Custody Sentences

A custody sentence means you are required to serve your sentence in a provincial correctional centre or federal correctional centre.

Intermittent Sentence

For sentences of 90 days or less, a judge may order an intermittent sentence. This means you do not serve all the days of your sentence at the same time. Generally, you serve an intermittent sentence in custody on weekends, usually in a provincial correctional centre. When you are in the community, you are required to follow the conditions of your probation order. These types of sentences are typically ordered to allow you to keep your job.  

Concurrent or Consecutive Sentence

If you have been convicted of more than one offence resulting in your sentences being served in custody, the court may order you to serve them concurrently (at the same time) or consecutively (one after the other). Visit Multiple Sentences for more information.


A judge may order probation as part of a sentence that follows time spent in custody. A probation order requires you to abide by certain conditions, usually including reporting to a probation officer. To learn more about probation, Serving a Community Sentence.

Dangerous Offender Designation

The court may order that you be designated (officially identified) as a dangerous offender. Dangerous offender designations are for offenders convicted of dangerous, violent or sexual offences and who demonstrate a high risk for committing further violent or sexual crimes in future.

Long Term Offender Designation

If you have been convicted of a “serious personal injury offence” and are likely to re-offend, you could be designated as a long term offender (LTO).  If you are designated as a Long Term Offender, you will receive a supervision order that lasts longer than a typical supervision order.  This order allows the Correctional Service Canada to supervise and support you in the community for a period of up to 10 years after you have completed your regular sentence.

The LTO includes conditions that you must obey after your original sentence has been completed.  The Parole Board of Canada sets the conditions.  The conditions include not allowing you to have firearms and keeping the peace. There may be other conditions, such as a requirement to participate in counselling.  To learn more about a LTO designation and related supervision order, including what the court considers in making the order,  visit the Public Safety Canada website.