early release
see “day parole“, “parole” and “statutory release
earned remission
a reduction in the prison sentence; also known as ‘time off for good behaviour’ or ‘good time’; as of 1992 the system of remission only exists for provincial inmates (those sentenced to terms of two years or less)
elder abuse
abuse committed against a person in the advanced years of their life that can include: physical, emotional, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect, or a basic violation of human rights
electable offences
indictable offences for which the accused can choose from one of three modes of trial:

  • trial by a provincial court judge,
  • trial by a superior court judge sitting alone; or
  • trial by a superior court judge and a jury
electronic monitoring
most often used as part of home confinement as a condition of probation, this sanction allows corrections authorities to monitor the location of offenders through the use of computer technology
Elizabeth Fry Society
a prisoners’ advocacy group who support and assist offenders and who defend, promote, or fight for the rights of offenders; they are primarily concerned with female offenders; see also John Howard Society
emotional abuse
attacks on a person’s self-esteem and abuse that are used to control and make them afraid. Emotional abuse can take the form of name calling, threatening, ridiculing, intimidating, isolating, or ignoring the person’s needs
emotional suffering
the psychological effects of a crime on the victim
when the police (usually in the form of undercover agents) pressure an individual into committing a crime that would not have been committed otherwise
escorted temporary absence
a form of temporary absence with accompaniment so offenders may:

  • receive medical treatment;
  • make contact with their family;
  • undergo personal development and/or counselling; and
  • participate in community service work projects;
  • may also be granted for compassionate reasons (e.g. a funeral); the duration of an ETA varies from an unlimited period for medical reasons to not more than 15 days for any other specified reason; see also unescorted temporary absence
the practice of intentionally putting to death those persons suffering from terminal diseases or illnesses, in order to end pain and suffering
testimony of witnesses and the presentation of writings or objects which are permitted to be used as proof in a trial
the process in which the lawyer who called the witness questions him or her in court. Once the witness has been examined in chief they will then be cross examined by the lawyer for the other party
excessive force
in the context of self-defence, it means using more force than is necessary or justified to defend oneself
sexual enjoyment through displaying one’s genitals to an involuntary observer
expert witness
a professional who is ruled by the court to possess exceptional knowledge on a subject and who testifies to offer an opinion
causing or attempting to cause someone to do something through threats, accusations, or violence
to send a criminal or fugitive to another country where they will be put on trial for a crime they allegedly committed there
extra-familial sexual abuse
child sexual abuse that involves a perpetrator from outside the family, such as strangers, teachers, and friends; compare with intrafamilial sexual abuse
a witness who saw something which will be used as evidence in a criminal trial, such as a crime being committed
fact finder
the person or group that has the responsibility of determining the facts of the case. In a jury trial, it is the role of the jury; in a non-jury trial, it is the role of the judge
faint hope clause
a means of reducing the parole ineligibility for those sentenced to life for murder with parole eligibility greater than 15 years. After 15 years, they may apply for a review in which a jury can turn down the application, reduce the number of years to be served before the parole eligibility date, or make the inmate immediately eligible to apply for parole – Abolished in 2011, however still applies to offenders sentenced to life for murder prior to December 2, 2011
family group conferencing
an example of restorative justice in which the offender, his or her family, the victim, and the victim’s supporters are brought together in an informal setting in which outcomes or resolutions are arrived at through a negotiated agreement between all participants
family violence
physical, psychological or sexual abuse by a family member against another member of the family
federal courts
the highest level of our court system. If at least one judge in the appellate court dissents (does not agree with the majority), then the unsuccessful person or group might pursue another appeal at this level; while there are several federal courts, including Tax Court and the Federal Court of Canada, the court most directly involved with the criminal justice system is the Supreme Court of Canada (it is also the court of ‘last resort’ for all other federal courts); see also provincial/territorial courts, provincial appellate courts, superior courts

federal court of Canada
based in Ottawa, this court hears disputed decisions made by federal boards, commissions, and tribunals (e.g. the National Parole Board) and is only slightly involved with the criminal justice system (e.g. it hears appeals from immigrants deported because of criminal convictions); it has trials and an appeals division
federal inmate/offender
an offender serving a prison sentence of 2 years or more
financial abuse
abuse that involves controlling money; this may include not letting a partner have any money of their own (through taking their pay cheques), or for elderly people it can include pressuring them to co-sign a loan for a large amount of money
financial or material loss
the loss of money or material objects which are a result of the crime
a sentence that involves the payment of a specific amount of money within a specified period of time – Next to probation, this is the most frequently used sentence
fine default
not having paid the fine ordered by the court in the time set out
fine option program
a program in which offenders who cannot pay a fine can earn credits by ‘working it off’
an impression made by fingers which serve to identify a person. Every person in the world has a unique set of fingerprints
A weapon, especially a pistol or rifle, capable of firing a projectile by using an explosive charge as a propellant
first-degree murder
a murder that is planned and deliberate, and/or where the victim is a police or correctional officer; some murders committed during hijackings, sexual assaults, kidnappings, and hostage takings may also be first degree murder. The punishment is a mandatory life sentence with no eligibility of parole for 25 years (unless the person is a young offender); see also “faint hope clause”
fitness to stand trial
whether or not the accused has the minimal mental capacity to defend themselves and to understand what is going on at trial
forcible confinement
to hold someone against their will, without legal authority, by means of threats or force
the spokesperson of a jury
medical procedures and scientific testing done for use in court or related to law or the legal system
to hand over or give up goods to the Crown; e.g. counterfeit money, narcotics, illegal pornography, weapons
forfeiture of proceeds
a sentence in which the offender is ordered to give up any proceeds gained through the commission of a crime to the rightful owner or, if the owner is not known, to the government
freedom of expression
a fundamental freedom provided to all Canadians in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms which holds that everyone can demonstrate thoughts, opinions and beliefs in various forms of expression (written, spoken, drawn, etc.) however unpopular or distasteful they are to the majority of Canadians; see also “Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms”
a person who has fled from the police or escaped from prison
full parole
a form of conditional release allowing the offender to serve the remainder of the sentence under community supervision; most inmates are eligible (but are not automatically given) for full parole after serving one-third of a sentence