of release
(7.2) When a prisoner who was sentenced to custody under paragraph 42(2)(n), (o), (q) or (r) of the Youth Criminal Justice Act is transferred from a youth custody facility to a prison under section 92 or 93 of that Act, or is committed to imprisonment in a prison under section 89 of that Act, the prisoner is entitled to be released on the date on which the custody portion of his or her youth sentence under paragraph 42(2)(n), (o), (q) or (r) of that Act expires.
Marginal note:Effect of release
(7.3) When a prisoner is committed or transferred in accordance with section 89, 92 or 93 of the Youth Criminal Justice Act and, in accordance with subsection (7.2), is entitled to be released,
(a) if the sentence was imposed under paragraph 42(2)(n) of that Act, sections 97 to 103 of that Act apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, with respect to the remainder of his or her sentence; and
(b) if the sentence was imposed under paragraph 42(2)(o), (q) or (r) of that Act, sections 104 to 109 of that Act apply, with any modifications that the circumstances require, with respect to the remainder of his or her sentence.
Marginal note:Recrediting by institutional head
(8) The institutional head may recredit any remission that was forfeited under subsection (4).
Marginal note:Recrediting by parole board
(9) The Parole Board of Canada or a provincial parole board may recredit any remission that was forfeited under subsection (4.1).
Marginal note:Where parole suspended and then revoked
(10) Where a prisoner is reincarcerated following the suspension of parole and the parole is subsequently revoked, the prisoner shall be credited with remission in respect of the portion of the sentence that was served during the suspension.
- R.S., 1985, c. P-20, s. 6
- R.S., 1985, c. 35 (2nd Supp.), s. 32
- 1992, c. 20, s. 206
- 1995, c. 42, s. 82
- 2002, c. 1, s. 197
- 2012, c. 1, ss. 160, 199
Purpose and Principles
Marginal note:Purpose of temporary absence
7 The purpose of a temporary absence program is to contribute to the maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by facilitating, through decisions on the timing and conditions of absence, the rehabilitation of prisoners and their reintegration into the community as law-abiding citizens.
- R.S., 1985, c. P-20, s. 7
- 1992, c. 20, s. 207
- 1995, c. 42, ss. 71(F), 72(F)
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
7.1 The principles that shall guide designated authorities in achieving the purpose of a temporary absence program are
(a) that the least restrictive decision that is consistent with the protection of society and the prisoner’s rehabilitation and reintegration into the community be made;
(b) that all available information that is relevant to the case be taken into account;
(c) that prisoners be provided with relevant information, reasons for decisions and access to the review of decisions in order to ensure a fair and understandable temporary absence process; and
(d) that the designated authority provide for the timely exchange of relevant information with other participants in the criminal justice system and make information about temporary absence programs and policies available to prisoners, victims and the public.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
7.2 (1) The lieutenant governor of a province may designate any persons or organizations to be responsible for authorizing temporary absences under this Act for prisoners in that province.
Marginal note:Authorization of provincial parole board
(2) Where a provincial parole board has been established for a province, the lieutenant governor of the province may order that no absence of a prisoner without escort be authorized from a prison in the province except by the provincial parole board.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
Authorization of Absence
Marginal note:Authorization of temporary absence
7.3 (1) A designated authority may authorize a prisoner to be absent from prison with or without escort, subject to any conditions that the authority considers appropriate, where it is necessary or desirable in the authority’s opinion
(a) for medical or humanitarian reasons;
(b) in order to facilitate the prisoner’s rehabilitation or reintegration into the community; or
(c) for any other purpose, consistent with the purpose and principles set out in section 7 and 7.1, that may be established by the laws of the province respecting the authorization of temporary absences of prisoners who have contravened provincial law.
Marginal note:Eligibility criteria
(2) In authorizing a temporary absence, the designated authority must apply the criteria, if any, established by the laws of the province respecting eligibility for temporary absence of prisoners who have contravened provincial law.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
Marginal note:Duration of absence
7.4 (1) A temporary absence may be authorized for a maximum period of sixty days and may be renewed by the designated authority for one or more sixty-day periods on reassessment of the case.
Marginal note:Absence for medical reasons
(2) A temporary absence for medical reasons may be authorized for an unlimited period.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
Suspension, Cancellation and Revocation
7.5 A designated authority may suspend, cancel or revoke a temporary absence, before or after it begins, if
(a) it is considered necessary and justified to prevent a breach of a condition of the absence or where a breach has occurred;
(b) the grounds for authorizing the absence have changed or no longer exist; or
(c) the case has been reassessed, based on information that could not reasonably have been provided when the absence was authorized.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
Marginal note:Apprehension and recommittal
7.6 (1) A designated authority who suspends, cancels or revokes a prisoner’s temporary absence, or a person designated by that authority, may have a warrant or notice of suspension, cancellation or revocation issued for his or her apprehension and recommittal.
Marginal note:Execution of warrant
(2) A peace officer who is given a warrant or notice issued under this section, or an electronically transmitted copy of such a warrant or notice, must execute it in any place in Canada as though the warrant had been originally issued or subsequently endorsed by a justice or other lawful authority having jurisdiction in that place.
Marginal note:Arrest without warrant
(3) A peace officer may arrest a person without a warrant or notice and remand the person into custody if the peace officer believes on reasonable grounds that a warrant or notice has been issued in respect of that person under this section and is still in force.
Marginal note:Where arrest made
(4) Where a person has been arrested pursuant to subsection (3), the warrant or notice, or an electronically transmitted copy of the warrant or notice, must be executed within forty-eight hours after the arrest is made, failing which the person must be released.
- 1997, c. 2, s. 2
- Date modified: