The History of Parole Legislation in Canada: From Rehabilitation to Risk Management

Rachel Dioso, University of Toronto

In the forty years since the federal Parole Act was first enacted in Canada, there have been numerous changes to the underlying principles of parole that have yet to be grounded in the theoretical discourse. A review will be made of the changes in federal legislation and their accompanying reports to reveal the shift in mentalities from a focus on the rehabilitation of the offender to the prioritization of public safety through the 'risk management' of offenders. The evolution of parole, as expressed in the legal amendments of parole policies, provides a forum for discussing the proposed shifts in objectives experienced by the criminal justice system towards a risk society.

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Updated 05/20/2006