Community Correctional Operations:
Chapter 4: Integrated Community Corrections - Conclusions and Recommendations

Evaluation Report

Community Correctional Operations: Chapter 4: Integrated Community Corrections - Conclusions and Recommendations

Evaluation Division
Policy Sector
December 2013

Acknowledgements

The evaluation team would like to thank the Correctional Operations and Programs Sector (including the Community Reintegration Branch and the Offender Programs and Reintegration Branch) and the Communications and Engagement Sector (Citizen Engagement Directorate) for their assistance and collaboration on this report.

A special thanks is also given to Colleen MacDonald for her ongoing work on the evaluation of CSC’s community correctional operations and specifically for her feedback and consultation on this chapter. The evaluation team would also like to thank Hortense Marie Kambou for her assistance on this report.

Evaluation Team

Nicole Allegri, Senior Evaluation Manager
Christopher J. Rastin, Evaluation Officer
Kendra Delveaux, Senior Evaluation Manager
Marcie McKay, Evaluation Analyst
Jillian Flight, Evaluation Officer

Signatures

EVALUATION REPORT: COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS OPERATIONS:
CHAPTER 4: INTEGRATED COMMUNITY CORRECTIONS - CONCLUSION WITH RECOMMENDATIONS

Final to be signed by

_________________________________________

Mark Nafekh
Director, Evaluation
Evaluation Division

December 10th, 2013

_____________________

Date

Final to be signed by

_________________________________________

Don Head
Commissioner

December 10th, 2013

_____________________

Date

Executive Summary

The present report is the final in a series of four evaluation chapters examining the community correctional operations of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). Unlike the previous reports, which examined issues of relevance and performance related to these operations and activities, the present report is a synthesis of the findings across the previous three chapters, cumulating in a series of recommendations aimed at enhancing community correctional operations.

Previous chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluated: correctional interventions (Chapter 1), community supervision and staff safety (Chapter 2), and community engagement (Chapter 3). Overall, the evaluation of CSC’s community correctional operations and activities accounted for 9.85% or $196,153,650 of CSC’s direct program spending in fiscal year 2010-11, when the greatest parts of the evaluation were being completed.

Recommendations have been provided that are intended to assist program and policy administrators in enhancing the community correctional activities for offenders:

Recommendation 1: CSC should ensure that offenders complete required correctional programming in advance of parole hearings, emphasizing programs with demonstrated effectiveness.

Formulated through the synthesis of five findings from Chapters 1 and 2, this recommendation focuses on the need for CSC to ensure that offenders complete required programming in advance of parole hearings. Results indicated that a large proportion of offenders had not completed correctional programming prior to release (36% to 50%) and that offenders who completed correctional programming were more likely to receive discretionary release and have more positive correctional outcomes in the community. Therefore, the need to complete required correctional programs prior to release is imperative in increasing offender success in the community.

Recommendation 2: CSC should ensure that recommendations for special conditions at release are congruent with identified offender dynamic needs.

Results from Chapter 2 indicated that matching offender needs with an associated special condition at release was associated with a reduced likelihood of revocation and recidivism. Therefore, ensuring that CSC recommends special conditions to PBC based on the identified needs of offenders was identified as a key strategy to ensure the success of offenders in the community.

Recommendation 3: CSC should work with community partners to enhance offender access to available community services and interventions through improvements in information sharing, in-reach services, and pre-release planning.

Developed primarily on findings from Chapter 3, this recommendation is intended to ensure that offenders are able to access the services they need in the community by ensuring that CSC enhances relationships with community partners. Key areas identified to further develop access to services and interventions included the enhancement of communication between and within CSC staff and community partners, increased involvement of community partners related to pre-release planning, and increased in-reach activities provided by community partners prior to release.

Recommendation 4: CSC should ensure the accommodation strategy includes a range of residential options including sufficient beds designated for offenders with specialized needs.

Intended to ensure that offenders with special needs are able to access residential options and services, this recommendation is based on findings contained in Chapters 2 and 3 which observed that offenders with specialized needs encountered difficulties in accessing services and residential options capable of addressing these needs.

Recommendation 5: CSC should implement an integrated community engagement strategy to ensure effective community engagement activities are achieved. The development of this strategy should:

  1. Explore alternative approaches to engagement and funding;
  2. Be national in focus, but sufficiently flexible to adapt to regional needs;
  3. Include focused engagement activities to address the unique needs of special populations (e.g. Aboriginal offenders, women offenders, offenders with mental health needs, etc.); and,
  4. Include an associated performance measurement strategy to facilitate results-based management.

This recommendation is based on findings noted across all chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation. Overall, findings indicated that community partners contributed to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community through the provision of community programs, services and housing. However, gaps exist in the extent to which CSC is able to collaborate with its partners and no unified approach to community engagement exists. Furthermore, the tracking of community engagement activities was identified as a significant limitation in the evaluation of community engagement, inhibiting the ability to conduct meaningful outcome analyses. Given the importance of engaging community partners and the imperative function they serve in ensuring offenders are successful in the community, this recommendation is intended to strengthen CSC’s overall community engagement activities and the measurement of these activities.

Overall, the evaluation of community correctional operations and activities were found to be relevant and performed largely with a great deal of success. However, the proposed recommendations contained in this report will assist CSC in enhancing these operations and activities.

List of Acronyms

CCRA
Corrections and Conditional Release Act
CRF
Community Residential Facility
CSC
Correctional Service Canada
DFIA-R
Dynamic Factors Identification Analysis - Revised
FCCS
Federal Community Corrections Strategy
FOC
Frequency of Contact
PBC
Parole Board of Canada

Introduction

This Community Correctional Operations evaluation focuses on the extent to which CSC’s community correctional operations have been implemented to demonstrate relevance and performance (defined as effectiveness, efficiency, and economy). In order to perform this large scale Community Correctional Operations evaluation, it was divided into four chapters focusing on five themes:

  • Chapter 1: Correctional Interventions
    • (1) Continuum of Care
    • (2) Risk Assessment and Case Preparation
  • Chapter 2: Community Supervision and Staff Safety
    • (3) Supervision of Offenders in the Community
    • (4) Community Staff Safety
  • Chapter 3: Community Engagement
    • (5) Community Engagement and Collaboration
  • Chapter 4: Integrated Community Corrections - Conclusions and Recommendations

These five themes together address all components of community corrections. All evaluation themes have been addressed in Chapters 1-3, however no recommendations were made in each of the previous chapters. The current chapter will provide an overview of the first three reports as they relate to the strategic recommendations. The recommendations are aimed at enhancing the overall outcomes of CSC’s community correctional operations. To access the full reports, please refer to the links in the footnotes below.Footnote 1

Background

One of CSC’s corporate priorities is the “safe transition to and management of eligible offenders in the community” (CSC, 2011a). In order to facilitate accomplishing this priority, based on the work of the CSC Review Panel report A Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety (CSC, 2007), CSC has implemented the Transformation Agenda designed to address a number of recommendations, including strengthening community corrections.

CSC is legislatively mandated through the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA, 1992) to provide correctional interventions to offenders in order to rehabilitate and reintegrate them back into the community. In order to accomplish this, CSC provides, along with its community partners/stakeholders, a wide range of interventions and services addressing the criminogenic needs of federal offenders, both within and outside correctional facilities.

Additionally, in November 2009, CSC committed to the development of a Federal Community Corrections Strategy (FCCS), developed in collaboration with partners and stakeholders. The FCCS is an overarching strategy linking CSC’s primary reintegration strategies and activities with enhanced partnerships as a means to best position community corrections activities to the year 2020. The FCCS also provides a framework to enhance offender reintegration opportunities, including meeting the needs of specialized populations in the areas of employment and employability and offender support systems (CSC, 2011b).

The Community Correctional Operations evaluation (collectively Chapters 1, 2, and 3) is part of CSC’s five-year evaluation plan and was conducted in accordance with the Treasury Board Secretariat Policy on Evaluation (TBS, 2009). It is intended to provide program managers and senior decision makers with evaluation findings that will inform program, policy, and resource allocation decisions.

Governance Structure

Please refer to the Report of the Evaluation of CSC’s Community Corrections, Chapter 1: Correctional Interventions (Luong, MacDonald, McKay, Olotu & Heath, 2011) for a complete description of the governance structure guiding community corrections.

Financial Resources

Total financial expenditures related to the Community Correctional Operations evaluation in fiscal year 2010-11 was $196,153,650.Footnote 2 This represented approximately 9.85% of CSC’s direct program spending. Specifically, the evaluation coverage included financial resources allocated to the following sub-activities: offender case management, correctional reintegration programs offered in the community, community-based residential facilities, community management and security, and community engagement. Please refer to Tables 1, 2 and 3 for the costs associated with these sub-activities and their subsequent sub-sub activities.

Table 1: Financial Resources Related to Offender Case Management and Correctional Interventions Offered in the Community
FY 2008-2009
Expenditure
FY 2009-2010
Expenditure
FY 2010-2011
Expenditure
Offender Case Management
  • Case Management, Coordination and Offender Reintegration
    • Community Correctional Liaison Officers (CCLO)
$1,176,625 $1,752,441 $1,501,514
    • Community Parole Officer Resource Formula
$66,202,727 $67,673,743 $71,621,984
    • Case Management - Support a
$3,133,319 $1,498,805 $2,460,617
    • Case Management - Delivery b
$894,074 $610,095 $6,660,925
    • Case Management - Management (coordinator) c
$4,674,234 $5,066,492 $6,891,398
Correctional Reintegration Programs
    • Alternatives Associates and Attitude Program
$343,632 $412,092 $549,576
  • Violence Prevention Programs
    • Violence Prevention Program - Moderate Intensity
$29,137 $98,253 $197,058
  • Family Violence Prevention Programs
    • National Moderate Intensity Family Violence Program
$172,390 $139,132 $187,820
  • Sex Offender Programs
    • Moderate Intensity Sex Offender Program
$337,403 $273,614 $312,466
    • National Low Intensity Sex Offender Program
$52,110 $99,006 $69,490
  • Substance Abuse Programs
    • National Substance Abuse Program - Moderate Intensity
$126,998 $119,543 $602,156
    • National Low Intensity Substance Abuse Program
$670,492 $518,637 $68,406
Maintenance Programs
  • Sex Offender Maintenance Programs**
    • Maintenance Program (Institution and Community) - Sex offender
$77,431 $89,159 $59,434
    • National Maintenance Sex Offender Treatment
$780,194 $819,303 $647,980
  • Substance Abuse Maintenance Programs**
    • Other Substance Abuse Programs-Booster/Maintenance/Follow-up
$81,927 $115,905 $606
    • National Substance Abuse Maintenance Program
$516,339 $245,802 $56,446
  • Family Violence Maintenance Programs**
    • Family Violence Maintenance Program
$22,117 $27,033 $8,970
    • Family Violence National Maintenance Program
$5,206 $0 $0
  • Community Correctional Maintenance Programs
    • Community Maintenance Program
$1,048,584 $1,913,160 $2,485,009
    • Aboriginal Women's Maintenance Program
$2,602 $24,434 $85,491
    • Counter Point Program d
$394,797 $375,842 $720,534
    • Women Community Maintenance Relapse
$84,804 $241,717 $223,552
  • Women Offender Correctional Programs
    • Women Offender - Self Management Program - Community
$26,985
    • Aboriginal Women Offender- Self Management Program - Community
$441
  • Integrated Correctional Program Model*
    • ICPM - Community Maintenance Program - Aboriginal
$112,750
    • ICPM - Community Maintenance Program - Multi-Target
$938,778
    • ICPM - Community Maintenance Program - Sex Offender
$404,081
    • ICPM - Community Program
$219,694
Total ($) $80,827,142 $82,114,208 $97,114,161

Source: Data were extracted from CSC’s Integrated Financial & Material Management System (IFMMS) on October 23, 2012.
a,b,c Although these cost centres are intended to capture institutional related cost, CSC’s districts are using them to code financial resources related to community corrections activities.
d Although this program was phased out in FY 2009-10, expenditures are still coded under this cost centre due to coding errors. The Reintegration Programs Division has consulted with the regions to review the financial coding errors and a plan will be put in place to address coding errors and ensure that the active financial codes are consistent with existing program delivery.
Note: Black areas indicate fiscal years prior to program implementation.
Note: Expenditures presented exclude the Employee Benefit Plan (EBP).

Table 2: Financial Resources Related to Program Activity: Community Supervision (including Community Based Residential Facilities and Community Management and Security)
FY 2008-2009
Expenditure
FY 2009-2010
Expenditure
FY 2010-2011
Expenditure
Community Based Residential Facilities
  • Community Residential Facilities
    • Residential Services (Beds and Surveillance)
$61,277,866 $63,407,801 $66,245,769
  • Community Correctional Centres including Section 81 CCRA
    • Provision of Correctional Services Pursuant to Section 81 of CCRA
$4,626,694 $4,558,409 $4,800,464
    • CCC - Security - Commissionaire's Services
$4,620,596 $4,992,687 $5,059,792
    • CCC - Security - Maintenance
$14,293 $15,841 $25,708
    • CCC - Correctional Officers
$1,106,232 $1,124,228 $1,304,691
    • Community & CCC - General / Administration
$7,432 $3,801 $3,088
Community Management and Security
  • Senior Management - Community
$3,633,333 $3,888,296 $3,981,752
  • Community - Urinalysis
$1,263,568 $1,550,273 $1,760,308
  • Community Reintegration Operations Management a (including the Community Staff Safety Program b)
$362,834 $5,349,828 $6,092,246
  • Communities - Security - Commissionaire's Services
$150,385 $146,397 $148,945
  • Communities - Security - Maintenance
$115,404 $30,278 $16,782
  • Community - Preventive Security
$644,553 $1,017,037 $1,363,495
  • Community Services (Aboriginal)
$672,589 $2,212,450 $864,136
Total ($) $78,495,779 $88,297,326 $91,667,176

Source: Data were extracted from CSC’s Integrated Financial & Material Management System (IFMMS) on October 23, 2012.
a Costs for 2009-10 and 2010-11 include all Community Reintegration Branch costs including the DG’s office, Community Operations (including Electronic Monitoring), Community Planning Resources and Partnerships (including Community Staff Safety Program), and the National Monitoring Centre. In 2008-09, “Community Reintegration Operations” existed as a Division under another Branch, as such, the 2008-09 costs are not comparable to the costs in subsequent years.
b The Community Staff Safety Program was piloted at the Ottawa Area and Sault St-Marie Parole Offices between September 29, 2008 and April 30, 2009 in order to test the efficiency of the technology used, and to identify future operational needs and requirements. On May 1, 2009, the project was awarded program status and became the Community Staff Safety Program (CSSP). A second community staff safety initiative, the Real Time Reporting application, began in FY 2011-12 and is currently being piloted in the Pacific, Atlantic, and Ontario regions.
Note: Expenditures presented exclude the Employee Benefit Plan (EBP).

Table 3: Financial Resources Related to Sub-Program Activity: Community Engagement
Community Engagement Financial Expenditures
FY 2008-2009
Expenditure
FY 2009-2010
Expenditure
FY 2010-2011
Expenditure
Community Engagement Management $790,061 $752,459 $866,813
Citizen Engagement $2,457,936 $2,585,340 $2,209,218
Victims $2,973,461 $2,821,078 $2,996,825
Volunteers $796,664 $787,654 $928,550
Lifeline $413,869 $454,336 $371,906
Total ($) $7,431,991 $7,400,867 $7,372,313

Source: CSC’s Integrated Financial & Material Management System on October 23rd, 2012.
Note: Expenditures presented exclude the Employee Benefit Plan (EBP).

Methodology

The Community Correctional Operations evaluation utilized a mixed-methods approach, incorporating both qualitative and quantitative methods and data analysis techniques to strengthen data triangulation. Where possible, several lines of evidence were used across all three chapters of the evaluation to address specific evaluation issues and questions. The following evaluation methods were used:

  • Literature and documentation review;
  • Analyses of automated offender data;
  • Structured interviews with offenders;
  • Focus groups with CSC staff members and community partners;
  • Electronic questionnaires completed by CSC staff members and community partners;
  • Analyses of HRMS training compliance data;
  • Analyses of Community Engagement outcome and performance data; and,
  • Analyses of relevant financial data.

For additional information on the methodologies used across all three chapters of the evaluation, please refer to the methodology sections in each individual report.

Limitations

The present evaluation provides a summary and recommendations based on three previous evaluations crossing a span of approximately three years. Each individual evaluation of the different areas of CSC’s community correctional operations all have specific limitations that were discussed specifically within those reports.

The most notable limitation identified in the present report is that since the previous evaluations were conducted over the course of many years, there may have been changes to policies, programs, or procedures that may have an impact in the area of community corrections. Where such information was known, it was included in the report to provide additional context and to provide updated information. For instance, the implementation of the Federal Community Corrections Strategy (FCCS) which proposes a vision of community corrections until the year 2020, was in development at the time this evaluation was conducted. The completion and implementation of this strategy will likely have major continuing impacts in the area of community corrections, potentially impacting upon areas reviewed during the evaluation as well as the Management Action Plan that will be developed in response. Information on the FCCS is provided in the introduction to this report.

One limitation from previous chapters is worthy of additional discussion here. Specifically, the largest limitation of Chapter 3 was the lack of systematic data collection which inhibited the evaluation team’s ability to conduct meaningful outcome analysis. To compensate for this issue, additional lines of evidence were used, such as surveys to key informants, partners, and stakeholders. Furthermore, a recommendation presented in the current report specifically addresses concerns over systematic data collection pertaining to community engagement activities.

For additional information on the limitations posed in the evaluation of CSC’s community correctional operations, please refer to the previous chapters and associated limitation sections.

Performance Summary and Recommendations

Three previous community correctional operations evaluation reports provided specific details, results and findings regarding the three inter-related activities that form the basis of CSC’s community correctional operations: (1) correctional interventions; (2) community supervision and staff safety; and (3) community engagement. As such, one evaluation chapter was dedicated to each of the three activities. The present report synthesizes the findings of the previous three chapters to formulate recommendations aimed at enhancing community correctional operations.

All three chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation found that activities associated with correctional interventions, community supervision and staff safety, and community engagement play a significant role in supporting CSC’s strategic priorities and the objectives of the federal government. As the primary goal of community correctional operations is the effective reintegration of offenders into the community with due regard to public safety, community correctional activities continue to be relevant and are aligned with Canadian governmental and CSC departmental priorities.

Chapter 1, the first phase of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation, focused on two themes: (1) the continuum of care; and (2) risk assessment and case preparation. Although this evaluation found that the continuum of care, risk assessment and case preparation activities contribute to the timely and successful release and reintegration of offenders into the community, the evaluation also found that a number of gaps exist throughout the offender’s sentence that impact the continuity of services that offenders receive in the institution and in the community. Gaps identified within these two themes included:

  1. the assessment and timely diagnosis of mental health disorders and learning disabilities;
  2. the completion of correctional interventions;
  3. the availability of programs and services within the community; and
  4. the lack of collaboration and communication between CSC institutional and community staff, CSC and PBC, and CSC and community partners.

Although gaps in the continuity of care were observed in the institution and in the community, correctional interventions (including correctional programs, employment programs and services, and mental health services) were found to have positive effects on correctional results. Additionally, Chapter 1 demonstrated that offenders who successfully completed correctional programs prior to release were not only more likely to be granted conditional release, but were also more likely to have increased positive community correctional outcomes. For a list of all findings and summary findings from Chapter 1, please refer to Appendix A.

Themes examined within Chapter 2 of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation included: (1) community supervision; and (2) staff safety. Overall, findings emerging from these two themes noted areas of success. For example, tools and strategies used by CSC to manage and supervise offenders in the community were demonstrated to be appropriately assigned in accordance with offender risk levels and in accordance to policy. Similar to findings emerging from themes presented in Chapter 1, this chapter observed that when release conditions were aligned with identified needs, more positive community correctional outcomes were achieved, thereby leading to greater financial and operational efficiencies. In terms of staff safety, Chapter 2 also found there were high compliance rates related to staff safety training. Although some threats to staff safety in the community were noted, the majority of Parole Officers were not concerned with their safety; reporting that the measures implemented by CSC enhanced the safety of staff in the community. For a list of all findings and summary findings from Chapter 2, please refer to Appendix B.

Lastly, Chapter 3 of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation focused on one theme: community engagement. Findings emerging from this theme demonstrated success in the areas of community engagement, information sharing between CSC and community partners, and promotion of CSC’s activities. Overall, CSC’s community partners, including Citizen Advisory Committee members and victims of crime, indicated they were satisfied with the degree of collaboration they have with CSC, and agreed that CSC policies pertaining to information sharing between CSC and community partners were clear. However, as previously mentioned in Chapter 1, some areas of opportunity were identified, including the need to involve community partners earlier in the release planning process. Although CSC has several strategies encompassing engagement, Chapter 3 demonstrated a need for an overall integrated engagement strategy to better position CSC to build and maintain strong, collaborative relationships to enhance correctional results. For a list of all findings and summary findings from Chapter 3, please refer to Appendix C.

Together, all five themes examined as part of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation, support the timely and successful release and reintegration of offenders into society. In spite of numerous areas of success, areas of opportunity were also identified where improvements could be made to enhance the operational and financial efficiencies of these operations and activities. For the purpose of this report, themes and findings across all three chapters were reviewed and contributed to the development of strategic recommendations aimed at enhancing the overall outcomes of community correctional operations of CSC. Recommendations emerged and are organized according to three themes: correctional interventions, community supervision, and community interventions and engagement.

Recommendation 1: CSC should ensure that offenders complete required correctional programming in advance of parole hearings, emphasizing programs with demonstrated effectiveness.

The Community Correctional Operations evaluation found that offenders who participated in correctional programs, that targeted an identified treatment need, demonstrated an increased likelihood of discretionary release and more positive correctional outcomes in the community. Despite these findings, results indicated that a large proportion of offenders had not completed their required correctional programming prior to release (36% to 50%). In light of findings presented in Chapters 1 and 2, the above recommendation is intended to ensure that correctional programs with demonstrated effectiveness are completed in advance of parole hearings and release to the community.

Table 4: Findings Supporting Recommendation 1
CHAPTER FINDING NUMBER FINDING
1 5 Depending on the program area, 35.6% to 50.3% of offenders did not complete their assigned programs prior to release to the community.
1 14 Offenders who successfully completed programs to which they were assigned were more likely to be released on discretionary release than offenders who were assigned to, but did not participate in, programs and offenders who did not complete their assigned programs.
1 15 Compared to offenders released on discretionary release, offenders released on statutory release were less likely to have completed correctional programs and were more likely to have some or considerable needs in the dynamic need domains at release.
2 11 Only one third of parole applications result in a decision and approximately 20% of applications are withdrawn, postponed or adjourned at the offender’s request.
2 (Summary Finding)
5
Financial and operational efficiencies can be made by increasing parole applications through a greater emphasis on preparing offenders for discretionary release (i.e. through the completion of correctional interventions).

CSC should ensure that offenders complete required correctional programming in advance of parole hearings in order to increase the likelihood of a successful parole application. Release planning begins at the time of intake with the development of a correctional plan. A correctional plan identifies areas of risk and need for offenders and suggests a series of interventions based on their risk/need profile. These interventions, if successfully completed prior to being released into the community, are expected to reduce risk and enhance public safety. When offenders participate in correctional programming there is an expectation that risk and need will be reduced, demonstrating a readiness on part of offenders for release into the community.

In Chapter 1 of the Community Corrections Operations evaluation, the impact of completing correctional programming on discretionary release opportunities was examined. Results indicated that offenders who had completed required correctional programming were more likely to be granted discretionary release than those offenders who had not completed assigned programming. Similarly, offenders released on statutory release were less likely to have completed correctional programs, and more likely to have considerable dynamic needs, than those on discretionary release. Moreover, results from Chapter 1 also indicated that approximately 36% to 50% (depending on the program area) of offenders had not completed required correctional programming in advance of release into the community.

In Chapter 2 of the evaluation, the frequency of parole application decisions was examined. Results indicated that only about one-third of parole applications resulted in a decision. Of the remaining applications, approximately 20% resulted in a withdrawal, postponement, or a waiver, thereby effectively eliminating the possibility of discretionary release at that time for a relatively significant proportion of offenders. It is important to note that the most common offender reported reason provided for postponements, withdrawals, and waivers was that programs had not been completed (30% of all reasons provided).

Taken together, these results highlight the importance of completing required correctional programs that have demonstrated effectiveness, in advance of parole hearings to maximize the opportunities for discretionary release. Planned and supported discretionary release opportunities can provide greater cost efficiencies due to the fact that community supervision is less costly than incarceration. Therefore, financial and operational efficiencies can be made by increasing parole applications through a greater emphasis on preparing offenders for discretionary release, by ensuring that required correctional programs are completed.

Recommendation 2: CSC should ensure that recommendations for special conditions at release are congruent with identified offender dynamic needs.

As demonstrated in the findings from Chapter 2 below, special conditions can be used as an effective case management tool when aligned with a corresponding need. When a special condition is linked to a corresponding need, the likelihood of revocation and recidivism is reduced. As a result, the above recommendation is intended to enhance correctional outcomes by ensuring that all special conditions imposed to mitigate risk are based on an identified need.

Table 5: Findings Supporting Recommendation 2
CHAPTER FINDING NUMBER FINDING
2 4 The rate of revocation for a technical violation or a new offence decreased for each condition type imposed. The likelihood of returning to custody also decreased for each condition type imposed.
2 5 Matching an offender’s dynamic need through the use of a corresponding special condition can dramatically reduce the offender’s likelihood of revocation and recidivism.
2 (Summary Finding)
2
Generally, the use of special conditions reduces revocation and recidivism. Specifically, the use of a personal/emotional or an associates condition paired with the corresponding need reduced the rate of revocation. Furthermore, for Aboriginal offenders in particular, the use of a substance abuse condition paired with the corresponding need reduced recidivism.

Throughout an offender’s sentence, the correctional plan is updated on an ongoing basis to ensure that interventions and risk management strategies are aligned with current offender risk and need levels. Through a variety of assessments, offenders are assessed as low, medium or high on risk, need, reintegration potential and motivation for intervention. These assessments are updated by the case management team prior to release as well as throughout the offender’s sentence. Prior to release, a community strategy is developed and incorporated within the correctional plan to assess the offender’s level of community support, availability of accommodations, propose a supervision strategy and provide an overall assessment of offender risk and needs (CSC, 2013). In addition, parole officers complete an assessment for decision prior to offender parole applications, providing a summary of offender risk and need profiles, and recommending special conditions for release based on these profiles.

The importance of fully developed assessments of risk that are used to support recommendations for release, particularly special conditions, was underscored by the results presented in Chapter 2. Specifically, findings indicated that when special conditions were congruent with the offender identified needs at the time of release, significant reductions in recidivism were observed. In terms of the general application of special conditions, the evaluation noted that with each new condition type imposed, the rates of revocation and recidivism were lowered. More importantly, when special conditions were directly associated with a corresponding need (e.g., an offender with needs in the associate domain was assigned a condition to avoid certain persons), a notable effect on correctional outcomes was observed.

Specifically, when a personal/emotional need was paired with an associated special condition, offenders overall were less likely to have a revocation for a technical violation (15% less likely) or a revocation for a new offence (35% less likely). Similar results were observed for Aboriginal offenders. For associate needs, significant results were observed for revocation for a technical violation or new offence (34% and 37% less likely, respectively), or return to custody within 2 years of WED (23% less likely). For Aboriginal offenders and associate needs, results were found only for revocation for a technical violation (20% less likely). Finally, no significant reductions in recidivism were observed for substance abuse needs for offenders overall. However, when Aboriginal offenders with substance abuse needs were assigned an associated condition, they were 31% less likely to return to custody within 2 years of WED.

Despite positive correctional outcomes associated with pairing offender needs with a special condition on release, offender needs were not always paired with an associated special condition. Specifically, there was some association between special conditions in the domains of associates and substance abuse, but not necessarily for personal/emotional needs. For example, offenders with an associate need were significantly more likely to have at least one related special condition (53% had at least one associated condition), and offenders with substance abuse needs were more likely to have at least one related special condition (61% had at least one associated condition). However, only 32% of offenders with a personal/emotional need had an associated condition. Given the aforementioned positive impact of pairing a personal/emotional need with a related condition on offender revocation, it is essential to recommend relevant conditions for offenders with these needs.

It is important to note that CSC only recommends special conditions and that it is the responsibility and sole discretion of PBC Board Members to determine the special conditions that are imposed on offenders. However, the evaluation found that conditions imposed by PBC were often congruent with recommendations made by CSC. Therefore, to increase the likelihood that conditions will be imposed by PBC based on identified dynamic needs, CSC should ensure that it continues to update and monitor offender needs, as outlined in the Dynamic Factors Identification Analysis – Revised (DFIA-R) and that these needs are well documented and expressed to PBC Board Members. In attempt to reduce revocation and recidivism rates, CSC should ensure that special conditions recommended to PBC are congruent with these updated and accurate offender need profiles.

Recommendation 3: CSC should work with community partners to enhance offender access to available community services and interventions through improvements in information sharing, in-reach services, and pre-release planning.

Overall, the Community Correctional Operations evaluation highlighted the essential role that community partners play in supporting correctional activities on multiple levels. Supportive and rehabilitative partners provide programming, housing, and support to facilitate offender reintegration into the community, while legislative and policy directed partners work in collaboration with CSC's regional and national offices to inform the development of CSC's policies and procedures. Developed primarily on findings from Chapter 3, as well as Chapter 1, the above recommendation is intended to ensure that offenders are able to access the services they require in the community by ensuring that CSC enhances relationships with community partners.

Table 6: Findings Supporting Recommendation 3
CHAPTER FINDING NUMBER FINDING
1 2 There exist opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, levels of government and/or community partners to better respond to the needs of federal offenders.
3 3 Staff and partners identified a need to increase the focus and funding of in-reach activities, early collaboration and communication in release planning in order to ensure adequate preparation of community resources for offenders upon release, and improve the transition of offenders into the community.
3 7 Information sharing between CSC and partners/stakeholders is guided by policy and CSC staff and community partners indicated that these policies and procedures were clear. However, limitations exist in the types of information that can be shared due to policy; this can impact the ability of community partners to respond to the needs of offenders.
3 9 CSC and CRF staff reported regular consultation and reported that information sharing is done in an efficient manner. However, improvements could be made by consulting with CRF staff earlier in the release planning phase and enhanced use of OMS by CRF staff.

Given that offenders admitted to federal custody often present multiple needs and that some offenders receive shorter sentences than others, there may be insufficient time while incarcerated to receive all interventions required to address their needs. Although CSC offers correctional services and interventions for offenders in the community, it does not have the resources to offer unlimited interventions, particularly when other effective programs and services may already exist in the community. Through increased communication, in-reach, and involvement in robust pre-release planning with community partners, it may be possible to increase access to existing community services and interventions.

Within Chapter 1 of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation, it was noted that there were opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments, levels of government, and/or community partners in order to better respond to the needs of offenders. Several examples specifically mentioned included the opportunity to collaborate with HRDC and organizations such as the John Howard Society to increase access to employment services in the community, and the recommendation to explore additional partnerships with community-based organizations to offer mental health services to offenders under community supervision. Greater communication and development of partnerships with relevant organizations could lead to increased opportunities for offenders to access existing programs in the community provided by other partners.

In Chapter 3, methods and degree of information sharing and collaboration related to release planning between CSC and community partners was explored. Varying levels of access to information for different partners can be provided by CSC through the use of electronic tools such as CSC’s Offender Management System (OMS), InfoPol, and CSC’s website. Overall, CSC staff and CRF staff agreed that information was shared in a manner that promoted efficient use of time and resources, (CSC staff ranging from 67%-76% and CRF staff 62%-90% for most types of information shared). However, levels of agreement by other CSC partners were somewhat lower (35%-62%). CSC partners noted that information-sharing and privacy policies sometimes resulted in lack of timely and detailed information shared by CSC institutional staff with partners, making it difficult for them to provide assistance to offenders. Partners suggested that information fairs and other similar events within institutions and regular in-person meetings between Institutional Parole Officers and residential facility staff could improve this communication pertaining to release planning and in-reach activities.

Information sharing between CSC and CRF staff was also specifically examined in Chapter 3. Almost three-quarters of CSC staff (74%) and CRF staff (70%) agreed that clear processes and procedures exist for information sharing between CSC and CRFs. However, some CRF staff suggested that there were gaps in the information sharing process, indicating that halfway house staff were not often invited to be part of the case management team preparation with CSC staff or meet with the institutional Parole Officers prior to release. Partners suggested that increased communication between institutional staff and community partners as well as increased institutional visits could facilitate better release plans for offenders.

Community partners also stressed the importance of early collaboration and release planning for offenders’ successful transition to the community, by ensuring that supports are available to offenders upon release to the community. Early collaboration provides community partners/stakeholders with the opportunity to adapt their approach in working with offenders in order to adequately respond to the needs of offenders with unique needs. Community partners/stakeholders noted that some provincial correctional organizations provide funding to their partner organizations, allowing regular visits to provincial facilities. Furthermore, they noted that it is sometimes difficult to access funding from CSC, reducing their abilities to conduct in-reach activities at federal facilities. Some partners noted that they would like to ensure community services are available and prepared for offenders in advance of their release, during incarceration.

Recommendation 4: CSC should ensure the accommodation strategy includes a range of residential options including sufficient beds designated for offenders with specialized needs.

All offenders released on day parole, and those who have a residency condition imposed by PBC require an available bed space within a community correctional centre (CCC) or a community residential facility (CRF). Available CCC and CRF bed spaces for special populations including women, older offenders, and offenders with mental disorders are limited and could be further enhanced to support the safe transition and management of these offenders in the community. The above recommendation is supported by findings found within Chapters 2 and 3 of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation and is intended to ensure that specialized housing opportunities are available to accommodate the unique needs of these sub-populations.

Table 7: Findings Supporting Recommendation 4
CHAPTER FINDING NUMBER FINDING
2 (Summary Finding) 3 CSC’s ability to find and provide more affordable models (cost savings) of offender risk supervision and management strategies in the community is greatly dependent and can be enhanced by partnerships and collaboration with community organizations. Women offenders, older offenders and offenders with mental disorders are particularly affected by this challenge.
3 10 CRF staff noted gaps in their ability to provide sufficient facilities and services to offenders with specific needs, such as those with mental health issues, women offenders with children, and older offenders with physical health needs.

Communication and coordination between community partners and CSC staff is essential in developing concrete and robust release planning, which includes the coordination of housing and social services required by offenders in the community. CSC staff and community partners/stakeholders stated that they have collaborative relationships. However, gaps were noted by CSC staff and community partners/stakeholders during focus groups in how CSC staff and community partners/stakeholders were able to accommodate offenders with special needs in the community.

Key informants in Chapter 3 noted that having suitable housing options for offenders with unique needs is essential in the support of offenders in the community. For instance, CSC staff noted in focus groups that offenders required access to sufficient and appropriate housing. This was emphasized for some special need offender populations, such as those with mental health issues, women offenders with children, and older offenders with physical health needs. Chapter 3 also noted that less than half of CRF staff agreed that CSC’s residency options were adequate for older offenders (47%), offenders with mental disorders (43%) and women offenders with children (36%). It is important to note that it is recognized that having suitable residency options and accommodations is a significant component in release planning. The limited amount of residence options for those offenders with unique needs may have an impact on discretionary release outcomes.

Furthermore, the need for housing options and alternatives is also highlighted in the 2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC, 2013) in which CSC identifies that, in order to meet the priority of safely transitioning and managing eligible offenders in the community, the Service must “explore alternative housing options, where safe and appropriate, with community partners to accommodate a diverse population of offenders in the community”. Given these results and priorities, it will be important for CSC to ensure that a range of residential options are available to sufficiently address the requirements of offenders with specialized needs.

Recommendation 5: CSC should implement an integrated community engagement strategy to ensure effective community engagement activities are achieved. The development of this strategy should:

  1. Explore alternative approaches to engagement and funding;
  2. Be national in focus, but sufficiently flexible to adapt to regional needs;
  3. Include focused engagement activities to address the unique needs of special populations (e.g. Aboriginal offenders, women offenders, offenders with mental health needs, etc.); and
  4. Include an associated performance measurement strategy to facilitate results-based management.

Overall, findings of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation indicated that community partners contributed to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community. However, gaps exist in the extent to which CSC is able to collaborate with its partners and no unified approach to community engagement exists. Furthermore, the tracking of community engagement activities was identified as a significant limitation in the evaluation of community engagement, inhibiting the ability to conduct meaningful outcome analyses. Given the importance of engaging community partners and the imperative function they serve in ensuring offenders are successful in the community, the above recommendation is intended to strengthen CSC’s overall community engagement activities and the measurement of these activities. This recommendation is supported by the following findings presented in previous chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation.

Table 8: Findings Supporting Recommendation 5
CHAPTER FINDING NUMBER FINDING
1 2 There exist opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, levels of government and/or community partners to better respond to the needs of federal offenders.
1 10 The availability of programs and services varied across communities which presented a barrier to continuity of services from institutions to the community.
2 (Summary Finding)
3
CSC’s ability to find and provide more affordable models (cost savings) of offender risk supervision and management strategies in the community is greatly dependant and can be enhanced by partnerships and collaboration with community organizations. Women offenders, older offenders and offenders with mental disorders are particularly affected by this challenge.
3 2 Community partners contribute to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community through the provision of community programs, services and housing. Partners ensure a transparent criminal justice system and promote public awareness of correctional activities.
3 5 Quantity and quality of programs and services offered to offenders in the community is partially reliant on funds received from CSC. Instability in funding was noted as contributing to inconsistencies and gaps in community programming and services.
3 12 The cost of maintaining offenders in the community is significantly lower than in institutions. Although analysis of the cost effectiveness of community engagement could not be performed, mechanisms such as community engagement supporting the gradual transition of offenders into the community are favoured.
3 (Summary Finding)
1
Community partners contribute to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community through the provision of community programs, services and housing. However, gaps exist in the extent to which CSC collaborates with its partners. Although there are several strategies in place that involve community engagement, CSC does not have a unified approach to engaging its current partners or a plan to expand this engagement to fully support CSC’s sixth priority of having productive relationships with increasingly diverse partners.

CSC engages non-governmental organizations, public safety partners, volunteers and advisory committees to work toward the common goals of public safety and the safe reintegration of offenders into the community. With the majority of offenders being eventually released back into the community, it is imperative for CSC not only to establish positive and reciprocal relationships with Canadian communities, partners and stakeholders, but to sustain these relationships.

CSC has a number of governmental and non-governmental partners and volunteers who aid in achieving CSC’s overall mandate. For example, community organizations provide housing, programs, and counselling to offenders. CACs and volunteers also serve numerous roles that ultimately assist offenders in community reintegration. However, it was noted in all chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation that CSC could, to varying degrees, increase and improve upon the ways in which it engages community partners/stakeholders.

Within Chapter 1 of the evaluation, it was noted that there were opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments, levels of government, and/or community partners in order to better respond to the needs of offenders. Several examples included the opportunity to collaborate with HRDC and organizations such as the John Howard Society to increase access to employment services in the community, and the recommendation to explore additional partnerships with community-based organizations to offer mental health services to offenders under community supervision. The development and implementation of a national community engagement strategy could assist in the development of new and non-traditional partnerships with relevant organizations that could lead to increased opportunities for offenders to access existing programs in the community.

During focus groups with CSC staff in Chapter 1, it was also noted that significant variability in programs and services available to offenders exist across the country, impacting the continuity of services that offenders receive. Depending on geographic locale, some offenders may have greater or less difficulty accessing services. In addition, results of Chapter 2 indicated that there are challenges to providing community programs and services for specific groups of offenders, such as women offenders, older offenders, and offenders with mental disorders. Ideally, national programming service standards would be established in order to ensure that offenders are able to access community services provided by community partners and stakeholders. However, it is important to ensure that these standards are flexible to the varying offender profiles that exist across regions as well as able to accommodate the specific needs of a given region. A unified community engagement strategy should present common principles and approaches that could assist in developing greater standardization in service delivery across the services while still leaving sufficient flexibility to implement specific engagement activities tailored to the needs of different regions or communities. Similarly, a unified community engagement strategy could explore focused engagement activities for specific groups of offenders with special needs (e.g., older offenders, women offenders), or those groups for whom CSC has identified priorities (e.g., including CSC priorities to enhance capacities to provide interventions for Aboriginal offenders and offenders with mental health needs).

Community partners noted that the quantity and quality of programs and services offered to offenders in the community is partially reliant on funds received from CSC, and that instability in funding was noted as contributing to inconsistencies and gaps in community programming and services. Community partners/stakeholders also indicated that some provincial correctional organizations provide funding to their partner organizations, allowing regular visits to provincial facilities. Furthermore, they noted that it is sometimes difficult to access funding from CSC, reducing their abilities to conduct in-reach activities at federal facilities.

It is important to note that the cost of maintaining offenders in the community is significantly lower than incarceration. Therefore, community engagement practices that can support the gradual transition of offenders into the community have the possibility of being cost-effective in the long term. However, the current fiscal climate will have an impact upon CSC’s ability to provide funding to partners. For example, funding to community organizations through CSC’s National Reintegration Assistance Class Contribution Program is no longer available. Therefore, to ensure that programs and services can be provided in a long term and sustainable manner, CSC should also explore alternative, non-traditional approaches to engagement and funding.

In order to ensure that CSC is able to adequately communicate and coordinate with community partners and ensure that the most cost-effective interventions are provided, it is imperative that CSC establish a concrete community engagement strategy that also incorporates a fully developed performance measurement component. Within Chapter 3, it was noted that some limited quantitative data regarding community engagement activities are collected by the Citizen Engagement Division (e.g., number of CSC stakeholders, number of victim registrations, number of formal communications with external stakeholders, etc.); however, these data were inconsistently collected. Therefore, it was not possible to examine trends in community engagement activities over time or to examine the direct outputs or impacts of community engagement activities. The inclusion of a performance measurement component will ensure that CSC’s community engagement activities are not only properly coordinated but that these activities can be effectively reported and measured to facilitate results-based management.

In summary, CSC currently has several strategies in place that have community engagement components within them. However, CSC does not currently have an integrated, systematic approach to establishing new partnerships. The development of an integrated community engagement strategy would provide a service-wide approach to community engagement that would support CSC’s priority to develop productive relationships with increasingly diverse partners, stakeholders, and others involved in public safety.

Conclusion

Overall, CSC has been very successful in the provision of community correctional services and activities to offenders, with few but very important areas observed where increased financial and operational efficiencies could be obtained. Specifically, it was recommended to ensure that offenders complete correctional programming in advance of parole hearings and that release planning incorporate risk analysis that includes recommendations for release conditions congruent with updated and accurate offender risk and need profiles.

Several recommendations were also made related to community partnerships and engagement. It was recommended that CSC work with partners to increase offender access to community services, and to ensure that offenders with specialized needs have access to accommodations in the community. Lastly, the development of a community engagement strategy and corresponding performance measurement strategy was identified as an area where improvements could be made.

References

Corrections and Conditional Release Act, R.S.C. 1992, c.20.

Correctional Service Canada Review Panel (2007). A Roadmap to Strengthening Public Safety. (Cat. No. PS84-14/2007E), Ottawa, ON: Minister of Public Works and Government Services Canada.

Correctional Service Canada (2011a). 2010-2011 Departmental Performance Report. Ottawa, ON: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Correctional Service Canada (2011b). Federal Community Corrections Strategy: Vision to 2020. Ottawa, ON: Government of Canada.

Correctional Service Canada (2013). 2013-2014 Report on Plans and Priorities. Ottawa, ON: Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Luong, D., MacDonald, C., McKay, M., Olotu, M., & Heath, S. (2011). Evaluation Report: CSC’s Community Corrections Chapter 1: Correctional Interventions (File # 394-02-84). Ottawa, ON: Correctional Service Canada.

Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. (2009). Policy on Evaluation. Ottawa, ON: Author.

List of Appendices

Appendix A: List of Findings – Chapter 1, Correctional Interventions

Summary Finding 1: Continuity of care begins at intake and continues through incarceration to supervision in the community until warrant expiry. Gaps exist in a number of areas throughout the sentence that impact on the continuity of services that offenders receive.

Summary Finding 2: CSC provides programs and services that contribute to the safe return of offenders to the community. However, there are gaps in collaboration and communication across multiple areas that interfere with effective offender reintegration.

Finding 1: Qualitative data demonstrated that community corrections are closely aligned with the Government of Canada’s priorities and are supported by CSC departmental policies.

Finding 2: There exist opportunities for CSC to collaborate with other federal departments and agencies, levels of government, and/or community partners to better respond to the needs of federal offenders.

Finding 3: Given the current offender profile and CSC’s mandate to contribute to public safety in Canada, correctional interventions will continue to be critical activities in managing federal offenders, thereby contributing to Canada's public safety agenda.

Finding 4: For a large majority of offenders, ratings on dynamic factor domains and overall dynamic need ratings did not change from intake to release.

Finding 5: Depending on the program area, 35.6% to 50.3% of offenders did not complete their assigned programs prior to release to the community.

Finding 6: There was a gap between the design of the national correctional program referral criteria and the implementation of the guidelines.

Finding 7: Assessing and identifying mental health, developmental, or other cognitive needs among offenders and, subsequently, providing services to offenders in the institution and the community represents a challenge.

Finding 8: The majority of offenders with some or considerable employment needs participated in core employment programs and/or CSC work assignments in the institutions. Participation in employment-related activities resulted in a number of benefits to program participants. However, gaps in the continuity of employment services from the institution to the community were found.

Finding 9: CSC staff members and interviewed offenders reported that temporary absences assisted in the reintegration of offenders into the community. However, the number of temporary absences granted to offenders has declined over the past ten years.

Finding 10: The availability of programs and services varied across communities which presented a barrier to continuity of services from institutions to the community.

Finding 11: According to focus group sessions with CSC staff members, the new generation of CSC programs may not effectively address the individual needs of offenders.

Finding 12: The concordance rate between CSC recommendations for, and PBC decisions to impose, residency conditions on full parole applications has decreased. In addition, 29% of residency conditions imposed on full parole releases were not originally recommended by CSC.

Finding 13: CSC staff members expressed concerns regarding PBC’s expectations with respect to program participation and CSC’s correctional program referral guidelines.

Finding 14: Offenders who successfully completed programs to which they were assigned were more likely to be released on discretionary release than offenders who were assigned to, but did not participate in, programs and offenders who did not complete their assigned programs.

Finding 15: Compared to offenders released on discretionary release, offenders released on statutory release were less likely to have completed correctional programs and were more likely to have some or considerable needs in the dynamic need domains at release.

Finding 16: Participation in violence prevention, substance abuse, family violence prevention, sexual offender, and living skills programs was associated with decreased likelihood of return to custody for non-Aboriginal offenders and men offenders. For Aboriginal offenders, significant positive treatment effects were found for violence prevention and sexual offender programs. There was no evidence to suggest that participation in violence prevention, substance abuse, or living skills programs were effective for women offenders after controlling for participation in multiple programs, although small sample sizes may have affected the power to detect significant results.

Finding 17: Offenders who received services from community mental health specialists as part of the CMHI were significantly less likely to be suspended or revoked than offenders who received CMHI clinical discharge planning only and offenders who did not receive any CMHI services.

Finding 18: Offenders who participated in institutional employment-related activities were significantly more likely to return to custody than offenders who did not participate in institutional employment-related activities. Offenders who participated in the CEC initiative, however, were significantly less likely to return to custody than offenders who did not participate in the CEC initiative.

Appendix B: List of Findings – Chapter 2, Community Supervision and Staff Safety

Finding 1: CSC community correctional activities are relevant and align with federal priorities, roles and responsibilities.

Finding 2: Level of intervention is appropriately assigned in accordance with risk level according to policy.

Finding 3: Both community and institutional Parole Officers reported frequently sharing information, but highlighted the need for more in-person communication with one another.

Finding 4: The rate of revocation for a technical violation or a new offence decreased for each condition type imposed. The likelihood of returning to custody also decreased for each condition type imposed.

Finding 5: Matching an offender’s dynamic need through the use of a corresponding special condition can dramatically reduce the offender’s likelihood of revocation and recidivism.

Finding 6: Offenders overall demonstrated improved levels of risk, need, motivation and reintegration potential ratings from intake to WED.

Finding 7: Although staff perceived some threats to safety in the community, the majority of Parole Officers were not concerned with their safety, as tandem supervision and the use of technology were identified by staff as a means of enhancing their community staff safety.

Finding 8: While data indicated relatively high compliance rates for staff safety training, front-line staff desire more frequent staff safety refresher sessions.

Finding 9: While initial staff safety assessments are largely completed in accordance with policy, staff safety re-assessments for tandem supervision cases are not consistently conducted within the required 90 day timeframe.

Finding 10: While technical challenges were identified in the Community Staff Safety Program pilot project conducted in 2008-2009, the program was assessed by a management review as being cost effective and providing timely responses.

Finding 11: Only one third of parole applications result in a decision and approximately 20% of applications are withdrawn, postponed or adjourned at the offender’s request.

Finding 12: There is concordance between CSC and PBC in the majority of discretionary release decisions.

Finding 13: Most residency conditions are recommended by CSC before being imposed by PBC, and almost all offenders released with a residency condition are released on statutory release.

Finding 14: Although voluntary stays in CCCs and CRFs were not associated with improved correctional outcomes, placement in a structured environment with increased monitoring may be used as an alternative to revocation for offenders. This would allow offenders to continue to be supervised in the community. The result of voluntary stays from this perspective could result in a cost savings.

Summary Finding 1: Typically, with increased supervision in the form of intensive supervision and residency, offenders have higher rates of revocation for technical violations than those offenders who are supervised less closely. Increased supervision did not affect the rate of revocation for a new offence. This may be explained by the closer monitoring of offenders and a higher probability of observing risky behaviour which results in a revocation for a technical violation.

Summary Finding 2: Generally, the use of special conditions reduces revocation and recidivism. Specifically, when these condition types are paired with the corresponding dynamic need, the reduced rate of revocation was dramatic (35% for personal/emotional need followed by a corresponding condition). Further, for Aboriginal offenders in particular, the use of a substance abuse condition paired with the corresponding need reduced recidivism.

Summary Finding 3: CSC’s ability to find and provide more affordable models (cost savings) of offender risk supervision and management strategies in the community is greatly dependant and can be enhanced by partnerships and collaboration with community organizations. Women offenders, older offenders and offenders with mental disorders are particularly affected by this challenge.

Summary Finding 4: To ensure public safety, broad criteria are used to identify offenders requiring tandem supervision and overrides are then used to narrow the scope of the criteria to ensure that only offenders who pose a risk to staff safety are supervised in tandem.

Summary Finding 5: Financial and operational efficiencies can be made by increasing parole applications through a greater emphasis on preparing offenders for discretionary release (i.e. through the completion of correctional interventions).

Appendix C: List of Findings – Chapter 3, Community Engagement

Finding 1: CSC’s community engagement activities are aligned with federal legislation and Government of Canada priorities. The roles of the federal government and community partners are clearly defined.

Finding 2: Community partners contribute to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community through the provision of community programs, services and housing. Partners ensure a transparent criminal justice system and promote public awareness of correctional activities.

Finding 3: Staff and partners identified a need to increase the focus and funding of in-reach activities, early collaboration and communication in release planning in order to ensure adequate preparation of community resources for offenders upon release, and improve the transition of offenders into the community.

Finding 4: The importance of sustaining these relationships with community partners was underscored. Open lines of communication and reciprocal relationships have been identified as a best practice in sustaining relationships with community partners.

Finding 5: Quantity and quality of programs and services offered to offenders in the community is partially reliant on funds received from CSC. Instability in funding was noted as contributing to inconsistencies and gaps in community programming and services.

Finding 6: The majority of partners are satisfied with the degree of collaboration between CSC and their organization. However, CSC staff and community partners reported a low frequency of consultation regarding the direction, development, or maintenance of CSC policies, strategies, horizontal initiatives, and other policy/strategy activities.

Finding 7: Information sharing between CSC and partners/stakeholders is guided by policy and CSC staff and community partners indicated that these policies and procedures were clear. However, limitations exist in the types of information that can be shared due to policy; this can impact the ability of community partners to respond to the needs of offenders.

Finding 8: CAC members are engaged in a wide variety of activities that assist CSC by contributing to the correctional process, notably through interacting with CSC staff, the public and offenders, and providing impartial advice and recommendations to CSC.

Finding 9: CSC and CRF staff reported regular consultation and reported that information sharing is done in an efficient manner. However, improvements could be made by consulting with CRF staff earlier in the release planning phase and enhanced use of OMS by CRF staff.

Finding 10: CRF staff noted gaps in their ability to provide sufficient facilities and services to offenders with specific needs, such as those with mental health issues, women offenders with children, and older offenders with physical health needs.

Finding 11: Legislation and policies exist regarding collaboration and information sharing with victims, and victims are largely pleased with victim services. Additionally, pilot projects attempting to better integrate victim services across government departments have been initiated.

Finding 12: The cost of maintaining offenders in the community is significantly lower than in institutions. Although analysis of the cost effectiveness of community engagement could not be performed, mechanisms such as community engagement supporting the gradual transition of offenders into the community are favoured.

Summary Finding 1: Community partners contribute to the safe reintegration of offenders into the community through the provision of community programs, services and housing. However, gaps exist in the extent to which CSC collaborates with its partners. Although there are several strategies in place that involve community engagement, CSC does not have a unified approach to engaging its current partners or a plan to expand this engagement to fully support CSC’s sixth priority of having productive relationships with increasingly diverse partners.

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Report of the Evaluation of CSC’s Community Corrections Chapter 1: Correctional Interventions: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pa/ev-cci-fin/index-eng.shtml
Community Correctional Operations: Chapter 2: Community Supervision Strategies and Staff Safety http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/text/pa/ev-cco-394-2-84-c2/ev-cco-394-2-84-c2-eng.shtml
Community Correctional Operations: Chapter 3: Community Engagement http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/publications/005007-2001-eng.shtml

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Footnote 2

These figures are based on FY 2010-11 financial data, as presented in previous chapters of the Community Correctional Operations evaluation. The analyses that formed the basis of the recommendations were also conducted prior to or during FY 2010-11. Given that this report provides a summary of previous findings and data to support the recommendations, this fiscal period provides the most appropriate financial reference point for performance related analyses.

Return to footnote 2 referrer