Commissioner's Directive

Community Assessments

PURPOSE

  • To establish requirements and procedures regarding Community Assessments to assist in the correctional planning process

APPLICATION

Applies to staff who request and complete Community Assessments

RESPONSIBILITIES AND PROCEDURES

  1. For procedures regarding Post-Sentence Community Assessment Reports, refer to CD 705 1 - Preliminary Assessments and Post-Sentence Community Assessments.
  2. A Community Assessment is required when:
    1. there is a new significant source of community information and/or support which needs to be assessed for release planning, including a temporary absence and work release location, or when the offender is in the community
    2. existing file information needs to be updated
    3. cancellation of the suspension is being considered and the offender's release plan is in another area
    4. information is required for an international transfer
    5. a victim wishes to provide information which would impact on the management of the case and it is agreed a Community Assessment is required.
  3. Information collected from significant contacts will normally be gathered through an in-person interview.
  4. The Parole Officer may, in consultation with the Manager, Assessment and Interventions:
    1. update or confirm the content of a previous Community Assessment normally through telephone contact, or
    2. request or complete a new Community Assessment.
  5. When a Community Assessment is required for multiple purposes for the same geographic location, the institutional Parole Officer will request one Community Assessment Report.
  6. When multiple contacts are identified in a Community Assessment request for the same geographic location, the community Parole Officer will complete one Community Assessment Report which will include all contacts. In cases where this may not be practical, more than one Community Assessment Report may be completed.
  7. In the case of private family visits, the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker will determine if a Community Assessment is required pursuant to CD 710-8 – Private Family Visits.
  8. In all other cases where there is no release to the community (e.g. inter-regional transfer, marriage, transfer of funds), the information gathered can be documented, as applicable, in the Assessment for Decision or in a Casework Record.

Completion of the Community Assessment Report

  1. The Community Assessment Report will be completed as soon as possible but no later than 30 days from the date of request.
  2. The Community Assessment Report will be completed as outlined in Annex B or Annex C in the case of a request made pursuant to section 84.

Canadian Police Information Centre Checks

  1. As part of the information gathering process, the decision to conduct a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check should be made on a case by case basis. When deemed necessary, the Parole Officer will obtain written consent from the community contact using the Consent CPIC Clearance Request (CSC/SCC 1279-01).
  2. The contact will be informed of the purpose of the CPIC and that participation is voluntary. However, a refusal could impede the Parole Officer’s ability to determine whether the contact is an appropriate support for the offender.
  3. The completed Consent CPIC Clearance Request (CSC/SCC 1279-01) will be forwarded to the Security Intelligence Officer and/or police to verify whether the contact is known to police or identify the existence of a criminal record.
  4. The existence of a criminal record does not eliminate the individual as a potential source of support. Additional factors need to be taken into consideration such as the nature, number, recency of convictions, and their degree of relevance to the offender's reintegration.

Commissioner,

Original Signed by:
Don Head

ANNEX A: CROSS-REFERENCES

CD 700 - Correctional Interventions
CD 701 - Information Sharing
CD 702 - Aboriginal Offenders
CD 704 - International Transfers
CD 705-1 - Preliminary Assessments and Post-Sentence Community Assessments
CD 710-2 - Transfer of Inmates
CD 710-3 - Temporary Absences
CD 710-7 - Work Releases
CD 710-8 - Private Family Visits
CD 712-1 - Pre-Release Decision Making
CD 715 - Community Supervision Framework
CD 715-1 - Community Supervision
CD 715-2 - Post-Release Decision Process
CD 768 – Institutional Mother-Child Program
CD 784 – Victim Engagement

ANNEX B: COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT - REPORT GUIDE

HEADINGS DESCRIPTIONS
  Reasons for Community Assessment:
  • source of support
  • private family visits (if required)
  • unescorted temporary absence
  • work release
  • community support for leave privileges
  • cancellation of suspension
  • international transfers.
Aboriginal social history (if applicable) During the interview, discuss and identify any information that can contribute to the understanding of Aboriginal offenders’ social history, including any culturally specific resources which may contribute to their overall reintegration. This information is to be presented in heading # 7.
1. Notification to third party

Complete for all Community Assessment types
Persons contacted to be advised that the information they provide will be shared with the offender. Should the identity of the contact require protection, the information will be documented in a Protected Information Report. The contact will be informed that a summary or “gist” of any information disclosed will be provided to the offender if this information is to be used in the decision making process.

Refer to CD 701 - Information Sharing for the specific procedures regarding the collection of information from external sources.
2. Source of information

Complete for all Community Assessment types
For each contact:

  • provide a synopsis which includes their name, date of birth, occupation, relationship to the offender, date of interview, description of the environment where the interview took place (if relevant), and other relevant observations about this person
  • indicate the contact's criminal history or Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) results, if applicable
  • indicate whether the Community Assessment is for a new or existing contact.
3. Offender's relationship with the contact or significant others

Complete as applicable to the Community Assessment type

Based on information provided by the contact, provide an assessment of:
  • the nature of the relationship between the offender and contact
  • his/her ability to provide support to the offender during his/her sentence and upon release to the community, where applicable.
4. Contributing factors

Complete for the following:
  • source of support
  • international transfer
  • private family visit (if applicable)
  • Institutional Mother-Child Program
Contact's comments on:
  • what contributed to the offender's criminal activity
  • awareness or use of social or community services by the offender
  • the offender's motivation to engage in his/her Correctional Plan.
Parole Officer's assessment of:
  • all dynamic factors associated with the offender's criminality
  • the factors that represent the offender's strengths likely to contribute to his/her reintegration
  • availability of community resources that could address the offender's need upon release (if applicable).
5. Information regarding the request

Complete as applicable to the Community Assessment type
Work Release

Provide an assessment of:
  • the community employer's understanding of the offence cycle and willingness to accept the offender on work release
  • any concerns expressed by the employer.

Include:

  • work release plan specifying conditions and level of supervision required.
Private Family Visits

Provide information regarding the contact's eligibility and interest to participate in private family visits, issues related to family violence and concerns regarding child safety.

If not already submitted, obtain completed forms Declaration of Common-law Union (CSC/SCC 0530E) and Statement of Voluntary Participation and Consent for Private Family Visits (CSC/SCC 0531) and collect photographs from all participants.

Information regarding the contact's requirements (medication accommodations, specific goods, etc.) will be collected, but not documented in the Community Assessment. This information will be shared with the institutional Parole Officer to ensure security measures can be initiated as required.

Institutional Mother-Child Program (residential component)

Provide:

  • concerns or comments on relationship with the child and parenting ability of inmate
  • any information to indicate if participation is in the best interests of the child and any risk posed to the child.
Cancellation of Suspension

Provide an assessment of the new release plan.

International Transfer

Based on information provided by the contact, in order to satisfy legislative factors outlined in section 10 of the International Transfer of Offenders Act for the Minister's consideration, assess by discussing and documenting the following information:

Public Safety:

  • Whether the offender's return to Canada will endanger public safety, including:
    • the safety of any person in Canada who is a victim, as defined in subsection 2(1) of the CCRA, of an offence committed by the offender
    • the safety of any member of the offender's family, in the case of an offender who has been convicted of an offence against a family member
    • the safety of any child, in the case of an offender who has been convicted of a sexual offence involving a child.
Abandonment/Citizenship

  • Whether the offender left or remained outside Canada with the intention of abandoning Canada as his/her place of permanent residence
  • Place of birth, date citizenship was granted, whether citizenship was renounced in the past, whether offender has dual citizenship with another country other than Canada, place of residence at the time of the offence, time spent living in the foreign country, return visits, period of time spent living in Canada before moving to another country, determination of intention and whether a subsequent citizenship was sought.
Family and Social Ties

  • Whether the offender has social or family ties in Canada
  • Nature of the relationship with family or friends. How often was there communication or visits prior to and/or after the present offence? What services or support can be offered? Is this person a positive support? Does the family/contact or Global Affairs Canada have to subsidize the offender’s incarceration and provide for his/her well-being and welfare?
Human Rights

  • Whether the foreign entity or its prison system presents a serious threat to the offender's security or human rights.
Offender's Health:

  • Whether the offender has any physical and/or mental health concerns, their nature and level of seriousness
  • Does the contact know if the offender is receiving programming and/or treatment in the foreign prison? In the contact’s opinion, does this institution or country pose a threat to the offender’s health or safety?
Program Participation

  • Whether the offender has refused to participate in a rehabilitation or reintegration program.
Responsibility and Harm to Victims

  • Whether the offender has accepted responsibility for the offence for which they have been convicted, including by acknowledging the harm done to victims and to the community.
Cooperation

  • Whether the offender has cooperated with a law enforcement agency.
Breach of Trust/Affiliations

  • Is the contact aware whether the offender has, in the past, escaped lawful custody, or breached a court order or probation/parole order? Does he/she have knowledge whether the offender has links to criminal organizations, gangs or security threat groups and, if so, what was the offender’s involvement?
6. Police or other official information

Complete as required for the following:
  • source of support
  • release to community
  • cancellation of suspension
  • work release
  • international transfers
Provide an overview of information obtained from criminal justice partners (Social Services, probation, police, community residential facilities, etc.).

For offenders who are planning a release to an Aboriginal community and do not have an identified plan pursuant to section 84 of the CCRA, consultation with Band members/Council/Justice Committee, etc. should be considered to confirm whether release to the community is supported. The Consent for Disclosure of Personal Information - (Inmate) (CSC/SCC 0487) is required prior to consultation.

In the case of international transfers, include any police information on the offender related but not limited to existing criminal record, outstanding charges, warrants, etc.
7. Aboriginal social history (if applicable) Based on the information provided by the contact, provide a summary of any information that can contribute to the understanding of an Aboriginal offender’s social history, including availability or past utilization of any Aboriginal community resources which may serve to enhance the offender’s eventual reintegration.
8. Overall assessment

Complete for all Community Assessment types
Provide an overall assessment of the contact, level of community support available, impact on the offender's reintegration potential and level of engagement.

For international transfers, provide factual and objective information and do not provide opinions, views and recommendations with respect to the application itself.

ANNEX C: SECTION 84 COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT - REPORT GUIDE

  1. Notification to third party
  2. Persons contacted to be advised that the information they provide will be shared with the offender. Should the identity of the contact require protection, the information will be documented in a Protected Information Report. The contact will be informed that a summary or “gist” of any information disclosed will be provided to the offender if this information is to be used in the decision making process.

    Refer to CD 701 - Information Sharing for the specific procedures regarding the collection of information from external sources.

  3. Sources of information
    • Name of community
    • Organization (e.g. Community Service, Justice Committee, Band Council, Mayor)
    • Government structure (i.e., elected or hereditary)

    Indicate if the report is completed for an offender's new source of support or a Community Assessment update.

  4. Offender's relationship with the community or significant others
  5. Based on information provided by the community, provide an assessment of:
    • the nature of the relationship between the offender and community (offender is a member of the band/organization)
    • the history of criminal behaviour
    • the degree of support the community is prepared to offer to the offender regarding his/her reintegration in the community (in the present and in the future), as well as the reliability of the information obtained
    • the offender's social network
    • the offender's relationship with peers or significant others
    • victim concerns.
  6. The community perspective of contributing factors
  7. Based on information provided by the community, where relevant, provide an assessment of:
    • the criminal behaviour and factors likely to contribute to the safe reintegration of the offender in the community:
      • offender's employment history (pattern of employment and job satisfaction)
      • offender's substance abuse history
      • offender's attitude towards accepted social values and his/her views on living a law-abiding lifestyle
      • influences associates may have over the offender
      • offender's personality (e.g., impulsive, empathetic, sensation seeking, manipulative)
      • pattern such as aggression, assertion, coping mechanisms or frustration tolerance
      • offender's sexual dysfunction
      • offender's mental health
    • the offender's childhood, including whether the family unit had a negative or positive influence on the offender
    • the offender’s experience as a residential school survivor (including whether or not the offender was inter-generationally impacted)
    • the factors that represent the offender’s strengths likely to contribute to his/her reintegration
    • the interest of the community in participating in a community hearing and/or restorative justice process.
  8. Reintegration plan
  9. Where relevant, provide an assessment of:
    • programs accessible in the community to address what seems to be the offender's contributing factors
    • employment opportunities and training
    • spiritual resources (e.g. longhouse, sweat lodge, sundance)
    • availability of social services and/or traditional approaches to healing for problems with drug, alcohol, mental health, etc
    • the capacity and concerns regarding the supervision and reporting of offender by the community
    • the community's ability to assist the offender in the participation/completion of community programs
    • the leisure activities and awareness/use of social/community services by the Aboriginal community and the offender
    • the relevance of offender's release plan(s), and suggestions for additions or alternatives to the plans with a corresponding rationale
    • the dynamic contributing factors to be addressed prior to release (order of priority of the dynamic factors)
    • the agreement of the community to participate pursuant to section 84.
  10. Overall assessment
  11. The Aboriginal Community Development Officer must examine all information obtained in the other sections and summarize his/her opinion on the community support available.

For more information

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