Coverage for temporary absence permit (TAP) requests expanded to include other release remedies at federal and provincial levels

Published: March 31, 2020

Updated: April 9, 2020

As part of LAO’s continuing response to COVID-19, lawyers may apply for legal aid coverage on behalf of in-custody clients requesting temporary absence permits and other release remedies available at the federal and provincial levels.

A new application form is available on our website.

This coverage, first announced March 31, has been expanded to include other release remedies, and is meant to address increasingly dangerous conditions COVID-19 has created in institutions for inmates.

It also follows the Ontario government’s announcement that it would expand the use of temporary absence permits by allowing authorized inmates to be absent from an institution unescorted for a period of 72 hours or longer.

An inmate’s age, physical and mental health may put them at even higher risk than the general inmate population.

How it works

  • After downloading and filling in the application form, email it to InmateLawyerApp@lao.on.ca.
  • We will process it without legal and financial testing.
  • Each application requires that you, the lawyer,
    • Briefly identify the remedy being pursued
    • Confirm there is either a medium or high likelihood of release based on current applicable legislation, polices and regulations.
  • We will issue a legal aid certificate in advance. Signed consent and declaration forms may be submitted after May 29, 2020, where required.
  • This new temporary coverage will have a tariff maximum of five hours.

When working with Indigenous inmates seeking to return to their home communities, we strongly encourage you to work collaboratively with Indigenous communities and service providers to ensure that release plans are safe and effective. Many Indigenous communities across the province have implemented temporary COVID-19 protocols for community members returning to their territories.

Useful information

This is a very specialized area of law. We encourage you to contact specialized correctional lawyers for guidance, as well as these resources:

You may also contact our Lawyer Service Centre at 1-866-979-9934.

For more information, contact:

Rebecca Hammond
Aboriginal Justice Strategy Policy Counsel
hammonr@lao.on.ca