Commissioner's Directive

Offender’s Money

PURPOSE

  • To encourage offenders to budget their money so they have funds for authorized expenditures and for their release
  • To control the flow of money in institutions to ensure the safety of persons and the security of the institution
  • To establish Inmate Welfare Funds for the purpose of contributing to the welfare of inmates collectively or for recognized charitable purposes outside the institution

APPLICATION

Applies to staff involved in the administration of offender money

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure that an Inmate Trust Fund is established and administered for each offender, consisting of a current account and a savings account, and pursuant to section 21(2) of the FAA, interest payment on these accounts will be paid
    2. authorize, on a case-by-case basis, additional transfers from the savings account to the current account for offenders who have not reached their annual maximum transfer of $750
    3. authorize, on a case-by-case basis, requests for disbursement directly from the savings account for reasons outlined in the Withdrawals or Disbursements section. Disbursements granted for these reasons are not part of the transfer limits prescribed by policy
    4. write off loans that have been outstanding for more than a year and which are deemed uncollectible by the Inmate Committee
    5. establish procedures for:
      1. the application, approval and repayment of group loans from the Inmate Welfare Fund
      2. the maximum amount of any single group loan
      3. the total amount that may be disbursed in group loans
      4. allowing inmates to withdraw money for a temporary absence or work release which will then be secured upon his/her return to the institution
      5. ensuring that an Inmate Welfare Fund is established and administered as outlined in accepted accounting and budgetary principles
      6. approving and denying disbursement of funds from the Inmate Welfare Fund, based on the Inmate Committee’s recommendation
      7. approving or denying, in consultation with the Inmate Committee or representatives of the inmate population, contributions for approved activities to the Inmate Welfare Fund, as outlined in the section on the Inmate Welfare Fund
      8. prohibiting the use of cash in the institution.
  2. The Institutional Head/District Head will approve reductions or waivers to food and accommodation for offenders as defined in the section entitled Reducing or Waiving Food and Accommodation Deduction. This responsibility cannot be delegated by the Institutional Head/District Director.
  3. Each offender is responsible for his/her personal budgeting to ensure the availability of funds for:
    1. court ordered obligations
    2. personal identification (e.g., birth certificate)
    3. personal expenses and property (e.g., telephone calls, canteen, personal hygiene)
    4. the institutional mother-child program, pursuant to CD 768 – Institutional Mother-Child Program
    5. his/her release or expenses while on release to the community.

PROCEDURES

Deductions

  1. Deductions will be made from the offender’s income before depositing his/her earnings in the Inmate Trust Fund. Deductions will be in the following order of priority:
    1. reimbursement for any indebtedness to the Federal Crown
    2. deductions for food and/or accommodation
    3. deductions for the administration of the inmate telephone system
    4. contributions to the Inmate Welfare Fund.

Food and Accommodation

  1. Inmates will not be charged food and accommodation during the intake assessment process. For centralized intake processes, food and accommodation deductions will commence on the date of transfer to the placement institution following the penitentiary placement decision. For decentralized intake processes, food and accommodation deductions will commence the date the initial Correctional Plan is finalized.
  2. Inmates at pay level D to pay level A, as defined in CD 730 – Inmate Program Assignment and Payments, will normally contribute 22% of their CSC payment toward the cost of food and accommodation.
  3. Inmates with sources of income other than, or in addition to, a CSC payment will normally contribute 30% of their income from other sources toward the cost of food and accommodation.
  4. Offenders residing in a Community Correctional Centre (CCC) will normally contribute 30% of their income which exceeds the living allowance set out in CD 870 – Maintenance Allowance for Offenders toward the cost of food and accommodation.
  5. The income of offenders residing in a CCC will be determined by their completed Self-Declaration of Income by an Inmate Residing in a CCC (CSC/SCC 1191) form.
  6. Inmates who are not assigned to any program assignment and whose income consists solely of CSC payments of basic allowance or allowance, as defined in CD 730 – Inmate Program Assignment and Payments, will not be charged food and accommodation.
  7. Offenders residing in CCCs with income that consists solely of the maintenance allowance, as set out in CD 870 – Maintenance Allowance for Offenders, will not be charged food and accommodation.
  8. For the purpose of deductions for food and accommodation, income accruing from a CSC authorized inmate-operated business, pursuant to CD 737 – Inmate Operated Business Enterprises and the sale of hobby craft or custom work, pursuant to CD 760 – Leisure Activities, will only include net profit of those sources of income. Deductions will be made on these proceeds following the formula contained in the Calculation of Net Profit for Hobbies (CSC/SCC 1190) form.
  9. Notwithstanding the above, the total charges for food and accommodation from all income sources will not exceed $18 per day to a maximum of $90 per week in institutions. The total charges for food and accommodation in CCCs will not exceed $11.40 per day to a maximum of $57 per week. The total charge for accommodation only in CCCs which do not provide food will not exceed $4.20 per day to a maximum of $21 per week.
  10. For offenders residing in CCCs, refusals to pay will be dealt with pursuant to section 104.1 of the CCRR.

Reducing or Waiving Food and Accommodation Deductions

  1. Where an offender requests that the food and accommodation deduction be reduced or waived, the Institutional Head/District Director will assess the information supplied by the offender on the Application for Reduction or Waiver of Food and Accommodation Deduction (CSC/SCC 1192) form and determine whether the deduction constitutes an undue interference pursuant to subsection 104.1(7) of the CCRR. The Institutional Head/District Director will:
    1. provide a justification for the decision
    2. ensure the decision is documented on the offender’s file
    3. set a maximum six month validity period for any waiver or reduction of deductions, after which the offender must submit a new request.

Inmate Telephone System Administration

  1. Inmates at pay level D to pay level A, as well as at the two allowance levels, as defined in CD 730 – Inmate Program Assignment and Payments, will normally contribute 8% of their CSC payment toward the cost of the administration of the inmate telephone system.

Current and Savings Accounts

  1. Ninety percent of the balance of the inmate’s income, following the deductions outlined in the Deductions section in this policy, will be deposited in the inmate’s current account.
  2. The 10% balance will be deposited in the inmate’s savings account.
  3. Notwithstanding the above, where the inmate’s income exceeds the top gross inmate pay level of $69 per pay period, the amount to be deposited in the inmate’s current account will not exceed $69. The balance will be deposited in the savings account. For more information, refer to Payments to Inmates in CD 730 – Inmate Program Assignment and Payments.
  4. The estimated hobby cost and the 25% mark-up on material identified under points 2 and 3 of the Calculation of the Net Profit for Hobbies (CSC/SCC 1190) form will be excluded from the calculation described in the Deductions section of this CD, and should be deposited in the inmate’s current account.
  5. All money brought into the institution by an offender on admission or readmission and any money (non-income as outlined in definition) from outside sources will be deposited into the inmate’s savings account. This includes items such as cheques other than pensions brought in by visitors, or gifts.
  6. When money is mailed to an inmate, a verifiable legitimate relationship must exist between the inmate and the sender or the money will be returned to the sender.
  7. In order to authenticate and validate funds, non-cash items will be held for a period of up to:
    1. 10 working days for Canadian cheques or money orders
    2. 30 working days for foreign cheques or money orders.
  8. Inmates will be responsible for additional processing fees on any money from outside sources.
  9. Where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that money arriving from an outside source or brought back by the inmate may involve unauthorized or illegal activities:
    1. the Security Intelligence Officer will investigate and determine if the police should be contacted
    2. the money will be placed on hold until the Security Intelligence Officer and/or police investigation is complete.

Transfer of Funds

  1. Transfer from an offender’s savings account to his/her current account will normally occur no more than four times a fiscal year and will not exceed a total of $750 annually.
  2. Funds may be transferred, on a case-by-case basis, between offender accounts if an immediate family or close personal relationship exists between them. The funds can be removed from either account, but will only be deposited into the savings account if approved by the Institutional Head.
  3. When an offender is released on conditional release, and is subsequently reincarcerated within the same fiscal year, following the revocation of his or her conditional release, the inmate will be afforded an additional four transfers from the savings to the current account, not to exceed a total of $750.

Withdrawals or Disbursements

  1. The current account may be used for any purchase that supports the Correctional Plan or for constructive and legitimate inmate activities.
  2. The Institutional Head may authorize requests for disbursements directly from the inmate’s savings account above the $750 annual limit for the following payments:
    1. support to the inmate’s family, or other financial responsibilities in the community
    2. an invoice from a lawyer or for legal services
    3. the use of the private family visit units for familial visits, pursuant to CD 710-8 – Private Family Visits
    4. expenses related to the institutional mother-child program, pursuant to CD 768 – Institutional Mother-Child Program
    5. reimbursement for any indebtedness to the Crown, or reimbursement for court ordered obligations including restitution and child support
    6. inmate telephone system and replacement of calling card
    7. correspondence and post-secondary courses and related materials, if supported or recommended by the Manager, Programs/Chief of Education
    8. non-essential medical expenses, including but not limited to, medical equipment and supplies, alternative remedies/therapies and health practitioners’ services, based on consultation with the Chief, Health Services
    9. costs directly linked to the inmate’s release such as identification cards
    10. Aboriginal spiritual services, ceremonial or traditional healing practices, if they are supported or recommended by an Elder
    11. charitable donations
    12. legitimate expenses incurred while on work release or temporary absence.
  3. The minimum balance in the savings account will be $80, unless the offender requests in writing to withdraw funds in relation to:
    1. any legal proceedings
    2. a health related issue
    3. the repair or replacement of a lost or damaged item for which compensation has been received from the Crown
    4. the purchase of identification cards.
  4. The above requests will be approved, but limited to the available balance in the account.
  5. One additional disbursement from the savings account may be made annually for the holiday canteen pursuant to CD 890 – Inmate Owned Canteens and CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders.
  6. All requests are subject to verification that the funds are for the stated purpose prior to withdrawals or disbursements.

Temporary Absences

  1. Money will be committed for an approved temporary absence, based on reasonable actual costs.
  2. Any money in the inmate’s possession on return from a temporary absence will be allocated as follows:
    1. recovery of direct expenditures of public funds for the absence
    2. deposit to the current account of an amount equal to that withdrawn for the absence
    3. deposit to the savings account of any balance.

Institutional Transfers

  1. When an inmate is transferred to another institution, all money from current and savings accounts and any outstanding deductions, forfeitures and loans will be transferred to the receiving institution. The receiving institution will also be informed of the transfer transactions from the savings account to the current account made by the inmate during the fiscal year.

Release of Inmate

  1. Excluding temporary work releases, all money credited to the inmate will be given to him/her upon release, pursuant to section 5(e) of the Accountable Advances Regulations, and following payment of any money owed to the Crown. A maximum of $200 can be released to the inmate in cash from the petty cash funds and the remainder should be released in a Receiver General of Canada cheque.
  2. In instances in which the total of the inmate’s current and savings accounts is less than $50 at the time of discharge, payment will be made to the inmate in an amount equal to the difference between the total and the sum of $50.
  3. When the conditional release of an offender is suspended and subsequently cancelled by CSC or by the Parole Board of Canada within the first 30 days following a return to custody, this is considered as being the same release. The offender will not be provided with another $50.

Inmate Welfare Fund

  1. Revenue for the Inmate Welfare Fund is derived from:
    1. deductions from the inmate’s income
    2. canteen profits, including profits from health and hygiene products
    3. interest on the Fund’s cash balance
    4. authorized fundraising activities carried out by the inmates.
  2. Rentals of all types by inmates to inmates are prohibited.
  3. Contributions to the Inmate Welfare Fund will be established on the basis of the number of inmates in the institution and the costs associated with the approved activities, including deductions for providing television and cable/satellite services.

Disbursements

  1. Disbursements from the Inmate Welfare Fund will be authorized only to:
    1. provide for education, social, cultural and recreational activities for inmates
    2. provide amenities for inmates
    3. grant loans to meet group needs consistent with this section (individual loans are prohibited)
    4. pay for the cost of inmate publications where such costs exceed the amount received from subscriptions, advertisements and donations
    5. make donations to recognized charitable organizations and causes as approved by the Institutional Head
    6. payment for legal fees on behalf of groups of inmates.
  2. Once a collective need has been identified and the use of the Inmate Welfare Fund approved, the Institutional Head will ensure that the funds are committed for use. Any amount in excess of the commitment must be paid from the Inmate Welfare Fund. Should sufficient funds not be available, reimbursement of this amount will be a priority from future deposits.
  3. Prior to authorizing disbursements for legal fees on behalf of groups of inmates, the Institutional Head will take reasonable steps to ensure that such expenditure reflects the will of a significant majority of the inmate population, taking into account:
    1. the balance of money available in the Fund
    2. any other obligations or commitments that could normally be expected to be made against the Fund.

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 083 – Inmate Committees
CD 085 – Correspondence and Telephone Communication
CD 566 - 12 – Personal Property of Offenders
CD 710 - 8 – Private Family Visits
CD 720 – Education Programs and Services for Offenders
CD 730 – Inmate Program Assignment and Payments
CD 737 – Inmate-operated Business Enterprises
CD 760 – Leisure Activities
CD 768 – Institutional Mother-Child Program
CD 800 – Health Services
CD 870 – Maintenance Allowance for Offenders
CD 890 – Inmate Owned Canteens

DEFINITIONS

Close personal relationship (includes extended family for Aboriginal offenders): exists between two individuals and is normally characterised by situations in which:

  1. both individuals shared a close family bond
  2. one of the individuals contributed significantly to the moral or spiritual development of the other
  3. both individuals were engaged in a long-term living arrangement or partnership
  4. both individuals shared significant life experiences that resulted in an enduring bond of friendship and trust
  5. for Aboriginal offenders, extended family members may include family relations that exist by birth, as well as significant others who are not related by birth, but are given the title of grandparent, parent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or other relative.

Immediate family: in respect of an offender, includes the following members of the offender’s family:

  1. the offender’s spouse or common-law partner
  2. a child of the offender or of the offender’s spouse or common-law partner
  3. the father or mother of the offender or of the offender’s spouse of common-law partner
  4. the spouse or common-law partner of the father or mother of the offender or of the offender’s spouse or common-law partner
  5. the foster parent of the offender or of the offender’s spouse or common-law partner
  6. a child of the offender’s father or mother or a child of the spouse or common-law partner of the offender’s father or mother.

Income: revenue received from the following sources:

  1. a CSC payment (including overtime)
  2. pay earned while on work release or conditional release in the community
  3. pay received from a third party for work performed in an institution
  4. a CSC approved inmate-operated business enterprise (calculation will be done from the net profit)
  5. the sale of hobby craft or custom work (calculation will be done from the net profit of the sale)
  6. an ongoing income paid by either a private or government source.

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

  1. objective (i.e. what other staff members with similar training and experience consider reasonable)
  2. clear (i.e. based on verifiable facts and factors rather than just a subjective feeling, hunch or intuition)
  3. related to and supporting a conclusion of suspicion or belief.

Reimbursement for any indebtedness to the Federal Crown:includes court orders, Canada Revenue Agency “request to pay”, costs awards to the Federal Crown, and other monies owed to the Federal Crown. For fines and restitution resulting from a disciplinary process, the rate of payment is a maximum of 25% of the total income to be deposited in the Inmate Trust Fund (this percentage will take into account the amount to be deposited), unless the Independent Chairperson of the disciplinary hearing specifies otherwise.

For more information

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