Department of Justice

Corrections

Adult Probation

Probation is a court order that authorizes the offender to remain at large in the community subject to conditions prescribed in a probation order.

When an offender is placed on probation, the court decides what conditions should be placed on the offender's freedoms. A variety of conditions are usually attached to the probation order and can include a curfew, require supervision by a responsible citizen that knows the offender, and normally includes regular check-in times with a probation officer.

Probation Officers are responsible for checking to ensure that the conditions placed on the offender are met in order to ensure the safety of the offender and the public.

In the Yukon, approximately 10 Adult Probation Officers monitor between 45 and 70 offenders at any given time.


When Probation Can Be Used?

Probation can be ordered by way of a conditional discharge or suspended sentence, or it may be included with any one of the following dispositions:

  • fine;
  • imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years;
  • intermittent sentence; and
  • Conditional sentence.

Offenders with a conditional discharge, suspended sentence, or intermittent sentence must be placed on probation.

Those receiving a fine, incarceration or conditional sentence may be placed on probation.


Definitions

Conditional Discharge:
This occurs when an offender is not convicted, but found guilty of an offence and is discharged on the conditions prescribed in a probation order.

If an offender is convicted of a subsequent offence during the term of probation, the court may decide to revoke the probation order and impose any sentence that could have been imposed at the time the order was made.

Suspended Sentence:
A conviction is recorded but the passing of sentence is suspended.

Similar to a conditional discharge, a provision is in place for revoking the order, suspending the passing of sentence and imposing sentence.

Intermittent Sentence:
Where the court imposes a sentence of not more than 90 days, the court may order that sentence be served intermittently (i.e. on weekends).

A probation order must accompany an intermittent sentence and is usually applicable only at such times the probationer is not confined.

If the intermittent sentence is to be followed by a further probation, a second probation order is often made.

Conditional Sentence:

Conditional sentence orders were introduced on September 3, 1996 by the federal government as an amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada and later amended by the enactment of Bill C-51 on July 1, 1999.

A conditional sentence is served in the community rather than in custody. The court must be satisfied that serving the sentence in the community will not endanger public safety. A conditional sentence may apply to any offence that is not punishable by a minimum term of incarceration. The maximum length of a conditional sentence is two years less a day. If, while serving the conditional sentence, the offender is sentenced to jail on other matters, the running of the conditional sentence will stop and will resume when the offender is released on parole or has satisfied the new sentence.

Mandatory Conditions include:
  • Keeping the peace and being of good behaviour;
  • Appearing in court when required to do so by the court;
  • Reporting to a supervisor as directed;
  • Remaining within the jurisdiction of the court unless written permission is obtained from the court or the supervisor;
  • Promptly notify the supervisor of any changes in employment or occupation; and
  • Provide advance notice of any changes in name or address.
  • Optional Conditions may include, but are not limited to:
  • Community service work;
  • Reside as directed;
  • Abide by a curfew;
  • Participation in rehabilitative or treatment programs; and
  • Prohibitions involving particular people, places, possessions or activities.
  • Failure to Comply
    Failure to comply with any of the conditions may result in the offender being returned to court. The court may:
  • Take no action;
  • Change the optional conditions;
  • Suspend the order and direct that the offender serve a portion of the unexpired sentence in custody; or
  • Terminate the order and direct that the offender be committed to custody until the expiration of the sentence

  • Duration of Probation

    A probation order comes into effect on the day it is made or, if it is to follow incarceration, on the expiration of the prison term.

    Where there is a conditional sentence, the probation order comes into effect at the expiration of the conditional sentence.


    Probation Order 

    Probation orders:

    • cannot remain in force for more than three years;
    • cannot be made to run consecutive to another order (although orders do run concurrently where the offender is bound by a number of different orders at the same time); and
    • end only on the expiry date unless the court revokes or terminates the order early. The court can also, at any time, decrease the term of probation.


    Supervisory Role of a Probation Officer

    The supervisory role of a Probation Officer is to:

    • prepare reports for courts and other correctional decision makers;
    • enforce the probation order; and
    • comprehensively assess offenders, make effective case management decisions and determine rehabilitative interventions (e.g., referral to internal or community-based educational, counseling, or treatment programs or services).\


    Enforcement

    Failure to Comply with Probation Without Reasonable Excuse (Breach of Probation)

    An offender who is bound by a probation order and who, without reasonable excuse, fails or refuses to comply with that order is guilty of:

    • an offence punishable on summary conviction and has a maximum penalty not exceeding 18 months in jail and/or a fine not exceeding $2,000; or
    • an indictable offence and has a maximum penalty of imprisonment not exceeding two years.

    Revocation

    When a person on probation with a suspended sentence or conditional discharge has been charged and convicted of a subsequent offence during the term of the order, the Crown Attorney may apply to the judge to have the order revoked.

    The court may:

    • impose any sentence that may have been imposed had the passing of sentence not been suspended; or
    • revoke the discharge, convict the probationer on the original charge, and impose any sentence that could have been imposed had the discharge not been granted initially.


    Conditions of Probation

    Reporting to a Probation Officer

    A Probation Officer only has authority to supervise a person who has been placed on probation with a reporting condition.

    The frequency and form of reporting may be outlined by the court.

    Where the reporting condition is worded "report as directed" without outlining a reporting schedule, a Probation Officer will complete a comprehensive assessment to determine the appropriate intervention and frequency of reporting based on an analysis of the offender's risk to re-offend and need in areas linked with criminal conduct. Factors that are considered in determining the type of intervention include:

    • legal requirements and conditions of probation;
    • public safety;
    • circumstances of offence and risk of re-offending;
    • need, motivation and ability to benefit from rehabilitative services; and
    • availability of programs and services.


    Additional Conditions 

    The Criminal Code of Canada enables the court to require a probationer to "comply with such other reasonable conditions as the court considers desirable for securing the good conduct of the accused and for preventing a repetition of the same offence or the commission of other offences."

    Conditions of probation must:

    • detail precisely what conduct or acts are prohibited, avoiding ambiguous, uncertain or contradictory wording;
    • be enforceable; and
    • be relevant to offence and rehabilitation, as determined by case law.


    What is the difference between probation and parole?

    Probation is a court order imposed by a judge, usually instead of, but sometimes in addition to, a term of imprisonment. Probation authorizes an offender to live in the community under supervision and subject to certain conditions.

    The decision to grant parole to offenders in the Yukon correctional system is the responsibility of the National Parole Board . Parole may be granted after the offender has served part of the sentence in an institution. An offender who is granted parole may then live in the community under supervision and subject to certain conditions until the sentence being served is satisfied. Parole can include day parole, full parole or statutory release.

    Federal offenders are the responsibility of the Correctional Service of Canada. The Yukon does not have a federal institution. All offenders sentenced to serve over two years of jail time must stay in a federal jail.


    What if I see an offender that I know is on probation breaking the law or a condition of his/her sentence? 

    If you recognize a known offender breaking a condition of a probation order, please contact the RCMP at (867) 667-5555, or contact the Adult Probation Services at (867) 667-5231 immediately.


    Contact Adult Probation Services

    Whitehorse

    Location:
    Prospector Building
    301 Jarvis Street (1st floor)

    Mailing Address:
    Department of Justice
    Government of Yukon
    P.O. Box 2703
    Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

    Phone: (867) 667-5231
    Toll free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 5231
    Fax: (867) 667-3446
    Email: adultprobation@gov.yk.ca


    Dawson City

    P.O. Box 281
    Dawson City, Yukon Y0B 1G0
    Phone: (867) 993-5669
    Fax: (867) 993-5150


    Watson Lake

    P.O. Box 212
    Watson Lake, Yukon Y0A 1C0
    Phone: (867) 536-7565
    Fax: (867) 536-7603