The needle used for Release.

Release is the term used when members of the Community (from the book The Giver) are sentenced to leave. Most of the members believe that the people that are released leave the community for another place. In reality, the people being released are injected with a lethal injection, and their bodies are thrown away. It can occur to members as a punishment, if you apply, or if you are of age.


  • You can be released for having three or more transgressons.
  • You can also be released if you apply for it (except if you are the Receiver of Memory.)
  • The lightest of two Newchildren, if they are twins, will be released.
  • You can be released if you have reached a certain age after you have entered the House of the Old.


Newchildren that do not meet the requirements to be assigned to a family are released. Also, when a Birthmother has twins, the weaker or smaller of the two are released, so that there will be no identical people in the community.


Twin being released by Jonas' Father

The Old

The ones whose lives in the community are finished, are released after a special ceremony honoring their lives. The old ones, at the House of the Old, are able to watch the ceremony, but they do not get to see the departure, as they believe the old ones are sent to another place, when in fact they are killed.


Members of the community that have broken one of the serious rules three times are released. This is often a cause of shame, and not celebration, like release of elders.

Requesting for release

Everyone in the community, except for the Receiver of Memories and his apprentice, can request to be released.

Known releases

  • Edna, an old woman who was mentioned by Larissa while being bathed by Jonas at the House of the Old, whom Larissa claimed to have been a Birthmother and after which worked in Food Production and never had a Family Unit.
  • Rosemary, the former Receiver of Memory, asked to be released. She inserted the syringe containing the injection herself.
  • Roberto, an old man Jonas knew.
  • Larissa, a woman living at the House of the Old. Jonas took care of and talked to her when he was helping out there.
  • The smaller of two identical male twins Jonas' father released.
  • The Pilot who flew over the community.