Overview

In Alberta, the Correctional Services Division oversees adults offenders and youth who receive sentences of less than 2 years. These sentences can be served in a correctional or remand centre or under supervision in the community – a community sentence.

When someone is given a community sentence, they’re supervised by the:

  • Community Corrections and Release Programs Branch – if they’re an adult offender
  • Young Offender Branch – if they’re a youth

Sentences

There are a number of different community sentences a judge can order depending on the:

  • type of offense
  • offender’s criminal record
  • offender’s plea

These sentences can include:

  • community service
  • fines
  • probation
  • rehabilitation

Adult programs

As part of their community sentence, adult offenders can take part in a number of programs designed for them to:

  • serve their sentences
  • pay their fines
  • stay in their community
  • develop positive behaviours
  • take part in rehabilitative programs

Community service work

Offenders are assigned to service work as a way to make a repayment to the community. This work can include:

  • community maintenance
  • cleaning
  • garbage pickup
  • construction

Probation

Offenders are supervised by a probation officer and must comply with certain conditions like a curfew, maintaining employment and avoiding certain behaviours and places or people.

Fines

Through a fine option program, offenders can repay non-traffic fines by completing community service work.

Supervision

  • temporary absence:
    • a supervised program that helps offenders transition into the community after serving part of their sentence in a correctional centre
  • pre-trial release:
    • a supervised program for offenders who have paid bail and are awaiting trial

Alternative measures

This is a program that allows first- or second-time offenders charged with minor offences who plead guilty to serve court agreed sentences without getting a criminal record.

Rehabilitative programs

These are specialized programs for mental health, addictions treatment, education and life skills.

Youth programs

If a youth receives a community sentence order, there are a number of programs they can take part in. These programs are designed for youth to:

  • serve their sentences
  • pay their fines
  • stay in their community
  • continue their education
  • develop positive behaviours

Community service work

Youth can complete up to 240 hours of work as a way to make a repayment to the community. This work can include:

  • working with seniors
  • cleaning recreational areas
  • helping community leagues
  • volunteering for a non-profit agency, such as a food bank or mission / shelter

Non-residential order

Youth can complete up to 240 hours of non-residential programs at a youth attendance centre. These programs can include:

  • life skills
  • addictions counseling
  • shoplifting
  • self-esteem
  • anger management
  • dangerous driving
  • healthy relationships

Custody and community supervision

Youth serve part of their sentence in a secure or open youth custody facility followed by a period of supervision in the community.

Probation

Youth remain in their communities under the supervision of a probation officer. They must comply with certain conditions like curfews, attending counseling or school, and avoiding certain behaviours, people or places.

Fines

Through a fine option program, youth can volunteer for charitable or non-profit organizations to repay fines of less than $1,000.

Enhanced supervision

  • intensive support and supervision:
    • enhanced community supervision for higher risk youth
  • reintegration leave:
    • a supervised temporary leave program that allows youth to transition back into communities or leave a youth custody facility to access education, employment, self-improvement or health services

Extrajudicial sanctions

These are sanctions for qualified youth that help avoid court and focus on alternatives like community-based restitution and restorative justice programs.

Contact

Community Corrections and Release Programs Branch

To connect with this branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-5757
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-3098

Address:
Community Corrections and Release Programs Branch
Justice and Solicitor General
10th Floor, John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7

Young Offender Branch

To connect with this branch:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-422-5019 
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)
Fax: 780-422-0732

Address:
Young Offender Branch 
10th Floor, John E. Brownlee Building
10365 97 Street
Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 3W7