Guidelines

National Correctional Program Standards

PURPOSE

  • To establish the framework to maximize correctional program effectiveness and ensure integrity in the management and delivery of correctional programs

APPLICATION

Applies to all staff involved in correctional program development, management, evaluation, monitoring, and delivery

GENERAL INFORMATION

  1. The Departmental Evaluation Committee will ensure that national correctional programs are evaluated in accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation.
  2. Correctional program development will:
    1. be based on empirically validated models of behavioural change
    2. address factors that have been empirically demonstrated to be linked to criminal behaviour
    3. employ methods that have been consistently effective with offenders in reducing re offending
    4. provide offenders with skills to reduce re-offending and to encourage successful reintegration
    5. include methods that are responsive to each offender's specific responsivity factors, such as the needs of women, Aboriginal offenders, and offenders requiring mental health care
    6. have an intensity and continuum of care related to the level of risk
    7. employ methods to maintain participant performance
    8. include a process for ongoing monitoring and evaluation.
  3. The development of correctional programs will include the production of supporting documentation, including a program description, program manual, training manual, and supplementary materials.

RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will, in collaboration with the Regional Deputy Commissioners, maximize program capacity by recommending corrective measures or taking action to improve results when required.
  2. The Director, Reintegration Programs, will:
    1. establish the correctional program training and quality review and certification processes for Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers
    2. ensure that staff involved in Aboriginal correctional program training and delivery are evaluated on their Aboriginal-based cultural approach as part of the initial training, quality review and certification process
    3. ensure that staff involved in women offender correctional program training and delivery are evaluated on their women-centred approach as part of the initial training, quality review and certification process
    4. coordinate the training of Regional Program Managers
    5. oversee correctional program monitoring, reporting and implementation
    6. approve or deny requests for Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers to receive provisional/bridge training in correctional programs
    7. approve recommendations for certification of Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers.
    8. ensure consultation with the Women Offender Sector and/or the Aboriginal Initiatives Directorate (as applicable) for matters related to women and/or Aboriginal offenders.
  3. The National Program Manager will:
    1. manage the development, implementation and delivery of correctional programs for men, women and Aboriginal offenders
    2. ensure that initial Aboriginal correctional program training includes information on Aboriginal social history, culture, teachings, and supporting the role of the Elder
    3. coordinate the quality review of Regional Program Managers
    4. make recommendations to the Director, Reintegration Programs, for the certification of Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers.
  4. The National Correctional Program Trainer will:
    1. deliver training to Regional Program Managers
    2. complete the Train the Trainer (TTT) Evaluation of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314e) and ensure this information is entered into the Human Resources Management System (HRMS) within 30 working days of training completion
    3. ensure Regional Program Managers deliver correctional program training in accordance with the training materials
    4. conduct quality review of Regional Program Managers, including completion of the Quality Review of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314-01e), and ensure this information is entered into HRMS within 120 working days of receipt of the required elements
    5. recommend certification of eligible Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers to the appropriate National Program Manager
    6. ensure Regional Program Manager participation in refresher training is recorded in HRMS within 20 working days of training completion.
  5. The Regional Deputy Commissioner will ensure the competencies of Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers are evaluated through the quality review and certification process.
  6. The Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions:
    1. will ensure correctional program monitoring and reporting includes information on correctional program demand, availability and results as well as financial information
    2. will identify the need for training for Regional Program Managers and notify the appropriate National Program Manager
    3. may designate a certified Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer to perform the quality review functions of the Regional Program Manager, if required.
  7. The Regional Program Manager will:
    1. participate in the training and quality review process for Regional Program Managers, including submission of video-recordings of correctional program training as required
    2. provide Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers initial training in a correctional program area/stream
    3. complete the Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers (CSC/SCC 1312e) and, if required, the Supplementary Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1312-01e) for each Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer, and ensure this information is entered into HRMS within 30 working days of training completion
    4. conduct quality review of Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers, including completion of the Quality Review of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1313e), and ensure this information is entered into HRMS within 120 working days of receipt of the required elements
    5. submit recommendations for the certification of eligible Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers and supporting documentation to GEN-NHQ RPD Certification Requests
    6. provide refresher training to Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers and record participation in HRMS within 20 working days of the training completion
    7. provide provisional training in women offender correctional programs to Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers as required.
  8. The Institutional Head/District Director will ensure that data related to correctional program evaluation is collected and available for evaluation, research and monitoring purposes.
  9. The Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager will inform the Regional Program Manager when a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer requires refresher training.
  10. The Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer will:
    1. participate in the training and quality review process for Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers, including submission of video-recordings of correctional program sessions as required
    2. destroy all recordings of correctional program sessions within two years of the date they were submitted to the Regional Program Manager for quality review or upon receipt of their quality review evaluation, whichever comes first
    3. destroy all electronic or hardcopy transitory records once these are no longer required for business purposes.

Training, Quality Review and Certification of Correctional Program Staff

  1. Regional Program Managers and Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers will participate in the training, quality review and certification processes to ensure that they have the support, structure, knowledge and skills necessary to carry out their duties.

Training of Regional Program Managers

  1. In order to be eligible to deliver training to Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers, Regional Program Managers will:
    1. normally be certified in the delivery of a correctional program area/stream to offenders
    2. successfully complete the initial training in the program area/stream in which he/she will deliver training prior to attending the train-the-trainer training.
  2. Prior to the delivery of correctional program training to Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers, Regional Program Managers must successfully complete program-specific content training, as well as training in program administration, which will include the following components:
    1. program-specific content (train-the-trainer training):
      1. program model and structure
      2. theoretical background
      3. assessment procedures
      4. report writing
      5. self-management
    2. program administration:
      1. overview of the Corporate Reporting Tool, HRMS, and Reports of Automated Data Applied to Reintegration (RADAR)
      2. overview of correctional program policies
      3. overview of the quality review process
      4. methods to evaluate Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer delivery, program reporting, and program delivery compliance
      5. how to organize a training session and provide constructive feedback
      6. ethics and integrity, which will include self-care, conflict management and safety.
  3. Once the National Correctional Program Trainer has completed the Train the Trainer (TTT) Evaluation of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314e), he/she will share the training evaluation report with the Regional Program Manager, Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, and National Program Manager.

Quality Review of Regional Program Managers

  1. Quality review of Regional Program Managers will examine at least two days of correctional program training. The examination will include direct observation and/or review of video recordings.
  2. Once the National Correctional Program Trainer has completed the Quality Review of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314-01e), he/she will share the quality review report with the Regional Program Manager, Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, and National Program Manager.
  3. Subsequent quality review of certified Regional Program Managers will be conducted at three and six years following initial certification in that program area/stream. Additional quality reviews may be conducted during this period if required, or at the request of the Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions. Quality review will normally end after the sixth year following initial certification in a particular program area/stream, unless a need for improvement is identified.

Certification of Regional Program Managers

  1. In order to be eligible for certification as a trainer in a correctional program area/stream, the Regional Program Manager must:
    1. deliver the initial correctional program training for that area/stream
    2. meet the requirements of the quality review process, including demonstration of the required competencies as outlined in the Quality Review of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314-01e) .
  2. Notwithstanding the above, a Regional Program Manager who is already certified as a trainer in a correctional program area/stream may be certified as a trainer following successful completion of the train-the-trainer training on the recommendation of the National Correctional Program Trainer in the Train the Trainer (TTT) Evaluation of Regional Program Managers/Trainers form (CSC/SCC 1314e) .

Refresher Training for Regional Program Managers

  1. Refresher training for Regional Program Managers will be provided when:
    1. the quality review identifies a need for it
    2. the Regional Program Manager was trained but did not deliver training in the correctional program area/stream within six months of completion of training
    3. the Regional Program Manager has been inactive in training in the correctional program area/stream for more than 24 months, or
    4. significant changes have been made to the correctional program area/stream.

Initial Training of Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers

  1. Prior to delivering a correctional program to offenders, the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer must successfully complete the initial training for that correctional program area/stream.
  2. Notwithstanding the above, in exceptional circumstances where a site is unable to meet its program delivery needs, a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer may deliver correctional programs prior to completing the initial training, provided he/she successfully completes provisional/bridge training. To be considered for provisional/bridge training, the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer must meet all of the following requirements:
    1. has previous experience delivering interventions to offenders, including but not limited to correctional programs, and for women offender correctional programs, will have successfully completed Women-Centred Training prior to program delivery
    2. will deliver the program with an experienced Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer (for co-facilitated programs)
    3. has access to a Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager, who can provide guidance and support during the program delivery
    4. receive written approval from the Director, Reintegration Programs.
  3. Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers who are approved for provisional/bridge training must attend the next available initial training in that correctional program area/stream.
  4. Initial correctional program training shall normally be a maximum of 10 working days, and prepare the Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers to deliver all intensity levels within that correctional program area/stream.
  5. Notwithstanding the above, additional training days may be added for specific correctional program components, such as for Aboriginal offenders, sex offenders, and adapted programs.
  6. The completed Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1312e) or Supplementary Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1312-01e), as appropriate, will be shared with the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer and the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager.

Quality Review of Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers

  1. A quality review of the first correctional program delivered following initial training, excluding primers/engagement programs, will be conducted for each Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer by the Regional Program Manager or designate.
  2. Notwithstanding the above, Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers at intake units who will only deliver a program primer will participate in the quality review process. The quality review of the program primer is separate from the quality review process for the correctional program stream in which he/she completed the initial training. If at such a time the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer delivers a correctional program other than a program primer, he/she will be required to participate in the quality review process for that correctional program stream at that time.
  3. Quality review will include the direct observation and/or video recordings of identified correctional program sessions.
  4. Quality review will examine at least four correctional program sessions and a representative sample of final correctional program reports.
  5. Aboriginal ceremonies, traditional medicines and ceremonial objects must not be video recorded. When an Aboriginal correctional program session is being recorded for quality review, the camera should be angled so as not to record traditional medicines or ceremonial objects, and the video camera must be turned off for the ceremonial portion(s) of the session. Quality review will be restricted to program content sessions, as ceremonial sessions must not be video recorded.
  6. Once the Regional Program Manager or his/her designate has completed the Quality Review of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1313e), he/she will share the quality review report with the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer and the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager.
  7. If a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer is not recommended for certification following the quality review process, specific areas for improvement will be outlined in the quality review report, and the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer will undergo a subsequent quality review.
  8. In cases in which the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer is assessed as being unsuitable to deliver a correctional program as a result of the quality review process, the recommendation and required action(s) will be discussed with the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer and the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager. If serious concerns are identified that would likely impact delivery across program areas/streams, the Regional Program Manager will advise the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager accordingly.
  9. At the discretion of the Regional Program Manager or his/her designate, a non-certified Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer who undergoes a subsequent quality review in the correctional program area/stream may be re-evaluated on only the areas in which he/she did not meet the requirements for certification in the initial quality review. When this occurs, the number of additional correctional program sessions to be reviewed will be at the discretion of the Regional Program Manager.
  10. Subsequent quality review of certified Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers will be conducted at three years and six years following initial certification in that program area/stream. Additional quality reviews may be conducted during this period if required, or at the request of the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager. Quality review will normally end after the sixth year following initial certification in a particular program area/stream unless a need for improvement is identified.
  11. The Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, may designate a certified Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer to conduct quality review on behalf of the Regional Program Manager. In order to be eligible to conduct quality review, a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer must:
    1. successfully complete the initial correctional program training for the correctional program area/stream for which he/she will be conducting quality review
    2. be certified in the delivery of the correctional program area/stream for which he/she will be conducting quality review
    3. receive training on the quality review process.
  12. When possible, a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer who has been designated to assist with quality review should also successfully complete the train-the-trainer training for the correctional program area/stream.

Certification of Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers

  1. In order to be eligible for certification in a correctional program area/stream, a Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer must:
    1. deliver a minimum of one correctional program to offenders at any intensity level, excluding primers/engagement programs, within the correctional program area/stream
    2. meet the requirements of the quality review process, including demonstration of the required competencies as outlined in the Quality Review of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1313e).
  2. Notwithstanding the above, Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer who are already certified in one correctional program area/stream may be certified following successful completion of the initial correctional program training on the recommendation of the Regional Program Manager in the Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers (CSC/SCC 1312e) or Supplementary Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1312-01e).
  3. Recommending a certified Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer for certification immediately following successful completion of initial training in another program area/stream is not automatic. The Regional Program Manager should consider factors such as how long the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer has been delivering programs, the level of competency demonstrated in previous quality reviews, how many different programs he/she has delivered, the level of intensity (high, moderate, maintenance), the degree of program structure, the program target group (men, women, Aboriginal, adapted) and the program setting (institution or community).
  4. Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers at intake units who deliver a program primer and meet the requirements of the quality review process, including demonstration of the required competencies as outlined in the Quality Review of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1313e), may be certified in the program primer. However, certification in a program primer will be considered a standalone certification and not a certification in that particular correctional program stream.
  5. When the Regional Program Manager recommends the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer for certification, the completed form will be sent to GEN-NHQ RPD-DPRS Certification Requests-Demandes de certification for the Director, Reintegration Programs’ approval.

Refresher Training for Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers

  1. Refresher training will be provided to Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers when:
    1. the quality review or Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager identifies a need for it
    2. the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer was trained but did not deliver a program within the correctional program area/stream within six months of completion of training
    3. the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer has been inactive in delivery in the correctional program area/stream for more than 24 months, or
    4. significant changes have been made to the correctional program area/stream.
  2. Refresher training for Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers will not normally exceed three working days, and will focus on the areas in which the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer requires review and/or on any elements of the correctional program area/stream that have changed since the initial training.

Correctional Program Group Size

  1. The ratio between the number of Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer and the number of participants in a correctional program is:
    1. for primers/engagement programs, maintenance programs, and all moderate intensity correctional programs except family violence prevention programs, one Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer to a maximum of 10 participants
    2. for moderate intensity family violence prevention programs and all high intensity correctional programs, two Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers to a maximum of 12 participants.
  2. Moderate intensity family violence prevention programs, which normally require two Correctional Program Officers/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers, may be delivered by one Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer provided that there are eight or fewer participants commencing the correctional program and no more than 10 participants on an ongoing basis.
  3. If authorized by the National Program Manager, high intensity correctional programs may be delivered by one Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer provided that there are six or fewer participants commencing the correctional program and no more than six participants on an ongoing basis.

Written Work

  1. At the end of an offender's participation in a correctional program, the offender will retain the originals of all written work completed during the correctional program.
  2. In cases where retaining written work may jeopardize the safety of an offender or the security of the institution, the written work may be:
    1. destroyed at the offender’s request
    2. sent outside of the institution at the offender’s expense, or
    3. placed among the offender’s personal property.
  3. If the Correctional Program Officer/Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer needs to retain a copy of the offender's written work to assist in report writing, he/she may make a photocopy of the offender's written work. The original copies will be returned to the offender, and any photocopies, with the exception of the self-management/healing plan, will be destroyed once the final correctional program report is finalized.

Post-Program Document Management

  1. Paper copies of the offender's Consent to Participate in a Correctional Program (CSC/SCC 1288), final correctional program report and self-management/healing plan will be placed on the offender's Education and Training file.
  2. Paper copies of all correctional program performance measures will be filed according to the distribution indicated on the document. If no distribution is indicated on the document, program performance measures will be placed on the Education and Training file.

Assistant Commissioner,
Correctional Operations and Programs

Original Signed by:
Fraser Macaulay

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 700 – Correctional Interventions
CD 702 – Aboriginal Offenders
GL 726-2 – National Correctional Programs Referral Guidelines
GL 726-3 – National Correctional Program Management Guidelines
CD 730 – Offender Program Assignments and Inmate Payments
CD 767 – Ethnocultural Offenders: Services and Interventions

Treasury Board Guideline for Employees of the Government of Canada: Information Management (IM) Basics
Treasury Board Operational Security Standard on Physical Security
Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation
Treasury Board Policy on Government Security

DEFINITION

Aboriginal correctional programs: structured, culturally-based interventions that target empirically-validated factors directly linked to Aboriginal offenders' criminal behaviour in order to reduce re‑offending. These programs’ culturally-relevant content includes Aboriginal social history considerations, traditional teachings and ceremonies, and cultural activities. Aboriginal correctional programs should normally be delivered by Aboriginal Correctional Program Officers with the involvement of Elders, and will utilize a healing and holistic approach to address the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs of Aboriginal offenders.

Aboriginal social history : the various circumstances that have affected the lives of most Aboriginal people. Considering these circumstances may result in alternate options or solutions and applies only to Aboriginal offenders (not to non-Aboriginal offenders who choose to follow the Aboriginal way of life). These circumstances include the following (note that this is not an exhaustive list):

  • effects of the residential school system
  • sixties scoop into the adoption system
  • effects of the dislocation and dispossession of Inuit people
  • family or community history of suicide
  • family or community history of substance abuse
  • family or community history of victimization
  • family or community fragmentation
  • level or lack of formal education
  • level of connectivity with family/community
  • experience in the child welfare system
  • experience with poverty
  • loss of or struggle with cultural/spiritual identity.

Ceremonial objects: objects deemed to be sacred, spiritual or ceremonial in nature. Also referred to as “personal spiritual effects”.

Correctional program: a structured intervention that targets empirically-validated factors directly linked to offenders’ criminal behaviour, in order to reduce re-offending.

National correctional programs: a specific set of correctional programs that have been developed and implemented on a national level. These programs are structured interventions that target empirically-validated factors directly linked to offenders’ criminal behaviour, in order to reduce re-offending.

Quality review and certification: the process used to measure both Correctional Program Officer competency, and Regional Program Manager competency.

Responsivity: the presence of a characteristic(s) that influences the offender’s capacity to benefit from the targeted intervention(s).

Traditional medicines: sacred, natural medicines used during ceremonies which may include sweet grass, sage, cedar or tobacco.

Transitory records: information resources that are required only for a limited time to ensure the completion of a routine action or the preparation of a subsequent record. They do not include records required by government institutions or Ministers to control, support, or document the delivery of programs, to carry out operations, to make decisions, or to account for government activities.

Written work: any material completed by an offender as part of his/her participation in a program assignment, with the exception of self-report program performance measures completed by the offender.

For more information

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