Federal and provincial responsibilities

In Canada, responsibility for corrections is divided between the federal and provincial governments. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is responsible for offenders serving sentences of two years or longer (including life sentences) in federal correctional institutions and under community supervision. The provinces are responsible for offenders sentenced to terms of less than two years.

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) is an independent decision-making body that makes conditional release decisions for federal offenders and for provincial offenders in the provinces and territories without their own parole boards. The PBC is also responsible for making decisions to order, refuse to order or revoke record suspensions under the Criminal Records Act and Criminal Code.  As well, under Section 110 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, the PBC is authorized to investigate Royal Prerogative of Mercy requests for federal offences. The role of the PBC in clemency cases is to review applications, conduct investigations (at the direction of the Minister of Public Safety), and make recommendations to the Minister regarding whether to grant the clemency request. Public Safety Canada works to harmonize policies among the federal agencies and departments that are implicated in crime prevention, law enforcement and corrections, with the goal of advancing effective corrections policy in the interest of public safety.

To help achieve an effective Canadian correctional system, Public Safety Canada works in partnership with a wide variety of government departments and agencies, voluntary sector organizations and First Nations communities. Our partners include:

Government Departments and Agencies:

Non-Governmental Organizations:

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