Citizen Advisory Committees
- To foster positive relationships with the community and enhance the effectiveness of the Correctional Service of Canada by engaging citizens in matters related to the operation of the Service
Applies to Correctional Service of Canada staff who work with Citizen Advisory Committees as well as to current and prospective Citizen Advisory Committee members
- There will be three levels of Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs):
- a local Citizen Advisory Committee for each Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) operational unit unless where, for reasons of geography or insufficient volunteer resources within a community, a CAC may serve more than one operational unit
- a regional CAC to serve as a regional coordinating body for local CACs
- a National Executive Committee (NEC) to serve as a national coordinating body for regional CACs
- The Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement Sector, will:
- approve the organization of NEC meetings and national conferences and provide the administrative support and facilities necessary for these meetings
- ensure CACs are consulted/informed on matters related to the operation of the Service, including programs, policies and plans
- identify staff members at National Headquarters to provide support to the NEC and to maintain a strong relationship with them
- ensure the establishment and maintenance of guidelines related to CAC operations, which must be followed, as well as other resource material
- Regional Deputy Commissioners (RDCs) will:
- approve all CAC membership appointments or cancellations based on recommendations of the Operational Unit Head in consultation with the local and/or regional CAC Chairperson
- cancel a CAC member's appointment if the member's activities, relationship or situation are inconsistent with the criteria outlined in the “Local CAC Membership” section below
- consider the appointment or re-appointment of members to the CAC only after a conflict of interest assessment has been completed pursuant to GL 023-1 - Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) Conflict of Interest Assessment and next steps determined
- ensure that each operational unit within their region is represented by a local CAC
- ensure CACs are consulted on all matters regarding regional correctional operations, programs, policies and plans
- approve the organization of regional CAC meetings and conferences and ensure administrative support and facilities are provided for these meetings
- identify staff members at Regional Headquarters to support local staff tasked with supporting CACs and maintaining a strong relationship with them
- ensure orientation training for new CAC members is in place and encourage the participation of members in various learning activities
- refer to the Commissioner any disagreements referred by the Operational Unit Head in relation to the execution of roles and responsibilities of CACs that cannot be resolved at a regional level
- Operational Unit Heads will:
- work with the local CAC Chair to recruit new members and to recommend membership appointments and cancellations to the RDC
- identify staff members to provide support to the local CAC and to maintain a strong relationship with it
- provide general and site-specific orientation training to new members and encourage member participation in various learning activities
- conduct a conflict of interest assessment of all CAC members at the time of application or renewal using the Assessment Tool in GL 023-1 - Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) Conflict of Interest Assessment
- attend local CAC meetings on a regular basis and provide administrative support and facilities for these meetings
- after consultation with the local or regional CAC Chair, refer to the RDC any disagreements concerning the execution of roles and responsibilities of CACs
- grant temporary leaves of absence to CAC members, as volunteers, for compassionate and humanitarian reasons
- Citizen Advisory Committees will:
- provide advice to the Service with respect to correctional operations, programs, policies and correctional plans
- act as impartial observers and provide feedback to the Service on its day-to-day activities and operations
- liaise with CSC staff, offenders and representatives from various organizations, including criminal justice, advocacy groups and the community, to address correctional issues
- establish clear objectives, updated annually, in collaboration with CSC Operational Unit Heads, and undertake activities that will support these objectives. Objectives will reflect the level of volunteer interest, the nature of the operational unit, and other relevant factors
- CAC members will abide by the CAC Mission, the principles and provisions outlined in GL 023-1 - Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) Conflict of Interest Assessment, and the CAC Resource Manual.
LOCAL CAC MEMBERSHIP
- A local CAC will normally have five to 10 members. If a CAC consists of fewer than three members, the operational unit will work with the chairperson to recruit new members.
- The Committee's membership will, to the extent possible, reflect the demographic composition of the community as well as the operational unit's offender population (i.e., ethnicity, gender, age, language, etc.).
- Current CSC employees, offenders, and those deemed to be in non-manageable conflict of interest situations (see GL 023-1 - Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC) Conflict of Interest Assessment) are not eligible to serve as CAC members.
- Membership may be cancelled if the potential for a conflict of interest is identified or if the CAC member acts contrary to the CAC Mission or the CSC Mission.
- No local, regional or national CAC may have more than one former CSC employee.
- A CAC member may not sit on more than one local committee at a time.
- Appointments and re-appointments are for a three-year period.
REIMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES
- Reimbursement of authorized travel and accommodation expenses for CAC members will be in accordance with the National Joint Council Travel Directive. At the local level, mileage expenses incurred to attend authorized monthly meetings and those incurred as a result of a specific request to attend and observe an incident can be reimbursed by the Operational Unit Head, in accordance with the National Joint Council Travel Directive.
- Expenses incurred for regionally approved meetings will be authorized in advance and reimbursed by the Regional Deputy Commissioner. Expenses incurred for nationally approved meetings will be authorized in advance by the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Engagement, and reimbursed by the Director, Citizen Engagement.
- Each local CAC will prepare an annual report, outlining its activities and accomplishments, which will be presented to the Operational Unit Head and the CAC Regional Chair.
- Each Regional Chair will prepare an annual report which will be presented to the Regional Deputy Commissioner and to the NEC.
- The National Executive Committee (NEC) of CACs will provide an annual report to the Commissioner which will be made publicly available.
CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS
Citizen Advisory Committees- Resource Manual
Treasury Board National Joint Council Travel Directive
Mission of Citizen Advisory Committees
National Executive Committee (NEC) of Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) a committee consisting of the National Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and the Chairperson or a designate of every region. It also includes a non-voting representative of the CSC, who serves as Co-Chairperson at NEC meetings.
Operational unit: an institution, district or area parole office, or Community Correctional Centre.
4.The principles that guide the Service in achieving the purpose referred to in section 3 are as follows:
- the Service enhances its effectiveness and openness through the timely exchange of relevant information with victims, offenders and other components of the criminal justice system and through communication about its correctional policies and programs to victims, offenders and the public;
- the Service facilitates the involvement of members of the public in matters relating to the operations of the Service;
- An institutional head or a person responsible for a parole office may, in accordance with this section, set up a Citizen Advisory Committee that consists of members of the community in which the penitentiary or parole office is situated to promote and facilitate the involvement of members of the community in the operation of the Service.
- An institutional head or a person responsible for a parole office shall ensure that the Citizen Advisory Committee is representative of the community in which the penitentiary or parole office, as the case may be, is situated.
- No staff member or offender may be appointed to a Citizen Advisory Committee.
- A Citizen Advisory Committee
- may advise an institutional head or a person responsible for a parole office on any matter within the institutional head's or person's jurisdiction; and
- shall make itself available for discussions and consultations with the public, offenders, staff members and Service management.
- The institutional head or a person responsible for a parole office shall ensure that the members of the Citizen Advisory Committee that relates to the penitentiary or parole office have reasonable access, for the purpose of carrying out the functions of the Committee, to
- every part of the penitentiary or parole office;
- every staff member of the penitentiary or parole office;
- any offender in the penitentiary or under the supervision of the parole office; and
- any hearing, conducted under this Part or Part I of the Act, respecting an offender in the penitentiary or under the supervision of the parole office, if the offender consents to the access.
For more information
- Government-wide Forward Regulatory Plans
- The Cabinet Directive on Regulatory Management
- The Red Tape Reduction Action Plan
- The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council
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