Federal Community Corrections Strategy Framework for Action
The Federal Community Corrections Strategy (FCCS) is an overarching strategy linking the Correctional Service of Canada's (CSC) reintegration strategies, initiatives, and activities with enhanced partnerships, as a means to best position community corrections activities to the year 2020. The Strategy also seeks to enhance offender reintegration opportunities with particular attention to the needs of specialized groups of offenders, including: women offenders, offenders with mental health needs, Aboriginal offenders, and specialized populations (e.g., gangs, high risk offenders). Specific operational requirements (e.g., accommodation, population management) must also be taken into account when seeking such opportunities.
The ultimate goal of the FCCS is to enhance public safety through the effective and secure reintegration of offenders back into the community. By increasing partnerships, support systems, and employment opportunities for offenders, the FCCS can also contribute to enhancing public awareness and support for conditionally released offenders and community corrections overall.
Message from the Correctional Service of Canada
CSC cannot work in isolation; ensuring public safety takes a community. Meaningful results simply cannot be achieved without the contributions of agencies and individuals that assist offenders by providing everything from: a roof over their head; meaningful programs; employment services; ongoing support and mentorship; and public awareness, including the de-bunking of common myths and stereotypes.
The Federal Community Corrections Strategy represents a concrete example of what can be achieved when we work together towards a common goal. This type of collaboration allows us to develop a voice that reflects the integration of many diverse points of view - a diversity that mirrors that of Canadians at large.
Community Reintegration Branch
Co-chair, Joint CSC-NAACJ Working Group on Community Corrections
Message from Partners
As long as there have been prisons, there have been people who are concerned for the welfare of prisoners. Now almost 200 years later, communities in Canada continue to provide a range of programs and services in, by and for the communities they serve.
The National Associations Active in Criminal Justice (NAACJ) and its members recognize that community corrections is only as strong as the commitment of citizens to understand and respond to the persistent and emerging needs we face. We all have a role to contribute to the well-being and vitality of our communities, and to find ways of developing capacity to meaningfully engage the diverse people and places in which we live.
This strategy is one way for us to do this together. It guides us to provide cohesive, effective responses that will improve communications, relationships, services and awareness, and gives us an opportunity to share the life-changing work we do to assist the approximately 8,700Footnote 1 people under federal supervision in the community, or 38% of CSC's population.
We're hopeful that the FCCS will further our efforts to nurture the collaborative, community-based initiatives that will bring our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, and sons home.
President, National Associations Active in Criminal Justice
Co-chair, Joint CSC-NAACJ Working Group on Community Corrections
In November 2009, CSC executives met with external criminal justice partners for the first time in a national forum at the Executive Development Symposium. At this meeting, the Commissioner of CSC made a commitment to partners to develop a clearly articulated federal community corrections strategy to guide CSC's activities until 2020.
To develop an inclusive, community-based strategy, CSC undertook close to 200 engagement activities that included participation from: CSC staff and management; partner organizations; college and university students; municipal government representatives; Aboriginal and ethno-cultural community representatives and service providers; volunteers; chaplains; Citizens' Advisory Committee members; victims' groups and advocates; offenders; and Canadians.
Throughout the engagement process, priorities for staff, offenders, partners, stakeholders, and Canadians were discussed. Additionally, responsibilities and expectations in regards to community reintegration were touched upon. Analysis of the engagement activity findings identified five Strategic Principles that aim to assist CSC in creating greater operational consistency and improved community corrections across Canada.
By involving CSC staff, partners, and stakeholders in the development of the Strategy, a stronger level of collaboration and coordination amongst community corrections service providers and stakeholders was achieved. Further, it is anticipated that the FCCS and this Framework for Action will act as vehicles for public awareness about community corrections and provide possibilities for greater engagement of Canadians in the correctional process.
Moving forward, CSC will build on its progress while working towards improving relationships with stakeholders, both within and outside the Service.
The Community Reintegration Branch has developed a Logic Model (see Annex) and a Performance Measurement Strategy Framework (PM Strategy Framework) in consultation with internal partners and stakeholders, as well as with the Joint CSC-NAACJ Working Group on Community Corrections.
The PM Strategy Framework identifies approximately 30 performance indicators that will be monitored on an annual basis starting in 2012-2013 to gauge the performance of the various community corrections activities conducted through CSC and partners. These performance indicators are detailed in the following section and will allow CSC to focus on results achieved with specific populations including Aboriginal offenders, women offenders, offenders with mental health needs, and other complex groups.
The interpretation of this data will allow CSC to gauge the effectiveness of the services, activities, and interventions provided to federal offenders. In addition, it allows CSC to gather reliable, timely information that can assist decision-makers and improve performance. All of the indicators will contribute to the final outcome ’ offenders being safely and effectively reintegrated into society with due regard for public safety.
Following the first year of data collection, a review will be undertaken to ensure that the most appropriate information is being collected and captured. The analysis of the information obtained will be used to measure CSC's progress against established targets.
The performance indicators embrace the continuum of reintegration activities that begin in institutions and continue in the community. Community corrections is a collaborative enterprise that spans the full complement of Sectors involved in the reintegration process, and it is a representation of the essential and complimentary roles played by each of the Sector's partners.
As has been noted, the FCCS consists of five Strategic Principles which outline the key elements of enhanced community corrections. The focus on partnerships, communication, and public education are highlighted as key aspects in moving the agenda forward.
The Strategic Principles are as follows:
- Community reintegration begins at intake;
- Community reintegration requires dynamic assessment and intervention;
- Community reintegration is achieved through collaboration;
- Community reintegration is measured by public safety results; and
- Community reintegration is enhanced through engagement and communication.
Activities identified in the PM Strategy Framework will facilitate the transition of offenders from the institution to the community and the provision of supports beyond Warrant Expiry.
Within each of the Strategic Principles, key activities have been identified. Each of those activities will enable CSC to define and measure outcomes for community corrections. Key performance indicators, outlined below, have been identified for each activity as a means to measure and track CSC's progress against the Principles identified in the FCCS.
Strategic Principle #1
Community reintegration begins at intake
The primary goal of Strategic Principle #1 is to focus on efficient and effective release planning to enhance the safe transition of offenders into the community. Examples of such activities include: capturing offender needs and release plans early in the sentence (such as the use of Section 81 and 84 releases for Aboriginal offenders), in-reach activities conducted by community partners to ensure a connection to the community from the onset of an offender's sentence, and appropriate intake and discharge planning procedures. The focus on timely and safe release planning involves ensuring that offenders' community contacts are developed, re-established, or maintained throughout incarceration. It also includes the ongoing and direct involvement of community reintegration partners to effectively prepare offenders for their release and return to the community.
The desired outcome of the various activities that form part of this Strategic Principle can best be described as timely and effective intake and discharge planning procedures.
The FCCS Annual Report will analyze and evaluate the following indicators to determine if the FCCS is achieving the expected outcomes: preliminary documents completed on time, successful temporary absences, pre-release documents completed on time, Aboriginal offender release planning, and in-reach activities.
Strategic Principle #2
Community reintegration requires dynamic assessment and intervention
The objective of Strategic Principle #2 is the enhanced management, intervention, and supervision of offenders. This involves sound case management procedures, as well as the delivery of correctional programs and interventions that are responsive to the needs of offenders, and the unique characteristics of specific offender populations. For example, Aboriginal and women offenders have special needs that require carefully targeted programs to successfully address risk factors related to recidivism.Footnote 2
To achieve this objective, greater collaboration and integration of case management with Criminal Justice partners must be realized. As a result, CSC aims to foster practices, processes, and partnerships that can enhance the Service's capacity to respond to the complex needs of the offender population by ensuring that seamless services are in place along the corrections continuum to facilitate offender reintegration beyond Warrant Expiry.
The FCCS Annual Report will analyze and evaluate the following indicators to determine if the FCCS is achieving the expected outcomes: Case Management documents completed on-time, frequency of contact compliance between the Parole Officer and the Offender, concordance with Parole Board Canada, offender engagement in their Correctional Plan, Aboriginal-specific programming completions, mental health services, vocational training, education referrals, and offenders who complete Nationally Recognized Correctional Programs.
Strategic Principle #3
Community reintegration is achieved through collaboration
The overarching goal of this Strategic Principle is to maximize the use of partnerships to enhance correctional results. This objective is to be achieved by providing diverse accommodation options that meet the needs of the offender population; building and strengthening relationships with criminal justice partners; and enhancing employment and employability opportunities for offenders. Together with partners, the Service can help ensure that offenders have access to the range of services, interventions and accommodation options that are required to facilitate successful reintegration.
Finding 2 of the Report of the Evaluation of CSC's Community Corrections Chapter 1: Correctional Interventions found the following:
There exist opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, levels of government, and/or community partners to better respond to the needs of federal offenders.Footnote 3
Although CSC is responsible for providing interventions and services to federal offenders, there are areas of opportunities for CSC to meet its corporate priority of productive relationships with partners by collaborating and leveraging the expertise of other federal departments, levels of government, and community partners to deliver effective and efficient correctional services to offenders.Footnote 4
There is room to enhance collaboration and support for partners' involvement including the development of new and collaborative ways to offer a broad range of specialized accommodation options for offenders, for example, Private Home Placements and other Community Based Residential Facility options.
Another partner is mental health providers who provide enhanced discharge planning, transitional mental health services, access to mental health specialists, training for staff, and specialized services to offenders with mental health needs.
CSC also needs to ensure access to programs and services that help build the skills needed for offenders to successfully reintegrate. For example, CSC must work closely with communities to establish a network of helpful employment resources in order to improve employment and employability results for offenders.
In sum, strong, collaborative relationships with the Canadian public and community-based partners are critical to the safe reintegration of federal offenders back into Canadian communities. CSC's community reintegration partners provide a broad range of activities and services that directly support offender re-entry and contribute to reducing re-offending.
The FCCS Annual Report will analyze and evaluate the following indicators to determine if the FCCS is achieving the expected outcomes: results of contracts and agreements with partners, results from meetings with partners, community-based residential facility bed utilization rates, and offender employment.
Strategic Principle #4
Community reintegration is measured by public safety results
The target of Strategic Principle #4 is to contribute to public safety results through effective community reintegration practices and to ensure that public safety results are measured and shared. The results of this Principle are incorporated in the other four Principles and will be reported throughout. Public safety is paramount and CSC has a fundamental obligation to contribute to public safety by encouraging and aiding offenders to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
To contribute to public safety results, CSC continues to develop and integrate strategies that focus on purposeful interventions, correctional programs and effective supervision, as well as improvements in the monitoring of the offender's progress.Footnote 5
The safe transition of offenders into the community is the key to achieving strong public safety results. It will be these results that will help to determine where there are gaps, so that CSC can continue to strengthen its approach to corrections over time.
Monitoring and reporting on public safety results is critical to decision-making, and in providing the public with an accurate account of achievements and challenges in the area of offender reintegration.
The FCCS Annual Report will analyze and evaluate the following indicators to determine if the FCCS is achieving the expected outcomes: successful supervisions, violent reoffending, revocations, and offenders re-admitted to federal custody within five years of Warrant Expiry.
Strategic Principle #5
Community reintegration is enhanced through engagement and communication
The underlying objective of Strategic Principle #5 is strengthened communication and outreach. The focus of this objective is to enhance awareness and understanding of CSC and its mandate among the Canadian public through citizen engagement, outreach activities (with traditional and non-traditional stakeholders), and information sharing (both internally and externally).
CSC community corrections policy framework recognizes that, "successful reintegration requires the support of citizens and communities".Footnote 6 This approach is in line with CSC's priority of establishing "productive relationships with increasingly diverse partners, stakeholders, and others involved in public safety".Footnote 7
An example of the benefits obtained by engaging Canadians in the work of CSC is the use of volunteers and Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs). Volunteers help to bridge the gap between an isolated prison community and a free society, to which most offenders return. Equally as important, volunteers from the community provide a means to promote and enhance communication among institutions, parole offices and local communities, thereby helping CSC to maintain a sensitive and positive presence in the community. CACs, through voluntary participation in the federal correctional process, contribute to the quality of the correctional process by actively interacting with staff, offenders and the public, and by providing impartial advice and recommendations to management. CACs provide a means for the community to represent and express itself in the core work of CSC.Footnote 8
Since all offenders come from the community, and most will eventually return there (either through some form of conditional release or because their sentence has expired), their successful reintegration requires community acceptance and support.Footnote 9
The FCCS Annual Report will analyze and evaluate the following indicators to determine if the FCCS is achieving the expected outcomes: victim services, information sharing, outreach and engagement activities, Citizen Advisory Committees, and volunteer activities.
The first FCCS Annual Report will be based on data collected from April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Data will be extracted from various internal sources. Data interpretation will be conducted by subject matter experts within CSC who will analyze the information and highlight any trends or follow-up actions required. The use of existing data sources was encouraged to allow for comparisons and trend analysis. A "Best Practices in Community Corrections" section will also be included to highlight new and innovative approaches to community corrections.
In addition to the above, the FCCS Annual Report will incorporate input from community partners through the Joint CSC-NAACJ Working Group on Community Corrections. Member organizations will be consulted as part of the review/approval process and the FCCS Annual Report will include their comments where possible.
The logic model outlines the intended results/outcomes of the Federal Community Corrections Strategy and the associated activities and outputs it intends to produce in achieving the ultimate outcome that offenders are safely and effectively reintegrated into society with due regard to public safety.
Going from top to bottom, the model explains the initiative's process by describing its components which are: Strategic Principles, Inputs, Activities, Outputs, Immediate outcomes, Intermediate outcomes, and Ultimate outcome.
There are five Strategic Principles: 1) Community reintegration begins at intake; 2) Community reintegration requires dynamic assessment and intervention; 3) Community reintegration is achieved through collaboration; 4) Community reintegration is measured by public safety results; and 5) Community reintegration is enhanced through engagement and communication.
There are the same three inputs for all of the Strategic Principles: 1) Human Resources, 2) Legislations/ Regulations/ Polices/ Procedures/ Directives/ Guidelines, and 3) Financial Resources.
This description will describe separately each activity as well as their respective outputs and outcomes before describing the ultimate outcome.
Under Strategic Principle 1, there are two activities: 1) Conduct intake and discharge planning and 2) Conduct in-reach activities with community partners.
The outputs for the conduct intake and discharge planning activity are: 1) Intake plans and reports and 2) Pre-release plans and reports.
The output for the conduct in-reach activities with community partners' activity is: Partnerships with communities and service providers.
The immediate outcome for both of the outputs is:Â CSC can identify and provide required support and interventions.
The intermediate outcome is: Risks and needs of offenders are addressed.
Under Strategic Principle 2, there two activities: 1) Conduct case management and supervision and 2) Provide Correctional Programs and interventions.
The outputs for the conduct case management and supervision activity are: 1) Case management reports, 2) Case management interventions, and 3) Conditional Release.
The outputs for the provide Correctional Programs and interventions are: 1) Risk and needs-based interventions and 2) Programs.
The immediate outcome for both activities is: CSC is able to manage cases safely and effectively.
The intermediate outcome is: Offenders receive targeted interventions and appropriate supervision.
Under Strategic Principle 3, there are three activities: 1) Build relationships with Criminal Justice partners/ stakeholders, 2) Provide a range of accommodation options, and 3) Provide employment and employability opportunities and services.
The outputs for the build relationships with Criminal Justice partners/ stakeholders activity are: 1) Contracts and agreements and 2) Meetings with Criminal Justice partners/ stakeholders.
The output for provide a range of accommodation options activity is: Community beds.
The outputs for provide employment and employability opportunities and services activity are: 1) Employment services and 2) Job placements.
The immediate outcome for all three outputs is: CSC has the capacity to offer a range of options, tools, and services.
The intermediate outcome is: Offenders have access to a range of services and support.
Under Strategic Principle 4, there is one activity: Conduct corporate reporting.
The output for conduct corporate reporting is: Corporate reports.
The immediate outcome for this activity is: CSC reports its priorities, plans, and accomplishments relating to its public safety mandate.
The intermediate outcome is: CSC's priorities reflect what is necessary to ensure safe communities.
Under Strategic Principle 5, there are 2 activities: 1) Information sharing and 2) Conduct outreach activities and citizen engagement.
The outputs for the information sharing activity are: 1) Victim services and 2) Communications.
The outputs for the conduct outreach activities and citizen engagement activity are: 1) Outreach and engagement activities, 2) Citizen Advisory Committees, and 3) Volunteers.
The immediate outcome for both outputs is: CSC can promote the involvement and engagement of Canadians in the correctional process.
The intermediate outcome is: Canadians have an understanding of the role of federal corrections and are confident in the correctional system.
All of the intermediate outcomes have the same ultimate outcome which is: Offenders are safely and effectively reintegrated into society with due regard to public safety.
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- Footnote 1
2012 Annual Report, Corrections and Conditional Release Statistical Overview (http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/2012-ccrs/index-eng.aspx)
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- Footnote 5
Response from the Correctional Service of Canada to the 33rd Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2005-2006, http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pblct/ci05-06/annex-eng.shtml
- Footnote 6
CSC, 2010l, p.22
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