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Response from the Correctional Service of Canada Response to the Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2005-2006

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To improve the way we deliver on the key strategic priorities, and more generally, on all aspects of our mandate

CSC is an organization with close to 15,000 employees, across many disciplines, and operating 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, across all geographic regions of the country. CSC is also one of the largest federal custodians of real property assets. Most of these facilities have not had the benefit of cyclical renewals or major infrastructure replacements over their life cycle. As a result, a strategy to rigorously examine CSC’s infrastructure needs, in light of the population management requirements associated with the changing offender profile, is being developed.

In this context, the integration of CSC’s human resources and financial planning analysis into existing priorities and planning processes is essential to the effective achievement of its priorities. CSC is committed to successfully integrate transparency and accountability across all levels of the organization, align performance monitoring systems with corporate results commitments, and improve the development of policies and the delivery of programs. Ultimately this will ensure more coherence in the provision of better correctional results for Canadians.

If CSC is to be successful in achieving better results, it must continue its efforts to improve management practices. Four strategies currently being pursued to achieve this priority include: clarifying roles and responsibilities; enhancing the values and ethics program; improving internal communications, and addressing the longer-term infrastructure needs and facility rust-out.


CI’s Recommendation 5 (cont’d – see priority 1 and priority 2):

I recommend that, within one year, the Correctional Service:

  • establish firm targets ensuring all front-line staff receive refresher training in women-centered approaches in accordance with the recommendation of the Canadian Human Rights Commission; and
  • provide women-centered training to all community parole officers working with women offenders.


CSC will continue to provide its staff with high quality, timely training to ensure the level of competence and skills required to carry out their duties. The provision of refresher training in women-centered approaches has been included as part of the National Training Standards and is being closely monitored to ensure compliance with the Standards.

  • establish firm targets ensuring all front-line staff receive refresher training in women-centered approaches in accordance with the recommendation of the Canadian Human Rights Commission;

CSC’s commitment to the Canadian Human Rights Commission (CHRC) is to provide refresher training every two years. CSC has met this commitment by developing a refresher training course and ensuring staff complete this training every two years in accordance with our National Training Standards.

All front line staff recently received the refresher training. Once there has been an opportunity to assess the impact of the current standards and training needs, CSC will determine if there is a requirement to provide more frequent training.

  • provide women-centered training to all community parole officers working with women offenders,

A significant number of parole officers working in women’s supervision units have received women-centered training. CSC will consider means of ensuring training is readily available to all parole officers in women’s supervision units.

For other parole officers who may be required to supervise a women offender, only on an irregular basis, supportive measures, including women-centred training, will be made available, as required.

CI’s Recommendation 7:

I recommend that the Correctional Service significantly improve (above the required employment equity level) the overall rate of its Aboriginal workforce at all levels in institutions where a majority of offenders are of Aboriginal ancestry.


While CSC is the second largest federal employer of Aboriginal peoples, it will continue to strive to further improve the level of representation of Aboriginal employees and managers in CSC.

The current Canada-wide Workforce Availability Estimate, based on the 2001 Census Survey, indicates that a total of 4.7% of the estimated workforce self-identified as being of Aboriginal descent. As of March 31, 2006, data show that 970 of CSC’s 14,479 (6.7%) employees self-identified as being of Aboriginal descent. It is also noteworthy that CSC is second only to the department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) in recruitment and representation of Aboriginal peoples in the federal public service.

CSC is committed to building on the principles of employment equity to achieve a more diverse workforce that is not only representative of Canadian society, but also of the offender population. Measures continue to be identified to address systemic barriers and the continued under-representation of designated groups in various occupational categories and levels.

An integrated human resource management strategy that addresses recruitment, development and retention of Aboriginal employees will be completed by end of fiscal year 2007. A critical first step in the strategy will be the development of a business-based needs assessment and gap analysis to establish what capacity will be required throughout CSC, over the longer term. This assessment will inform consultations with the federal Aboriginal Human Resources Development Council and with Aboriginal organizations to determine options to address identified needs.


CI’s Recommendation 8:

I recommend that the Correctional Service establish a timely approval process by its Executive Committee for the development of action plans in response to investigative reports into incidents of inmate deaths or major injuries. In no case should this process exceed 6 months.


All such incidents of inmate injury and death will be investigated and required corrective actions will be implemented in a timely way.

Over the last year, CSC has continued to improve the incident investigation process. These improvements have included the overall quality of the documents, the process for reviewing the reports and finalizing the action plans with Executive Committee members and the process for monitoring implementation of the approved responses.

During this coming year, CSC will be further reducing the time from which an investigation is convened to the time at which the Executive Committee reviews and finalizes the action plans. CSC is targeting to complete this process within six months for all routine investigations however, for those investigations that are more complex, the process may extend beyond the six-month timeframe.

CI’s Recommendation 9:

I recommend that the Correctional Service collect accurate information and conduct comprehensive analyses of all inmate injuries to significantly improve its ability to take appropriate action to limit inmate injuries and institutional violence and that this information is verified semi-annually as part of on-going internal audit.


CSC will continue to review all sources of data that provide insight into incidents of violence within its institutions and use this data to take corrective action as necessary, and seek ways to improve the quality of the captured and reported data related to violent behaviour.

CSC is focussing on controlling and eliminating the factors that contribute to violence and injuries in institutions in a variety of ways, such as reducing the presence and influence of drugs in institutions, and adjusting Violence Prevention Programs to make them more accessible to those who require them. These improvements should result in better equipping offenders to self-regulate behaviours that may lead to violent situations.

CSC recognizes weaknesses in the data recording and analysis systems surrounding injury reporting. Measures to correct these weaknesses are already underway, and will result in more complete and accurate information. CSC is reviewing the process used to capture and record all incidents of violence, and will refine and improve this process over the coming year.


CI’s Recommendations 10 and 11:

I recommend that the Correctional Service immediately comply with its legal obligations and establish "a procedure for fairly and expeditiously resolving all offenders’ grievances."

I recommend that within one year the Correctional Service provide evidence that complaint and grievance statistics are being used to identify and address areas of systemic offender concerns.


CSC will continue to review and improve its current process for responding to offender complaints and grievances, at all levels within CSC.

CSC will continue to use the national level of the Offender Grievance system to resolve issues raised in third level grievances and to provide systemic analysis of trends or areas of concern for CSC.

The quality of grievance responses has improved over the past two years. The Knowledge Management System that was shared with the regions this year has assisted staff at all levels to improve consistency and clarity of responses.

Regional and operational staff reviewing the more comprehensive and clearly presented rationales for third level grievance decisions are using the information to increase their understanding of human rights requirements in the context of their work, and in turn are providing improved responses to grievances at the lower levels of the redress system and contributing to a correctional culture that is more respectful of human rights.

The more intensive review process has lead to clearer identification of systemic issues and inadequacies in the clarity or comprehensiveness of existing policies. Work is done on an on-going basis with policy holders and operational managers to fix problems as they are uncovered. Some systemic analysis of trends and areas of concerns has occurred on an ad hoc basis; however, CSC recognizes that improvement must be made in this area and has taken steps, outlined above, to remedy the lack of consistent analysis. It should be noted that the CI report positively comments on the analyses undertaken by CSC/Women Offender Sector on complaints and grievances regarding women offenders. These analyses are ongoing and will continue to be provided to the CI.

Through resource re-allocations, the backlog of grievances at 3rd level, at the end of FY05-06, had been eliminated. Every effort will be made through streamlining of processes and policy improvement to sustain these gains and ensure timeliness of responses at the national level. Of the 19,000 complaints and grievances addressed in 2005-2006, 79% were addressed on time. Of the 13,000 addressed at the institutional level, 87% were on-time.


CI’S Recommendation 21:

I recommend that the Correctional Service:

  • establish a reasonable ratio of computers to inmates in designated areas outside-cells available for inmate use; and
  • allow inmates to have computers for in-cell use.


CSC recognizes the benefits that computer access can bring to offender educational and work skills, and will continue to manage, within its resource base, the risks that computer access can pose.

CSC has worked very closely and productively with a broad range of stakeholders and experts in Information Technology on this issue since 2004, and has an established minimum of four computers in each institution and a minimum ratio of one computer for every 50 inmates.

CSC is currently conducting a study to determine whether the ratio of computers to inmates needs to be adjusted, and to establish a Protocol for Inmate Access to CSC-owned computers. The study will also include a Threat and Risk Assessment of in-cell use of computers.