Commissioner's Directive

Searching of Staff and Visitors

AUTHORITIES

PURPOSE

  • To establish the requirements and procedures for searching staff and visitors to prevent entry and exit of unauthorized items and contraband in and out of the institution
  • To ensure the Correctional Service of Canada uses measures that are consistent with the protection of society, staff members and offenders and that are limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to attain the purposes of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act

APPLICATION

  • Applies to staff at all institutions, including Community Correctional Centres, as noted

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will:
    1. ensure each institution has an approved Search Plan
    2. review the Search Plan and develop a procedure to monitor its use and adherence to standards.
  2. The Institutional Head will:
    1. approve the Search Plan
    2. ensure a notice is displayed at all entry points stating all persons, items and vehicles are subject to search as outlined in section 62 of the CCRA
    3. ensure a list of authorized items is posted at each entry in compliance with Annex B
    4. authorize non-routine frisk searches of staff
    5. authorize strip searches of visitors (does not apply to Community Correctional Centres)
    6. ensure persons conducting searches are properly trained/oriented
    7. designate a person to manage and administer the Ion Mobility Spectrometry (IMS) device (does not apply to Community Correctional Centres)
    8. designate secure areas where searches may occur
    9. ensure that a Standing Order for the designation of secure areas is developed in accordance with Annex E and that the Standing Order is shared with the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Operations, and the Director General, Security, when implemented.
  3. The District Director will:
    1. approve the Search Plan
    2. ensure a notice is displayed at all entry points stating all persons and items are subject to search as outlined in section 62 of the CCRA
    3. ensure a list of authorized items is posted at each entry in compliance with Annex B
    4. ensure persons conducting searches are properly trained/oriented.
  4. The Deputy Warden/Associate District Director will ensure:
    1. there are documented procedures directing the searching of staff and visitors
    2. quality assurance and control protocols are in place for searching staff and visitors. These include measures against standards and the development and implementation of regular performance measures
    3. Threat Risk Assessments (TRA) are completed as required.
  5. The Assistant Warden, Operations/Manager, Operations, or Area Director will:
    1. develop the Search Plan
    2. ensure searching equipment is available and functioning.
  6. The Correctional Manager will:
    1. oversee searches
    2. when there is reason to believe that a staff member or a visitor is carrying an unauthorized item or contraband:
      1. complete a TRA as required
      2. seek approval from the Institutional Head prior to a strip search of a visitor
      3. detain a staff member to obtain the authorization of the Institutional Head or the services of the police
    3. administer the IMS device when required.
  7. The Manager, Community Correctional Centre, will:
    1. assign staff to conduct searches
    2. oversee searches
    3. when there is reason to believe that a staff member or visitor is carrying an unauthorized item or contraband:
      1. deny access to the facility
      2. contact the District Director, as appropriate.
  8. The Correctional Officer/Primary Worker will:
    1. search staff, visitors and their personal possessions in accordance with the Search Plan
    2. complete the Search Log (CSC/SCC 0845), Post-Search Report (CSC/SCC 1365) and the Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) as required.

PROCEDURES

Search Plan

  1. The Search Plan for institutions will include, but not be limited to, all of the elements outlined in Annex C.
  2. The Search Plan for Community Correctional Centres will include, but not be limited to, all of the elements outlined in Annex D.
  3. Community Correctional Centres are not required to have a section in their Search Plan concerning the routine searching of staff and visitors.

Searches of Aboriginal Items and Other Sacred Items

  1. Any required security examination of Aboriginal medicine bundles, religious and spiritual articles or other sacred objects will be accomplished by having the owner manipulate them for visual inspection by the examining officer. In the owner's absence, an Elder, an Elder's representative (who is not an inmate) or a religious representative will inspect or manipulate the contents for inspection.

Searches of Visitors

Routine Non-Intrusive and Frisk Searches (Excluding Community Correctional Centres)
  1. As outlined in section 59 of the CCRA and subsection 54(1) of the CCRR, a staff member may conduct a routine non-intrusive search or a routine frisk search of a visitor, without individualized suspicion, when the visitor is entering or leaving the institution.
  2. In all medium and maximum security facilities, there will be a non-intrusive search of all visitors every time they enter and leave the institution.
  3. Institutional Heads of minimum security facilities will ensure that a non-intrusive search of visitors and their possessions is conducted on at least a periodic basis. The frequency of these searches will be outlined in the Search Plan.
Non-Routine Frisk Search
  1. As outlined in section 60 of the CCRA, a staff member may conduct a non-routine frisk search of a visitor where the staff member suspects on reasonable grounds that the visitor is carrying contraband or carrying other evidence relating to an offence under section 45 of the CCRA. If, before or during the course of a frisk search, a visitor objects to being searched by a person not of the same sex, where reasonably practicable, a same sex staff member will perform the search.
Strip Search: Suspects on Reasonable Grounds That a Visitor Is Carrying Contraband (Excluding Community Correctional Centres)
  1. In accordance with subsection 60(2) of the CCRA, where a staff member suspects on reasonable grounds that a visitor possesses contraband or other evidence relating to an offence, and believes that a strip search is necessary to find the contraband or evidence, a TRA will be conducted using Threat Risk Assessment (TRA) (CSC/SCC 1300-01E).
  2. Following the results of the TRA, one or more of the following measures may be taken:
    1. authorize an unrestricted visit
    2. conduct a non-routine frisk search of the visitor
    3. prohibit a contact visit with an inmate and authorize a non-contact visit only
    4. request a strip search with the visitor's consent
    5. require the visitor to leave the penitentiary immediately.
  3. If a visitor refuses to undergo a search, the Institutional Head or a staff member designated by the Institutional Head may:
    1. prohibit a contact visit with an inmate and authorize a non-contact visit, or
    2. require the visitor to leave the institution immediately.
Strip Search: Believes on Reasonable Grounds That a Visitor Is Carrying Contraband (Excluding Community Correctional Centres)
  1. Following the gathering of information through a TRA, if there is other information from non-intrusive search devices which supports positive results, suspicion may increase to a belief.
  2. In accordance with subsection 60(3) of the CCRA, where a staff member believes on reasonable grounds that a visitor is carrying contraband, or other evidence relating to an offence under section 45 of the CCRA, and that a strip search is necessary to find the contraband or evidence, the staff member may:
    1. detain the visitor in order to obtain written authorization from the Institutional Head to conduct the strip search
    2. detain the visitor to obtain the services of the police.
  3. As outlined in subsection 60(4) of the CCRA, a visitor who is detained will be informed promptly of the reasons for the detention and, before being searched, will be advised of the right to retain and instruct counsel and be given the opportunity to do so.
  4. The strip search will be conducted in a private area, out of sight of others, by a staff member of the same sex, and in the presence of a witness. This witness will also be of the same sex as the individual being searched.
  5. In the case of Community Correctional Centres, visitors will not be detained except under the circumstances detailed in paragraph 28; however, the police may be informed.

Searches of Children

  1. No child will be subjected to a strip search by staff.
  2. If a staff member suspects on reasonable grounds that a child visitor is being used to carry contraband, a TRA will be conducted using the Threat Risk Assessment (TRA) (CSC/SCC 1300-01E) form. If the suspicion cannot be resolved, the child visitor will be permitted to leave the penitentiary/CCC and the relevant provincial child protection authorities will be informed, where required, by applicable provincial law.
  3. If a staff member believes on reasonable grounds that a child visitor is being used to carry contraband, and the staff member satisfies the Institutional Head/District Director that there are reasonable grounds to believe, the Institutional Head/District Director will usually deny or cancel the visit and may detain the child and the accompanying adult, in order to obtain the services of the police or the relevant provincial child protection authorities, depending on the circumstances.
  4. In all facilities, excluding Community Correctional Centres, a child visitor and accompanying adult who are detained will be informed promptly of the reasons for the detention and, before being searched, will be advised of their right to retain and instruct counsel and be given the opportunity to do so immediately.

Searches of Staff Members

  1. Pursuant to section 63 of the CCRA and section 56 of the CCRR, a routine non-intrusive search or a routine frisk search of another staff member may be conducted without individualized suspicion, when the other staff member is entering or exiting the institution.
  2. In all facilities, except minimum security and Community Correctional Centres, there will be a non-intrusive search of all staff members, each and every time they enter and exit the institution.
  3. Institutional Heads of minimum security facilities, excluding Community Correctional Centres, will ensure that routine non-intrusive searches of staff and their possessions are conducted on at least a periodic basis. The frequency of these searches must be outlined in the Search Plan.
  4. The District Director will authorize non-routine frisk searches when there are reasonable grounds to believe that staff may be in possession of contraband.
Strip Search: Believes on Reasonable Grounds That a Staff Member Is Carrying Contraband
  1. In an institution other than a CCC, pursuant to subsection 64(1) of the CCRA, where a staff member believes on reasonable grounds that another staff member is carrying contraband or evidence relating to a criminal offence and that a frisk search or strip search is necessary to find the contraband or evidence, the staff member may detain the other staff member in order to obtain the authorization of the Institutional Head or the services of the police.
  2. In a CCC, where a staff member believes on reasonable grounds that another staff member is carrying contraband or evidence relating to a criminal offence and that a frisk search or strip search is necessary to find the contraband or evidence, the staff member may detain the other staff member in order to obtain the authorization of the District Director to contact the police.
  3. Pursuant to subsection 64(2) of the CCRA, a staff member who is detained will be informed promptly of the reasons for the detention and, before being searched, will be given a reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct counsel without delay and be informed of that right.
  4. Non-routine searches of staff will be conducted and witnessed by a staff member (same sex) of a rank higher than that of the staff member being searched. Only one witness (same sex) will be present.

Reporting Requirements

  1. The Search Log (CSC/SCC 0845) and Post-Search Report (CSC/SCC 1365) will be completed in the following circumstances:
    1. non-routine frisk or strip search of staff and visitors
    2. one or more items are seized.

Contraband/Unauthorized Item Seizure Tags

  1. When contraband or unauthorized items are seized as a result of any search, the person conducting the search will complete a Contraband/Unauthorized Item Seizure Tag (CSC/SCC 0482), attach it to each item and place the item in the secure evidence locker or turn it over to the custody of the seizure control officer.
  2. When seizing articles of religious significance, the Aboriginal Elder/Spiritual Advisor, Chaplain or representative of a religious group will be consulted as to proper treatment of the items which is respectful of the individual's beliefs. Disposition of these articles is in accordance with CD 568-5 - Management of Seized Items.

ENQUIRIES

  1. Strategic Policy Division

National Headquarters

Email: Gen-NHQPolicy-Politi@CSC-SCC.gc.ca

Commissioner,

Original Signed by:

Don Head

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 259 - Exposure to Second Hand Smoke

CD 559 - Visits

CD 566 - Framework for the Prevention of Security Incidents

CD 566-1 - Control of Entry to and Exit from Institutions

CD 566-2 - Control of Vehicle Entry to and Exit from Institutions

CD 568-1 - Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents

CD 568-5 - Management of Seized Items

CD 702 - Aboriginal Offenders

DEFINITIONS

Belief: belief is based on an indication or information that an individual is probably (likely) in possession of contraband or evidence of an offence. The difference between suspicion and belief relates to the degree of probability.

Frisk search: (a) a manual search, or a search by technical means, of the clothed body, in the prescribed manner, and (b) a search of (i) personal possessions, including clothing, that the person may be carrying, and (ii) any coat or jacket that the person has been requested to remove, in accordance with any applicable regulations made under paragraph 96(l) of the CCRA.

Non-intrusive search: (a) a search of a non-intrusive nature of the clothed body by technical means, in the prescribed manner, and (b) a search of (i) personal possessions, including clothing, that the person may be carrying, and (ii) any coat or jacket that the person has been requested to remove, in accordance with any applicable regulations made under paragraph 96(l) of the CCRA.

Reasonable grounds: reasonable grounds are required to support a suspicion or belief. In order to be reasonable, the grounds must be:

a) objective (e.g. what other staff members with similar training and experience consider reasonable)

b) clear (e.g. based on verifiable facts or factors rather than just a subjective feeling, hunch or intuition)

c) crelated to and supporting a conclusion of suspicion or belief.

Secure area: an area within the penitentiary designated by the Institutional Head by means of institutional Standing Orders for that purpose.

Strip search: (a) a visual inspection of the naked body, in the prescribed manner, and (b) a search, in accordance with any applicable regulations made under paragraph 96(l) of the CCRA, of all clothing, things in the clothing, and other personal possessions that the person may be carrying.

Suspicion: suspicion is based on an indication or information that an individual possibly possesses contraband or evidence of an offence.

Threat Risk Assessment: an evaluation of factors that could pose a danger to the management of an offender, the safety of others, or security of an operational unit in particular circumstances.

Visitors: any person other than an inmate or staff member. This includes official visitors (including observers authorized by the Parole Board of Canada, members of the House of Commons, Senate and Judiciary), lawyers, contractors, inmate visitors and volunteers.


ANNEX B

AUTHORIZED ITEMS LIST FOR STAFF AND OFFICIAL VISITORS

Health care items

  • May include physical aids (e.g. canes, braces, etc.), hearing aids, vision aids, prescription medication, over the counter pain relief/cold and flu, emergency related (e.g. EpiPens, heart, bronchial dilator/inhaler, diabetic monitoring/blood sugar diagnostics), eye contacts and solution

Note: Medication(s) required for the duration of the shift.

CSC issued personal equipment (binders, notepads, clothing required to carry out duties) and sports clothing/sports bag

All government/CSC issued identification

All government/CSC nationally approved medals or pins or buttons

Newspapers, magazines, books

Lunch kit (plastic utensils/cutlery)

Thermos type bottle

Personal hygiene items (male and female)

Note: No aerosol containers or flammable substances.

Personal jewellery

Small briefcase/tote

  • Only when being used in conjunction with CSC business (small briefcase/laptop style or secured file type case - CSC/PBC/OCI)

CSC/PBC/OCI laptop

  • Only when being used in conjunction with authorized CSC/PBC/OCI/union business or when approved by the Institutional Head for medical purposes

    Note: Must be recorded and signed in and out.

USB or similar device

  • Only when being used in conjunction with authorized CSC/PBC/OCI/union business with prior authorization from the Institutional Head

    Note: Must be recorded and signed in and out.

Purses and/or wallets

Smartphones/cellular phones/pagers and/or tablet type devices for the following persons:

  • Commissioner
  • Regional Deputy Commissioners
  • Wardens
  • Deputy Wardens
  • Assistant Wardens
  • Security Intelligence Officers/li>
  • Doctors
  • Police
  • Emergency Services Personnel

  • Note: Devices must be authorized by the Institutional Head and registered with the Assistant Warden, Operations. As well, they must be recorded and signed in and out.

Tools/tool kits required to perform duties (e.g. plumber, electrician, etc.)

Note: Must be recorded and signed in and out.

Religious, spiritual or cultural articles

  • May include items such as, but not limited to, clothing, reading material, prayer/ritual aids, cultural/religious food, medicines, including tobacco, sweet grass, sage, cedar, fungus, and other ceremonial items such as pipes, drums, etc.

Other electronic devices

  • With prior authorization from the Institutional Head, may include video recording/camera devices used to conduct official investigations and/or interviews/visits (CSC/PBC/OCI/police agencies, other government departments)

ANNEX C

INSTITUTIONAL SEARCH PLAN
(EXCLUDING COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTRES) -
SEARCHING OF STAFF AND VISITORS

SEARCH
SUBJECT
SEARCH
TYPE
Circumstances FREQUENCY Reasonable
Grounds
Suspicion or
Belief
Prior
Authorization
Consent
Required
Search Log/ Reports
(date, etc.)
STAFF NON-
INTRUSIVE
Routine
Staff entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No No No*
FRISK
SEARCH
Routine
Staff entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No No No*
FRISK
SEARCH
Non-Routine
Staff carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to believe
Yes – Institutional Head No** Yes
STRIP SEARCH
Non-Routine
Staff carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to believe
Yes – Institutional Head No** Yes
DRUG DETECTOR DOG
Routine
Staff entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No No No*
DRUG DETECTOR DOG
Non-Routine
Staff carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to believe
Yes – Institutional Head No** Yes
IONSCAN
Routine
Staff entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No No No*
IONSCAN
Non-Routine
Staff carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to believe
Yes – Institutional Head No** Yes
*Post-search report is required whenever an item is seized.
** The staff member must be informed of reasons for his/her detention and be given reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct legal counsel.
SEARCH
SUBJECT
SEARCH
TYPE
Circumstances FREQUENCY Reasonable
Grounds
Suspicion or
Belief
Prior
Authorization
Consent
Required
Search Log/ Reports
(date, etc.)
VISITORS NON-
INTRUSIVE
Routine
Visitor is entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No Yes** No*
FRISK
SEARCH
Routine
Visitor is entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No Yes** No*
FRISK
SEARCH
Non-Routine
Visitor carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence    Required
Reasonable grounds to suspect
Yes – Correctional Manager Yes** Yes
STRIP SEARCH
Non-Routine
Visitor carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to suspect
Yes – Institutional Head Yes** Yes
DRUG DETECTOR DOG
Routine
Visitor is entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No Yes** No*
DRUG DETECTOR DOG
Non-Routine
Visitor carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to suspect
Yes –
Correctional Manager
Yes** Yes
IONSCAN
Routine
Visitor is entering or leaving the penitentiary   Not Required No Yes** No
IONSCAN
Non-Routine
Visitor carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required
Reasonable grounds to suspect
Yes –
Correctional Manager
Yes** Yes

*Post-search report is required whenever an item is seized.
** If the visitor refuses to undergo a search, they must be given the option of voluntarily leaving the penitentiary.
Note: The visitor must be informed of reasons for his/her detention and be given reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct legal counsel.

If contraband or unauthorized items are seized, complete forms Post-Search Report (CSC/SCC 1365) and Contraband/Unauthorized Item Seizure Tag (CSC/SCC 0482).

ANNEX D

COMMUNITY CORRECTIONAL CENTRES SEARCH PLAN - SEARCHING OF STAFF AND VISITORS

SEARCH SUBJECT SEARCH TYPE Circumstances FREQUENCY Reasonable Grounds Suspicionor Belief Prior Authorization Consent Required Search Log/ Reports (date, etc.)
STAFF FRISK SEARCH Non-Routine Staff carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required Reasonable grounds to believe Yes - District Director No*** Yes
VISITORS FRISK SEARCH Non-Routine Visitor carrying contraband or evidence relating to an offence   Required Reasonable grounds to suspect Yes - District Director Yes** Yes

*Post-search report is required whenever an item is seized.

Note: The staff member must be informed of reasons for his/her detention and be given reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct legal counsel.

If contraband or unauthorized items are seized, complete forms Post-Search Report (CSC/SCC 1365), Contraband/Unauthorized Item Seizure Tag (CSC/SCC 0482) and Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).

ANNEX E

Minimum standards for thedesignation of secure areas

The Standing Order will ensure that:

  • areas subject to search that are already covered by the CCRA and CCRR are not designated as secure areas
  • secure areas are limited to areas where there is a potential for introduction of contraband or unauthorized items
  • principal entrances of institutions that have multi-levels within one penitentiary reserve (e.g. clustered sites, annexes, etc.) are designated as secure areas, with a minimum of a non-intrusive or frisk search
  • when a secure area is designated, the appropriate signage must be posted stating that persons are subject to a search
  • when a secure area is designated, it must be mentioned in the Institutional Search Plan, including the type of search and frequency.

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.