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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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 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
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.
The supervisory role of a Probation Officer is to:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
301 Jarvis Street (1st floor)
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
P.O. Box 281
Dawson City, Yukon Y0B 1G0
Phone: (867) 993-5669
Fax: (867) 993-5150
P.O. Box 212
Watson Lake, Yukon Y0A 1C0
Phone: (867) 536-7565
Fax: (867) 536-7603