Commissioner's Directive

Use of Force

AUTHORITIES

PURPOSE

APPLICATION

Applies to staff involved in the use of force process

RESPONSIBILITIES

  1. The Director General, Security, will:
    1. ensure security procedures related to the use of force are within the scope of the law and CSC policies and limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to attain the purpose of the CCRA
    2. monitor procedures to ensure each incident involving use of force is reported and subsequently reviewed at the institutional level and, where required, at the regional and/or national levels
    3. identify those use of force incidents or types of interventions that will be subject to further review by the Security Branch at NHQ
    4. provide written direction, if necessary, to the appropriate regional authority and ensure that corrective action is taken to address deficiencies related to the use of force
    5. collaborate with the Director General, Learning and Development, regarding training standards for use of force.
  2. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will ensure that use of force incidents are reviewed at RHQ as outlined in Annex B.
  3. The Regional Director, Health Services, will:
    1. participate in the regional review process when force has been used to administer a medical treatment
    2. provide advice in assessing the appropriateness of Health Services interventions and documentation
    3. recommend corrective measures as necessary.
  4. The Institutional Head will ensure that:
    1. all interventions are reported and managed pursuant to the Situation Management Model in  CD 567
    2. any planned use of force using line staff is authorized through an Intervention Plan
    3. any planned use of force with the Emergency Response Team is authorized through a SMEAC Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212)
    4. staff are trained on use of force in accordance with the training standards
    5. handheld video and/or digital recording devices, cameras and accessories are available and in working order, and that a sufficient number of staff are trained on their use
    6. any use of force involving the non-routine use of restraint equipment or the use of chemical agents, inflammatory agents or firearms is conducted pursuant to CD 567-3 – Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes, CD 567-4 – Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents, CD 567-5 – Use of Firearms, CD 843 – Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour and CD 800 – Health Services
    7. a standing order is in place for the use of force off the penitentiary reserve
    8. following each use of force incident, all required documents are completed by staff members present during the incident and submitted pursuant to CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents
    9. a review of the use of force is conducted and supporting documents completed
    10. all use of force reviews are finalized by the required manager pursuant to Annex B.
  5. The Deputy Warden, in collaboration with a mental health professional, will develop individualized use of force protocols for inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria.                                      
  6. The Chief, Health Services, will:
    1. participate in the review process of all use of force incidents unless directly involved in the use of force incident, in which case, the Manager, Clinical Services, will conduct the review
    2. evaluate the physical assessment of inmates involved following the incident and document the evaluation on the Checklist for Health Services Review of Use of Force (CSC/SCC 0754-01).
  7. A health care professional will:
    1. if time and circumstances permit, communicate to the Crisis Manager any mental and/or physical health issues concerning the inmate(s) involved that may assist in the development of the Intervention Plan
    2. offer a physical assessment to every inmate involved in the use of force incident
    3. conduct a physical examination of inmates who have consented.
  8. The Correctional Manager will ensure that every staff involved in the use of force incident is given the opportunity to report to Health Services for a physical assessment.
  9. All staff present during the use of force incident will complete documentation pursuant to CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents.

PROCEDURES

  1. If time and circumstances permit, consultation with a health care professional will occur during the development of the Intervention Plan to ensure physical and mental health needs are considered.
  2. During the development of the SMEAC, a health care professional will be informed of:
    1. the inmate(s) involved
    2. the nature of the force to be used
    3. the time, date and location of the anticipated use of force.
  3. In the absence of a health care professional, OMSR will be accessed to determine mental health needs.
  4. A staff member should not participate in a planned use of force if he/she was involved in a situation immediately prior to the planned intervention whereby the staff member was subject to:
    1. verbal threats
    2. physical abuse, or
    3. any other type of abuse or threat by the inmate in question or his/her associates.
  5. If a staff member who falls within the above parameters is permitted to participate in a planned use of force, the authorizing authority will document the reasons in the Intervention Plan or the SMEAC.
  6. When a staff member is directly involved in a spontaneous use of force, attempts will be made, when practical, to limit his/her involvement beyond what is necessary to control the situation.

Pregnant Inmates

  1. Prior to using force on a pregnant inmate, the safety of the inmate and fetus will be considered pursuant to CD 567-3 – Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes.

Restraints for Health Purposes

  1. Restraints to ensure the safety of inmates who are self-injurious or suicidal will be managed pursuant to CD 843 – Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour, and restraints for medical purposes will be managed pursuant to GL 800-2 – Physical Restraints for Medical Purposes.

Video-Recording

  1. A video-recording will be made:
    1. from the beginning of any planned use of force
    2. as soon as possible once a spontaneous use of force is underway
    3. in other incidents where the Institutional Head and/or Officer in Charge expect force may be used based on the inmate's past history, present behaviour and current placement.
  2. The camera operator will begin recording by stating his/her name, the date and time, and provide a brief synopsis of the incident (if known).
  3. All briefings to staff who are directly involved in the incident will be video-recorded unless a delay would result in serious bodily injury, loss of life or the destruction of evidence.
  4. Prior to stopping the video-recording for any reason (including when a Health Care Professional begins medical treatment), the camera operator will state his/her name, the date and time and the reason for stopping the camera. When the camera stops by itself, the camera operator will narrate the above information once the camera is operational again. He/she will detail all relevant information in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
  5. When a planned use of force was not video-recorded from the onset, or a spontaneous use of force was not video-recorded as soon as it was possible, the Institutional Head or delegated reviewer will provide a written explanation for the inability to video-record as part of the institutional review.
  6. If, following a use of force, an inmate is being transported outside of the institution, a decision to continue video-recording while in transit will be based on the inmate’s current behaviour and/or past behaviour in similar circumstances. The decision will be made in consultation with the Institutional Head or delegate, and will be stated on the video recording, and documented in the SMEAC as well as in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
  7. If a decision is made not to video-record, it is incumbent upon the camera operator to re-commence recording immediately should the inmate’s behaviour become problematic. All breaks in video-recording will follow previous procedures.
  8. Video-recording is not authorized in outside hospitals.

Strip Search Recording

  1. During the strip search of a compliant inmate:
    1. two staff members will conduct the strip search (the camera operator is not to be considered as one of them)
    2. a privacy barrier such as a half-wall, privacy curtain, or portable barrier will be used to prevent the recording of the genitalia of the inmate
    3. only one of the Correctional Officers/Primary Workers conducting the search will instruct the inmate
    4. all staff members involved, including the camera operator, will be the same gender as the inmate
    5. staff will ensure that inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria are accommodated with due regard for the vulnerabilities with respect to their needs, including safety and privacy
    6. the camera operator will video-record the strip search ensuring that staff members performing the search and the inmate are filmed simultaneously, while respecting the privacy and dignity of the inmate. In the event this is not possible, the camera operator will fully capture on video the officers conducting the strip search.
  2. During the strip search of a non-compliant inmate:
    1. to determine whether the inmate is compliant or not during the strip search, the Officer in Charge of the intervention (e.g. Emergency Response Team Leader, Correctional Manager, etc.) will say the following to the inmate:
      1. “A strip search must be conducted. If you do not cooperate, physical handling, or chemical or inflammatory agents may be used. Will you cooperate and remove your clothes yourself? Do you understand?”
      2. the questions should be repeated at least three times, if necessary
    2. at minimum, two staff members will conduct the strip search (the camera operator is not to be considered as one of them)
    3. only one of the Correctional Officers/Primary Workers conducting the search will instruct the inmate
    4. all staff members involved will be the same gender as the inmate
    5. staff will ensure that inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria are accommodated with due regard for the vulnerabilities with respect to their needs, including safety and privacy
    6. the camera operator will ensure that staff members and the inmate are filmed simultaneously. In these cases, it may be necessary to videotape a naked or partially naked inmate.

Decontamination

  1. In the event that chemical or inflammatory agents were used, staff will explain the decontamination procedures, pursuant to Annex B of CD 567-4 – Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents to the affected inmate(s). Staff will also video-record the decontamination procedures following the same process as for video-recording strip searches.

Physical Assessment

  1. The Correctional Manager or, if applicable, the Emergency Response Team Leader will brief the health care professional on the type(s) of force used and the inmate’s response. The briefing will be video-recorded.
  2. A post use of force physical assessment will be offered by a health care professional, normally, at the inmate’s final cell destination, with restraint equipment removed (as determined by the Officer in Charge). This offer and all subsequent offers will be video-recorded.
  3. The physical assessment will be video-recorded in accordance to the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents.
  4. The health care professional will end the physical assessment by providing a video-recorded synopsis of the assessment. If the inmate requires treatment following the assessment, the treatment (including for self-injurious or suicidal behaviour) will not be video-recorded.
  5. If the physical assessment is conducted while the inmate is still in restraint equipment, a final health care check of the wrist/ankle areas will take place at the inmate’s cell, once the restraint equipment has been removed.
  6. In the absence of a health care professional on shift, the Institutional Head will:
    1. have a staff member currently certified in first aid and CPR offer an initial post use of force first aid assessment, consistent with the standards set out in the National Training Standards curriculum, to determine if immediate attention is required. In this instance:
      1. the Correctional Manager or, if applicable, the Emergency Response Team Leader will brief the first aid attendant on the type(s) of force used and the inmate’s response to it, and the briefing will be video-recorded
      2. the offering of the first aid assessment and any subsequent offerings thereafter will be captured on video
      3. should the inmate consent to a first aid assessment, it will be video-recorded
      4. the first aid assessment will be closed off by the first aid attendant with a video-recorded synopsis of the assessment, and documented in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
  7. If, following a post use of force first aid assessment, no other medical intervention is deemed necessary, the Correctional Manager in charge will ensure that the inmate is offered a physical assessment by a health care professional as soon as one is on site and that this is captured on video.
  8. After a level 2 use of force (full review) and a level 3 (expedited review), if an inmate refuses the offer of a physical or first aid assessment, a second offer will be made within an hour following the initial refusal pursuant to Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents. A second offer for a physical assessment by a health care professional or first aid assessment is not required for a level 1 (compressed review).
  9. When a staff member attends Health Care for a post use of force physical assessment by a health care professional, this will be documented in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875). The physical assessment of a staff member will not be video-recorded and the name of the staff member will not be noted in the documentation.

Completion of the Incident

  1. An incident will normally be considered complete once the inmate has been decontaminated (if applicable), secured in a designated cell, released from restraint equipment (if applicable) and offered or provided a physical assessment by a health care professional, or first aid assessment by a certified staff member in the absence of a health care professional.
  2. Pursuant to the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents, the health care professional will note his/her comments in the Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) and Use of Force Report(CSC/SCC 0754).
  3. Upon completion of the incident, the camera operator will prepare a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) detailing his/her role in the incident. He/she will also provide the video-recording to the Institutional Head or delegate after labelling it with:
    1. the incident type
    2. date and time of the incident
    3. the name and Finger Print Section (FPS) number of the inmate(s)
    4. the name of the institution
    5. “Nudity” or “Partial Nudity” if applicable.
  4. All originals and copies of video-recordings and documents will be designated “PROTECTED B”, and handled accordingly.

Reporting Requirements

  1. The Use of Force Review (UFR) module in OMSR is the only reporting mechanism for recording use of force intervention details and reviews. The following information will be uploaded into the UFR module:
    1. Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875)
    2. Use of Force Report (CSC/SCC 0754)
    3. SMEAC (CSC/SCC 1212)
    4. Intervention Plan
    5. Video-recordings
    6. Checklist for Health Services Review of Use of Force (CSC/SCC 0754-01)
    7. Seclusion and Restraint Observation Report (CSC/SCC 1006)
    8. Post-Search Report (CSC/SCC 1365)
    9. documentation certified by a manager that he/she offered the inmate in person an opportunity to provide a statement regarding concerns with the use of force intervention. If concerns are communicated, they will be documented
    10. other related documents.

Review Process

  1. Within two working days of the completion of the incident report in OMSR, the Institutional Head will ensure that a preliminary review of any incident involving the use of force is completed in order to identify any serious concern or deficiency. This review will be completed by a Correctional Manager or above.
  2. There are three types of review processes dependent on the type of intervention. The requirements for review and the sample size (if applicable) are identified in Annex B.
  3. A Level 1 Use of Force - Compressed Review is a condensed analysis and assessment of incident-related documentation and video-recordings (where applicable) finalised by the Assistant Warden, Operations, at the institutional level to ensure compliance with law and policy. This involves a use of force situation where physical handling (no allegation of excessive use of force or injury), control of offender, displaying/pointing of inflammatory agents and/or chemical agents, displaying/pointing or charging of a firearm, or the non-routine application of handcuffs were sufficient to resolve the situation. The Institutional Head will ensure that all level 1 use of force reviews will be completed within 20 working days of the incident.
  4. A Level 2 Use of Force - Full Review is an analysis and assessment of all incident-related documentation and video-recordings (where applicable) finalised by the Deputy Warden to ensure compliance with law and policy. This involves any other use of force situation where force is used to resolve the incident not covered in level 1. The Institutional Head will ensure that all level 2 use of force reviews will be completed within 20 working days of the incident. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will conduct regional level 2 reviews within 25 working days upon notification of the use of force completion at the institutional level. The Director General, Security will identify for the Security Branch, the use of force incidents requiring a full review as outlined in Annex B. The Women Offender Sector will review 100% of the use of force incidents that occur at women sites. National level 2 reviews will be completed within 30 working days upon notification of the use of force completion at the regional level.
  5. A Level 3 Use of Force - Expedited Review requires immediate review of a use of force, finalised by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, and the Director General, Security. This involves a situation where there may be serious violations of policy. Where the preliminary review indicates possible serious violations of policy, or any other aspects that may cause serious concerns, the Institutional Head will inform, without delay and in writing, the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, the Director General, Security, and when applicable the Deputy Commissioner for Women, the Assistant Commissioner, Health Services, and the Director General, Aboriginal Initiatives. The Institutional Head will provide a description of the incident and a summary of any concerns.
  6. In these cases, the Director General, Security, in consultation with the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will decide if an expedited review is necessary, and if so, will notify Regional Headquarters, the Institutional Head, the Office of the Correctional Investigator, and the Director General, Incident Investigations. In such cases, the Institutional Head will ensure that the use of force documentation, including video footage, is made available in OMSR without delay, but no later than two working days from the creation of the incident report, and that the review be completed with five working days upon receipt of the notification from the Director General, Security. The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will finalize the review within five working days of receiving notification of use of force completion at the institution. The Director General, Security, will finalize the review within five working days upon receipt of notification of use of force completion at the regional level.
  7. For every type of review, the Statement/Observation Reports, the Incident Report, video footage (where applicable), and the Checklist for Health Services Review of Use of Force must be reviewed by the Correctional Manager, Operations (CMO)/Manager, Operations, or the Correctional Manager designated by the Institutional Head.
  8. The original video-recordings and documents will be kept at the institution for a period of two years, unless required by court order or by National Headquarters. Copies will be made and retained before the originals are released.
  9. Disposal and archiving of all video-recordings and documentation will be in accordance with the Departmental Records Disposition Authority.
  10. As required, the Director General, Security, will forward the national review to :
    1. the Director General, Clinical Services and Public Health, use of force incidents involving medical interventions, and where serious clinical deficiencies were identified during the institutional review
    2. the Director General, Investigations
    3. the Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution
    4. the Deputy Commissioner for Women for use of force incidents involving women offenders.
  11. The Director General, Clinical Services and Public Health, will forward the results of the Health Services review to the Regional Director, Health Services, the Institutional Head, the Chief, Health Services, or equivalent, and others as appropriate for follow-up as necessary and will inform the Director General, Security, of any corrective action required.

ENQUIRIES

  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters
    Email: Gen-nhq Policy-Politi@csc-scc.gc.ca

Commissioner,

Original Signed by:
Don Head

ANNEX A

CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 253 – Employee Assistance Program
GL 253-2 – Critical Incident Stress Management
CD 566-7 – Searching of Inmates
CD 567 – Management of Security Incidents
CD 567-2 – Use of and Responding to Alarms
CD 567-3 – Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes
CD 567-4 – Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents
CD 567-5 – Use of Firearms
CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents
CD 577 – Staff Protocol in Women Offender Institutions
CD 600 – Management of Emergencies
CD 800 – Health Services
GL 800-2 – Physical Restraints for Medical Purposes
CD 843 – Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour

Departmental Records Disposition Authority
GL for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents
Security Bulletins.

DEFINITIONS

Gender dysphoria: distress that is caused by a discrepancy between a person’s gender identity and that person’s sex assigned at birth.

Health care professional: an individual registered or licensed for autonomous practice in the province of practice. Individuals must operate within their scope of practice and competence. Examples include Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, Mental Health Nurses, and Clinical Social Workers.

Intervention Plan:

  1. an intervention strategy designed to respond to an incident when time and/or circumstances allow line staff the opportunity to formulate their response
  2. this plan may be developed and communicated simultaneously as an incident unfolds
  3. the plan must be documented by the appropriate staff in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875), and when time and circumstances permit, captured on a video-recording.

Planned use of force: the authorized deployment of line staff through an Intervention Plan or deployment of the Emergency Response Team through a SMEAC (Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communication).

SMEAC: acronym for an intervention strategy designed to resolve a situation requiring the Emergency Response Team deployment. The process covers five aspects: Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communication.

Situation Management Model: a model/graphic representation used to assist staff in determining the correct response options to be used in managing security situations.

Spontaneous use of force: an immediate intervention by staff to an incident in which at least one use of force measure, consistent with the Situation Management Model, is required to bring a safe resolution to the situation.

Use of force: any action by staff, on or off of institutional property, that is intended to obtain the cooperation and gain control of an inmate, by using one or more of the following measures:

  1. non-routine use of restraint equipment
  2. physical handling/control
  3. removal of a chemical or inflammatory agent delivery system from its holster and displaying it at an individual(s) or the deployment of chemical or inflammatory agents
  4. use of batons or other intermediary weapons
  5. display and/or use of firearms
  6. any direct intervention by the Emergency Response Team (ERT) with an inmate.

ANNEX B

USE OF FORCE REVIEW

Level of Review

CM
Responsibility

Authority to Finalize Review

Percentage to be Reviewed

Preliminary
Review

First Level Assessment

AWO

DW

IH

Inst.

RHQ

NHQ

Level 1

R

R

R

O

O

100%

0

0

Level 2

R

R

X

R

O

100%

25%

5%

Level 3

R

R

X

X

R

100%

100%

100%

Current Risk of Suicide/Self-Injury
– Alerts in OMSR or designated
mental health beds in Treatment
Centres and/or mainstream
institutions or self-injurious or
administration of medical treatment

Authority to Finalize Review will be determined according
to level (1, 2, 3) of use of force incident.

100%

100%

20%*

* If an Emergency Response Team intervention is required due to
self-injurious behaviours, 100% of those incidents shall be reviewed at the national level.

R = Required

O = Optional

X = Not applicable

For more information

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