Imprisonment (jail)

Imprisonment is a jail sentence. After a judge gives a jail sentence, the offender is taken to jail and a conviction is registered against them. An offender has to apply for a pardon in order to have a jail sentence removed from their record.

If an offender is sent to jail for less than two years, they will go to a provincial institution such as Maplehurst Correctional Facility in Milton or the Central East Correctional Centre in Lindsay.

If an offender is sent to jail for two years or more, they will go to a federal penitentiary, such as the Kingston Penitentiary.

You will sometimes hear that an offender is sent to jail for “two years less a day.” This is done so that the offender will go to a provincial institution, rather than a federal penitentiary.

In some cases, the sentencing judge may give an offender credit for time they have spent in jail before being sentenced. This is often called “pre-sentence custody,” “pre‑trial custody,” or “dead time,” and it can be used to reduce the length of a jail sentence.

If the judge does give credit for pre‑sentence custody, they may have the option of giving “enhanced credit” or “two‑for‑one” credit. This means that for every day the offender spent in pre-sentence custody, the judge reduces the jail sentence by two days. For example, if the judge feels that a 45 day jail sentence is appropriate, and an offender spent 15 days in jail in pre‑sentence custody, the judge may reduce the sentence that they were going to impose by 30 days, making the sentence 15 days (instead of 45).