Probation and Parole
Psychiatrists and other mental health professionals will often become involved with offenders who are being supervised in the community, either by probation officers or parole officers. The former typically work within the provincial jurisdiction whereas parole officers works with either provincially or federally sentenced offenders.
An individual is placed on probation as an alternative to other criminal sanctions. Conditions may be imposed by the sentencing judge and this may include various prohibitions, such as the use of alcohol and/or illicit drugs, or requirement to participate in various forms of treatment or counselling. Under the present Criminal Code of Canada, the longest period of probation will be three years.
Parole is given to a sentenced offender who has fulfilled certain criteria, such as showing good behaviour while incarcerated, so that the actual duration of the incarceration is reduced. This occurs in both provincial and federal correctional systems.
Psychiatrists and psychologists may be involved in several different capacities. For instance, they may be involved in the process of parole recommendation during sentencing. They may also being involved in the parole-decision making process during the sentence by acting as advisor to the National Parole Board of Canada. They may also be involved in the provision of treatment as a condition of parole.