Commissioner's Directive

Review of Inmate Security Classification

AUTHORITIES

PURPOSE

  • To ensure inmates are placed to an institution at the appropriate level of security throughout their sentence

APPLICATION

Applies to staff involved in the review of inmate security levels

RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, following consultation with the Deputy Commissioner for Women in cases of women inmates, and when supported by the Regional Deputy Commissioner, is the final decision maker:
    1. for the reclassification to medium security of an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, or an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, who is currently classified as maximum security, prior to the first security classification review
    2. for the reclassification of a Dangerous Offender to minimum security
  2. The Regional Deputy Commissioner will:
    1. forward a recommendation to the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, for final decision:
      1. for the reclassification to medium security of an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, or an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, who is currently classified as maximum security, prior to the first security classification review
      2. for the reclassification of a Dangerous Offender to minimum security
    2. be the final decision maker if he/she disagrees with the Institutional Head's recommendation to reclassify:
      1. to medium security an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, or an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, who is currently classified as maximum security, prior to the first security classification review
      2. a Dangerous Offender to minimum security.
  3. The Institutional Head:
    1. will authorize an inmate's security reclassification, which can be delegated to:
      1. the Deputy Warden, except for cases where the security reclassification involves a transfer decision and/or an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, or a Dangerous Offender, or
      2. the Assistant Warden, Interventions, when the recommendation is to maintain the same security classification level, except for cases where the security classification involves a transfer decision and/or an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, or a Dangerous Offender
    2. will forward the recommendation to the Regional Deputy Commissioner for decision for:
      1. the reclassification to medium security of an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, or an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, who is currently classified as maximum security, prior to the first security classification review
      2. the reclassification to minimum security of a Dangerous Offender
    3. will be the final decision maker if he/she disagrees with the Case Management Team in the following cases:
      1. for the reclassification to medium security of an inmate serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder, or an inmate convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life, who is currently classified as maximum security, prior to the first security classification review
      2. for the reclassification to minimum security of a Dangerous Offender.
  4. The decision maker must provide specific ratings for institutional adjustment, escape risk and public safety in every final decision on the inmate's security level. If the decision maker does not concur with the recommended ratings in the Assessment for Decision, a rationale must be provided for the divergence from the recommendation.
  5. The decision maker will provide the inmate with the rationale as well as the information considered in the decision, in writing, within five working days following the review. The inmate will be advised, at the same time, of the right to seek redress using the grievance process pursuant to CD 081 - Offender Complaints and Grievances.
  6. The Parole Officer/Primary Worker will complete all Security Classification Reviews and Reassessments.

Security Classification Review Timeframes

  1. A Security Classification Review (Security Reclassification Scale/Security Reclassification Scale for Women and Assessment for Decision) will be completed at least once every two years for inmates classified at maximum or medium security level.
  2. A review of an inmate’s security classification will be completed prior to making a recommendation for any decision (e.g. transfer, temporary absence, work release or parole). For medium security inmates currently segregated under paragraph 31(a) of the CCRA, this review will be completed prior to the 30th day Institutional Segregation Review Board.

Security Classification Review

  1. When conducting the inmate security level review, the Security Reclassification Scale/Security Reclassification Scale for Women will be administered and the results will be incorporated into the final assessment.
  2. The inmate security classification will take into consideration the factors as required by section  17 of the CCRR, including consideration of the Aboriginal social history, if applicable.
  3. The final assessment will address section  18 of the CCRR, by setting out the analysis under the three headings of institutional adjustment, escape risk and risk to public safety.
  4. A psychological risk assessment is required for Dangerous Offenders when consideration is being given to minimum security reclassification.
  5. A mental health institutional assessment is required for inmates serving a life sentence for first or second degree murder or convicted of a terrorism offence punishable by life who are in a maximum security facility when consideration is being given to medium security reclassification.

Commissioner,

Original Signed by:
Don Head

ANNEX A - CROSS-REFERENCES AND DEFINITIONS

CROSS-REFERENCES

  • Integrated Mental Health Guidelines
  • SRS Functional Specification version 4.0.3
  • Security Reclassification Scale for Women (SRSW) version 2.0

DEFINITIONS

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

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.

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.

Security Reclassification Scale/Security Reclassification Scale for Women: a research-based tool used to assist in the assessment of the most appropriate level of security for an inmate.

ANNEX B - ASSESSMENT FOR DECISION FOR A SECURITY RECLASSIFICATION - REPORT OUTLINE

INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT/CASE STATUS

  1. Provide a brief statement of the purpose of the report
  2. Indicate the length of sentence, current offence(s), outstanding charges or appeals, immigration/deportation/extradition status

SECURITY CLASSIFICATION ACTUARIAL RESULTS

Identify when the Security Reclassification Scale or Security Reclassification Scale for Women was completed, the score and overall level of security indicated by the Scale.

Include the statement that “The inmate has been advised that he/she may have access to the Security Reclassification Scale Functional Specification on a CD-Rom at the institutional library”.  

In the case of inmates who do not have access to the institutional library (e.g. placement in segregation), staff must provide the inmate with a hard copy of the Security Reclassification Scale Functional Specification.

INSTITUTIONAL ADJUSTMENT

Consider the following to assess institutional adjustment rating and update any relevant information since the completion of the most recent inmate security level review:

  • length of the inmate's sentence and its impact on the inmate's institutional adjustment
  • violent institutional incidents - use of weapons, role in the incidents, harm caused (including those during provincial incarceration and previous federal sentences)
  • review the inmate's disciplinary information - during intake, federal and provincial custody. Identify if there have been any previous minor or serious disciplinary offences, the nature of the offences, if there is a pattern
  • periods of segregation - disciplinary, voluntary and involuntary
  • include comments on the inmate's behaviour from unit staff
  • review the Security Intelligence file, record date of review and consultation with the Security Intelligence Officer. Indicate whether the inmate has any affiliations with criminal organizations/gangs, or continues to be involved in criminal activities while in custody. Identify the existence of incompatibles or co-convicted inmates and the impact on institutional adjustment
  • identify whether any administrative intervention has been required in this case, such as transfers, segregation, etc.
  • comment on   the inmate's level of motivation/engagement to participate in his/her Correctional Plan
  • identify whether the inmate displays special needs or socio-cultural factors indicating a requirement for special intervention on an ongoing basis (Aboriginal inmate, woman inmate, etc.)
  • identify whether the inmate has a history of mental health issues, suicidal ideation, self-injury
  • current emotional stability and whether this will impact on the inmate's institutional adjustment

Institutional Adjustment Rating

Based on the individual adjustment factors and any other relevant considerations, assign a rating of either low, moderate or high:

Low - The inmate has demonstrated:

  1. a pattern of satisfactory institutional adjustment; no special management intervention is required
  2. the ability and motivation to interact effectively and responsibly with others, individually and in groups, with little or no supervision
  3. motivation towards self-improvement by actively participating in a Correctional Plan designed to meet his/her dynamic factors, particularly those relating to facilitating his/her reintegration into the community

Moderate - The inmate has demonstrated:

  1. some difficulties causing moderate institutional adjustment problems and requiring some management intervention
  2. the potential to interact effectively with others, individually and in moderately structured groups, but needs regular and often direct supervision
  3. an interest and active participation in a Correctional Plan designed to meet his/her dynamic factors, particularly those which would lead to a transfer to a less structured environment and ultimately, to his/her reintegration into the community

High - The inmate has demonstrated:

  1. frequent or major difficulties causing serious institutional adjustment problems and requiring significant/constant management intervention
  2. a requirement for a highly structured environment in which individual or group interaction is subject to constant and direct supervision
  3. an uncooperative attitude toward institutional programs and staff and presents a potentially serious management problem within an institution

ESCAPE RISK

Consider the following to assess the escape risk rating and update any relevant information since the completion of the most recent inmate security level review:

  • identify if the inmate is a Canadian citizen
  • identify history/convictions for escape, attempt escape, being unlawfully at large, breaches - consider seriousness and recency
  • use of violence or threatened violence in any escapes or attempted escapes
  • comment on whether there was a period of bail and whether the conditions of the bail were respected
  • identify if there are any outstanding charges or appeals, including those related to immigration/deportation issues that may impact the inmate's risk of escape
  • identify if length of sentence may have an impact on the inmate's risk of escape, and time to be served before eligibility for unescorted temporary absence
  • comment on any previous periods on parole or statutory release, whether the inmate has participated in any successful escorted temporary absences, unescorted temporary absences or work releases
  • other concerns - unusual circumstances having the potential to increase the escape risk (i.e., current emotional instability, custody battle, problems with significant other, gambling/drug debts, etc.).

Escape Risk Rating

Based on the preceding escape risk factors and any other relevant considerations, assign a rating of either low, moderate or high:

Low - The inmate:

  1. has no recent serious escape and there are no current indicators of escape potential
  2. has no significant history of breaches

Moderate - The inmate:

  1. has a recent history of escape and/or attempted escapes OR there are current indicator(s) of escape potential
  2. is unlikely to make active efforts to escape but may do so if the opportunity presents itself
  3. presents a definite potential to escape from an institution that has no enclosure

High - The inmate:

  1. has demonstrated a pattern of escapes and/or attempted escapes OR there are current indicator(s) of significant potential to escape OR could threaten the security of the institution in order to facilitate their escape

PUBLIC SAFETY RISK

Provide an analysis of the inmate's public safety risk and update any relevant information since the completion of the most recent inmate security level review:

  • history of any known violence, include violent community incidents – consider the seriousness and recency
  • Dangerous Offender designation under the Criminal Code
  • the inmate's social, criminal and, where applicable and available, youth offender history
  • nature and gravity of current and number of previous offences — whether weapons were involved and whether serious harm occurred to the victim
  • evidence of family violence
  • level of dynamic factors or areas of need identified in the Correctional Plan
  • Correctional Plan motivation/engagement and progress accomplished
  • past releases performance and past escorted temporary absence, unescorted temporary absence or work release performance
  • emotional stability/instability, self-injury and suicide history
  • detention referral or whether the inmate is being considered as a potential candidate for detention
  • alcohol and drug use and the drug and alcohol rating
  • affiliations with criminal organizations/gangs
  • affiliation with a terrorist organization or radicalized group
  • whether the inmate meets the criteria of being a high profile offender (will only have an impact if, in light of the other factors, there is a clear connection with public safety)
  • notoriety likely to invoke a negative reaction from the public, victim(s) or police and/or to receive significant media coverage (sensational crime, major sexual or drug offence, terrorism, affiliation with organized crime, etc.). Note: In order for notoriety to be a relevant factor, it must be demonstrated that it will have an impact on an inmate's reintegration potential by increasing the risk to re-offend, or the likelihood that he/she could pose a threat to the safety of any person or the security of a penitentiary
  • public safety risk in the event the inmate would escape.

Public Safety Rating

Based on the public safety factors and any other relevant considerations, assign a rating of either low, moderate or high:

Low - The inmate's:

  1. criminal history does not involve violence
  2. criminal history involves violence/sexually-related offence(s), but the inmate has demonstrated significant progress in addressing the dynamic factors which contributed to the criminal behaviour and there are no signs of the high risk situations/offence precursors identified as part of the offence cycle (where it is known)
  3. criminal history involves violence, but the circumstances of the offence are such that the likelihood of reoffending violently is assessed as improbable

Moderate - The inmate's:

  1. criminal history involves violence, but the inmate has demonstrated some progress in addressing those dynamic factors which contributed to the violent behaviour
  2. criminal history involves violence but the inmate has demonstrated a willingness to address the dynamic factors which contributed to the violent behaviour
  3. there are current indicator(s) of moderate risk/concern

High - The inmate's:

  1. criminal history involves violence and the inmate has not demonstrated sufficient progress in addressing those dynamic factors which contributed to the violent behaviour or a willingness to attempt to address such factors
  2. criminal history involves violence and the inmate has not demonstrated a willingness to address the dynamic factors which contributed to the violent behaviour
  3. there are current indicators of high risk/concern

OVERALL ASSESSMENT

  • Provide a short summary of the factors and consider the results of the mental health institutional assessment and/or psychological risk assessment as well as any recent professional opinions such as psychological, psychiatric, mental health and/or health care information, police comments and/or previous CSC decisions (if applicable) in the plan for managing the inmate at the proposed security level
  • Consider previous PBC decision (nature and purpose, all relevant comments, specific reference to relevant issues noted in the decision, including demonstrating how concerns/issues previously raised have/have not been addressed)
  • Indicate the existence of co-convicted and/or incompatible inmates
  • Comment on discussions during case conferences, when it occurred and who was present, identify the Case Management Team's recommendations and how the recommendations meet the needs of the inmate while ensuring the safety of the public
  • Consider elements of Aboriginal social history (if applicable)
  • Take victim considerations into account (if applicable)

DISSENTING OPINION

RECOMMENDATION

For more information

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