John Howard Society of Kingston & District

Community Services

We seek to address the impact of poverty, isolation, and criminalization. The Kingston area houses eight federal institutions, one provincial detention centre. However, we offer assistance to anyone being released from any institution to the Kingston area, from any part of Canada and abroad. Support offered includes, but is not limited to:

  • Practical support
  • Referrals
  • Assistance with Ontario works and access to emergency shelters

Research conducted by Dr. Binswanger of the University of Colorado shows that newly released inmates were almost 13 times more likely than the general public to die during the first two weeks of their release. A great deal of research all supports the need to expand the concept of the reintegrative process. Rehabilitative efforts tend to focus on individual characteristics, but also need to focus on relationships, the community, environment, and policies addressing resource and welfare deficiencies. A further study by Visher and Travis in 2003 notes that ties to the community, the re-establishment of family roles and support networks, emotional support, access to programming and housing assistance were all found to be central to a prisoner’s successful community reintegration and to reduce recidivism rates.

Factors such as educational deficiencies, unemployment, poverty, and homelessness are each individually associated with re-offending, but the combination of these resource deficiencies were even more powerful predictors. While only 22% of those without any of these factors committed subsequent crimes, 88% with all five deficits were found to re-offend, with recidivism rates increasing with the addition of each deficit.

Record Suspensions (Pardons)

To book an appointment with our Record Suspensions Worker, please contact 613-542-7373. Or refer to the following video : RECORD SUSPENSIONS GUIDE

A record suspension, formally known as a ‘pardon’, does not erase the fact that you were convicted of a criminal offence, but rather, obtaining a record suspension means that your criminal conviction is kept separate and apart from other criminal records in the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). All information about the conviction from which you receive a pardon cannot be given out.

There are many good reasons to apply for a record suspension. Having a record suspension can increase employment prospects, give more freedom to travel outside of Canada as well as reduce the stigma of having a criminal record. For many, it signifies the last stage of a successful reintegration back into the community and represents the achievement of a pro-social lifestyle.

The John Howard Society of Kingston can help individuals apply for a record suspension. Our focus is to assist you in the application process to ensure that it is as quick, accurate and cost efficient as possible. We can guide you through the necessary steps, review and complete the forms with you and acquire any additional documentation if required. We ensure that we have the most factual and up-to-date information available and that your application is complete and accurate. This will help avoid potential delays in the processing of an application.

There is a cost to apply for a record suspension. You are responsible for paying all of these costs which are about $631 plus the cost of criminal record checks and court fees.

You can apply for a record suspension after you have completed all of your sentences AND completed the mandatory wait period.

Your waiting period starts after you have completed all of your sentences. That is, you have:

  • Served all sentences of imprisonment
  • Completed all conditional sentences

  • Completed parole or probation order
  • Paid all fines and restitution orders

Waiting periods vary according to the type of conviction:

  • 5 years for a summary offence after sentence or disposition
  • 10 years for Indictable Offences after sentence or disposition

  • Individual who are convicted of sexual offences against minors and those who have been convicted of more than three indictable offences, each with a sentence of two or more years, are not eligible for a record suspension

The Parole Board of Canada (PBC) grants record suspensions. How quickly you receive a record suspension depends; it can take on average between six months up to two years.

Individuals are encouraged to get information on the record suspension application process directly from the Parole Board of Canada. Please visit their website for the application form and for details on applying for a record suspension. http://pbc-clcc.gc.ca/prdons/fcts-eng.shtml

Please click this link to see our brochure or to book an appointment with our Record Suspension Worker, please contact 613-542-7373.