Commissioner's Directive

Provision Of Support Services At Coroner's Inquests

POLICY OBJECTIVES

  1. To ensure the Correctional Service of Canada's capability to make effective and timely decisions when it is involved in a coroner's inquest.

  2. To provide personal, professional and legal assistance to staff members concerned.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. Responsibilities in relation to coroner's inquests involving the Service shall be as follows:

    1. National Headquarters:
      1. securing of Department of Justice counsel to represent the Service (Legal Services);
      2. liaison with the Minister's office (Executive Services);
      3. formulation of responses to the jury's recommendations (Audit and Investigations);
      4. monitoring of follow-up on the jury's recommendations (Audit and Investigations); and
    2. Regional Headquarters:
      1. initial notification of Legal Services at National Headquarters and provision of necessary background information and documents;
      2. co-ordination of communications, support services to staff and technical assistance to litigation counsel;
      3. transmittal of the jury's recommendations to National Headquarters.
  2. The "Guidelines for Provision of Support Services at Coroner's Inquests" detail the processes for carrying out the above responsibilities. Adherence to these guidelines is essential in cases where a coroner's inquest is expected to achieve national prominence.


    Original signed by
    Ole Ingstrup, Commissioner,


Guidelines For Provision Of Support Services At Coroner's Inquests

Objective

  1. To outline a process for coordination of communications and support services in relation to coroner's inquests.

Procedure

  1. Upon notification that an inquest will be held, the Regional Deputy Commissioner shall contact the Assistant Commissioner, Executive Services (ACES), who in turn shall advise the Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Programs and Operations (DCCPO), the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Corporate Development (ACCCD) and the head of Legal Services at National Headquarters. The latter will advise the appropriate officer of the Depart-ment of Justice in order to ensure that litigation counsel is assigned to represent the Correctional Service of Canada at the earliest opportunity.

  2. Regional Headquarters will forward to the head of Legal Services at National Headquarters, a brief outline of the circumstances surrounding the incident and in addition, will forward copies of any relevant documents, including any security investigation report, post incident audit report and any media coverage to date on the incident in question.

  3. Upon notification of the name of the Justice litigation counsel, by the head of Legal Services at National Headquarters or designate, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner of Operations will arrange and participate in a meeting between the litigation counsel, the Regional Deputy Commissioner, the Warden or District Director, the Area Manager and all principals involved in the case.

  4. The Regional Deputy Commissioner, in consultation with the head of Legal Services at National Headquarters and Justice litigation counsel, will determine whether or not independent legal counsel is required for any of the principals involved in the incident, in accordance with Commissioner's Directive 067, "Provision of Legal Services to Employees".

  5. The Regional Deputy Commissioner, in consultation with the Warden or District Director involved, will assign a senior staff member in order to assume overall responsibility for the co-ordination of communications (including the media and regular internal briefings at all levels), staff support (including employee assistance) and technical support to the Justice litigation counsel.

  6. A co-ordination centre will be established if circumstances warrant, in the immediate proximity of the inquest, as determined by the Regional Director of Communications and Executive Services, and arranged through the senior staff member in charge of co-ordinating communications.

  7. The senior staff member will make the arrangements for any briefings by litigation counsel of Correctional Service of Canada witnesses or potential witnesses, prior to testifying at the inquest.

  8. The Regional Deputy Commissioner, the Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Programs and Operations, the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Corporate Development, the Assistant Commissioner, Executive Services, the Warden and other officials at National and Regional Headquarters will receive daily briefings from either Justice litigation counsel or the senior staff member or both.

  9. The Assistant Commissioner, Executive Services, will prepare ministerial house cards and the Assistant Commissioner, Communications and Corporate Development will prepare a set of media questions and answers in consultation with the regional and national co-ordination centres.

  10. Upon receipt of the jury's recommendations, by litigation counsel or the senior staff member, the senior staff member will immediately forward a copy to the Regional Deputy Commissioner, the Assistant Commissioner, Audit and Investigations, and the head of Legal Services at National Headquarters.

  11. The Assistant Commissioner, Audit and Investigations will distribute the jury's recommendations to appropriate officials or agencies for their review and comments.

  12. After having received comments from the appropriate sector heads and where applicable, the Regional Deputy Commissioner and/or other agencies, the Assistant Commissioner, Audit and Investigations will formulate the Correctional Service of Canada's proposal(s) in response to the jury's recommendations for review and decision by National Headquarters - Management Committee or Executive Committee or both.

  13. Approved proposals will be forwarded to the appropriate official(s) for action, where applicable.

  14. The Director General, Communications will prepare an appropriate public response including media questions and answers which clearly and completely describe the Service's response.

  15. The Assistant Commissioner, Audit and Investigations will be responsible for monitoring of action taken by the Correctional Service of Canada and will provide periodic reports to the Commissioner.

Original signed by
Ole Ingstrup, Commissioner,


For more information

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