To accommodate an inmate’s religious rights that are supported by the faith community with which the inmate is affiliated
Applies to all staff, contractors and volunteers involved in the administration of inmate religious accommodations
The Regional Chaplain will provide advice and information to the Institutional Head or delegate and to the Chaplain/contractor with regard to inmate religious accommodations.
The Institutional Head or delegate, not below the Assistant Warden level, will:
approve inmate religious accommodations that reflect what is reasonably accessible to adherents in the community considering legislation and policy and the safety and security of the institution
as appropriate, ensure that the accommodation of contraband/unauthorized items that are religiously required complies with Charter obligations for the inmate or faith community resource person requiring them
ensure inmate religious accommodations are maintained throughout the inmate’s incarceration unless:
they are temporarily suspended due to operational and security requirements
ensure decisions for non-observance review requests are made and shared with the inmate
ensure inmate religious accommodation requests that do not have faith community support are processed according to the principles outlined in the Diets of Conscience Guide.
The Chaplain will:
process all inmate religious accommodation requests. If a verbal request is made, the Chaplain will assist the inmate in putting the request in writing
recommend inmate religious accommodations to the Institutional Head or delegate that are the religious practice of the inmate and supported by his/her faith community resource person
inform the inmate that religious accommodation requests that do not have faith community support can be made to the Institutional Head
manage the non-observance review process for inmate religious accommodations.
Inmate Religious Accommodation Request
The Chaplain will:
obtain from the inmate requesting a religious accommodation:
a description of the required religious accommodation
demonstration of affiliation with the religious tradition for which the accommodation is being requested
contact information for his/her faith community resource person for confirmation of affiliation, religious care and support and that the requested accommodation is a requirement of the faith
facilitate and support the relationship between inmates and their own faith communities or, when available, facilitate an alternative connection with a faith community resource person accepted by the inmate
validate the requested accommodation with the inmate’s identified faith community resource person
submit the Religious Accommodation Recommendation and Decision Form (CSC/SCC 1540) to the Institutional Head or delegate
notify the inmate of the anticipated timeframe to complete the religious accommodation request.
Religious Accommodation – Non-Observance Review Process
The Chaplain will:
receive the written Religious Accommodation Review Request (CSC/SCC 1541) from staff. If a verbal request is made, the Chaplain will direct the staff person to complete the form
meet with the inmate and the inmate’s identified faith community resource person to review the non-observance, receive feedback and provide remedial instruction to the inmate as needed
make recommendations to the Institutional Head or delegate regarding the continuation or suspension of the religious accommodation.
The inmate’s faith community and family can donate approved personal observance items and resources if prior approval is obtained from the Institutional Head or delegate.
Religious clothing and head coverings used only for worship, rites and rituals and not for day-to-day use will be accommodated outside the standard clothing allowance pursuant to CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders and the Fire Safety Manual.
The Institutional Head or delegate will ensure candle and incense use for religious accommodations are approved as appropriate pursuant to CD 259 – Exposure to Second Hand Smoke and the Fire Safety Manual.
Modification to Daily Routine or Schedule
Religious Holy Days and other special observances will be accommodated to the fullest extent possible within the operational requirements of the safety and security of the institution. Food for these events is in accordance with the Religious Diet Requirements Guide, and pursuant to CD 890 – Inmate Owned Canteens.
Individual religiously required observances (including faith community resource person visits) that cannot be scheduled outside of CSC programming/work hours will be accommodated.
Supportive (optional) religious activities and programming do not require a scheduled accommodation. Inmate attendance in supportive religious activities and programs during regular work and program hours is at the discretion of the inmate’s work supervisor, teacher or program delivery officer, in consultation with the Chaplain as needed.
Rites of Passage
The Institutional Head or delegate will accommodate religiously required rites of passage (e.g. birth, marriage, death) to the fullest extent possible within the operational requirements of the safety and security of the institution.
Health or Therapeutic Care
Inmates may request religious accommodations that have an impact on their health or therapeutic care. Consideration is to be given to inmate privacy, pursuant to CD 701 – Information Sharing, when considering the religious accommodation and medical care.
Offender Complaints and Grievances
The inmate will be provided with a written notice of the final decision and the associated reasons in the Religious Accommodation Recommendation and Decision Form (CSC/SCC 1540), which will include notification of the right to submit a grievance for all or part of the decision pursuant to CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances.
Correctional Operations and Programs