Commissioner's Directive

Supplementary Assessments

AUTHORITIES

PURPOSE

APPLICATION

Applies to staff responsible for requesting and/or completing supplementary assessments at intake

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Manager, Institutional Mental Health, will ensure the completion of mental health screening, mental health assessments and psychological risk assessments, when required.
  2. The Assistant Warden, Interventions, or Area Director will ensure completion of educational assessments, sex offender assessments, substance abuse assessments, Elder Reviews, and family violence risk assessments, when required.
  3. The Manager, Assessment and Interventions, or Parole Officer Supervisor will review and approve the Correctional Plan to ensure that the results of supplementary assessments completed at intake are incorporated in the Correctional Plan, when required.
  4. The offender is expected to participate in the supplementary assessment process completed at intake to assist in the development of his/her Correctional Plan.

PROCEDURES

  1. Upon receipt of additional information, or if there are reasons to believe that the assessment(s) may assist in clarifying the overall risk posed by the offender, staff may refer him/her to complete supplementary assessments at intake.
  2. Supplementary assessments should be completed during the intake assessment process, particularly for offenders serving four years or less, or near release eligibility.

Mental Health Screening and Assessment

  1. Mental Health Services will complete the mental health screening within 14 days of admission. The results of the screening will be documented in accordance with professional standards, and as outlined in the Integrated Mental Health Guidelines.
  2. Staff will immediately refer an offender for additional mental health services, using form Referral for Health Services (CSC/SCC 4000-01), when there is evidence of any of the following:
    1. situational adjustment problems – severe anxiety, withdrawn, panic, vulnerable and inadequate behaviour
    2. mental health concerns – prior psychiatric admission, current psychotropic medication
    3. suicide – prior attempts, current ideation or current plan
    4. history or current threats of self-injury
    5. other concerns identified during the mental health intake screening process.
  3. The following offenders will be referred by a Parole Officer at intake for a mental health institutional assessment in accordance with the Integrated Mental Health Guidelines when considering a classification of medium security:
    1. Dangerous Offenders serving an indeterminate sentence
    2. offenders serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder
    3. offenders convicted of terrorism offences punishable by life.

Sex Offender Assessment

  1. Sex offender assessments will be completed prior to the correctional program referral being finalized, unless otherwise indicated in Guidelines 726-3 – National Correctional Program Management Guidelines, when one or more of the following criteria are met:
    1. current offence is a sexual offence or sexually motivated offence
    2. history of sexual offences or sexually motivated offences
    3. an admission of guilt for a sexually motivated offence without conviction
    4. CSC has reliable information that an offender has committed crimes of a sexual nature, whether or not these have resulted in a conviction.
  2. A referral for psychological assessment will be made by a mental health professional, following a case conference between the Correctional Program Officer, the Parole Officer, and a mental health professional when there are case-specific responsivity or risk management concerns that preclude mainstream program assignment identified subsequent to the completion of sex offender assessments.

Psychological Risk Assessment

  1. Psychological risk assessments will be conducted in accordance with the Integrated Mental Health Guidelines.
  2. A referral for a psychological risk assessment is made at intake when an offender is serving four years or less, or within one year of parole eligibility, and one or more of the following criteria are met:
    1. persistent violence
    2. gratuitous violence
    3. sexual offences.
  3. The psychological risk assessment will be completed 90 days prior to the Day Parole eligibility date.
  4. A referral for a psychological risk assessment with the focus on sexual offending, for women who meet the criteria for sexual offences, will be made at intake.
  5. A Dangerous Offender requires a psychological risk assessment when consideration is being given to minimum security classification.

Elder Review

  1. Offenders who have expressed an interest in following a healing path, pursuant to CD 702 – Aboriginal Offenders, will be referred by the Aboriginal Liaison Officer for an Elder Review as soon as possible.
  2. Where Elders are available during the intake assessment process, the Elder Review will be completed within 50 days after admission or 40 days from referral and prior to completion of initial security classification and penitentiary placement. Every effort will be made to complete the Review while the offender is in the Intake Assessment Unit, particularly for offenders serving four years or less.
  3. The Elder's recommendations will be incorporated into the Correctional Plan and any subsequent updates.

Substance Abuse Assessment

  1. A referral for a substance abuse assessment will be made as soon as possible for all offenders.
  2. The substance abuse assessment will be completed as soon as possible within 21 days of an offender's admission.

Educational Assessments

  1. All offenders will be referred for educational testing unless there is official documentation of grade level attainment pursuant to CD 720 – Education Programs and Services for Inmates.
  2. Educational assessments will be completed as part of the Offender Intake Assessment process. The results of the assessments will be documented in the Dynamic Factor Assessment Report and incorporated in the Correctional Plan.

Family Violence Risk Assessment (Male Offenders)

  1. The Parole Officer will conduct the family violence risk assessment on all male offenders, prior to the completion of the Correctional Plan.
  2. The Parole Officer will update the family violence risk assessment upon receipt of additional relevant information.

Commissioner,

Original Signed:
Don Head

ANNEX A - CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

  • Integrated Mental Health Guidelines

DEFINITIONS

Case-specific responsivity or risk management concerns: complex mental illness with an impact on functioning (more than two major mental disorder diagnoses, excluding substance abuse and personality disorders); sex offence appears to be directly attributable to offender's mental illness; unusual paraphilias related to sexual offending – this excludes pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadism or unspecified paraphilic disorder – but includes very uncommon fetishes like necrophilia; and high profile offenders.

Dangerous Offender: an offender who is subject to a designation by the court under section 753 of the Criminal Code.

Family violence risk assessment: evaluates the level of risk an offender presents to his partner.

Gratuitous violence: excessive violence beyond that which is "required" to meet an end; or evidence of sadistic behaviour, torture.

Mental health institutional assessment: a type of mental health assessment where the purpose is to assess and delineate significant mental health and/or responsivity issues (e.g., intellectual functioning, cultural considerations, etc.) to be considered in relation to institutional adjustment/security level classification. The assessment will identify those factors that may impact the offender's adaptation and/or integration into a lower security environment.

Persistent violence: three or more offences listed in Schedule I, irrespective of their mode of prosecution, where each conviction leads to a custodial sentence of at least six months duration and where the offences occurred on different days.

Psychological assessment: a type of mental health assessment where the purpose is to evaluate a person's mental, emotional, social, and in certain circumstances, sexual functioning. The assessment process may include, but is not limited to, the gathering, integration and interpretation of psychological data through the use of tests, interviews, behavioural observations, collateral information, and file review. The type and nature of assessment are guided by the referral question and the case-specific needs of the offender.

Psychological risk assessment: an evaluation of offender risk, needs, responsivity and the manageability of risk, done from a psycho-social perspective, utilizing a variety of scientifically-validated assessment methodologies in an integrated process. It also includes reference to appropriate strategies for the management of risk.

Sexual offences: current offence is a sexual offence or sexually motivated offence; has a history of sexual offences or sexually motivated offences; has an admission of guilt for a sexually motivated offence without conviction; or when the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has reliable and accurate information that an offender has committed crimes of a sexual nature, whether or not these have resulted in a conviction.

Supplementary assessments: assessments designed to provide information about the nature and severity of the specific dynamic factor to assist in decision making and program referrals.

For more information

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