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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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The Cross Gender Monitoring Project
3rd and Final Annual Report

Appendix C - Submissions from Stakeholders

National Association of Women and The Law
Association nationale de la femme et du droit

604-1 rue Nicholas St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7B7
tel. 613-241-7570, fax. 613-241-4657, email. nawl@ftn net

March 15, 2000

Thérèse Lajeunesse
Thérèse Lajeunesse & Associates Ltd.
228 Kitson Street
Winnipeg (Manitoba)
R2H 0Z5

Dear Thérèse:

I am writing to provide The National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL) response to your questionnaire distributed after the release of your Second Annual Report on Cross-Gender Monitoring.

First, I would like to restate that NAWL, at its biennial convention in Ha1ifax in 1997, unanimously passed a resolution to actively pursue full implementation of the Arbour Commission Report. Since Arbour allowed for cross gender staffing, on the condition that CSC undertake specialized staff training and explicit working protocols and adequate monitoring, NAWL refrained from formally opposing the employment of men in women’s prisons during the monitored phase, although our knowledge, expertise and experience in achieving women’s equality supports such opposition. NAWL was willing to await the outcome of the monitoring project before taking an absolute decision.

Having read the second report of the monitoring project and having followed progress of the developments in facilities across thc country through liaison with Canadian Elizabeth Fry and others, NAWT has concluded that CSC must cease to employ men working as front line correctional officers in women’s prisons Even with the independent monitoring in place, CSC has proven that it is unwilling to maintaining diligence in recruitment, training and protocols in order to adequately secure the safety and privacy needs of women prisoners. 1f CSC fails to exercise diligence while under the scrutiny of independent monitoring there is little or no prospect of CSC exercising due diligence in absence of monitoring. Madame Justice Arbour was clear that cross- gender staffing would only be appropriate when the standards outlined in her report are met. In our opinion, CSC has proven itself incapable of meeting those standards even in the short run.

As you are aware, Canada is a signatory to international! corrections that prohibit males from front line positions in women’s institutions. Recently, the Supreme Court has advised federal immigration officials to consider international conventions in government policy implementation. CSC should be guided by that advice. NAWL is certain that lega1 equality ana1ysis will support a bar against male guards working front line in women's prisons.

The reasons for not employing men as Primary Workers in female institutions is Well Chronicled in the work of the Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women and elsewhere. Amongst other concerns, the presence of male correctional sta8’in women’s facilities increases the likelihood of sexual harassment and abuse of women prisoners, is an invasion of privacy of women who are forced to conduct hygiene and use the toilet in their living quarters. It also reinforces a negative power dynamic set up when men have total control over women, in this case, women prisoners, many of whom had been sexually abused as girls and adults, often by males in authority over them Regardless of 1he gentleness displayed by individual men, "’power over" is implicit in the role of correctional officer, To think of being guarded by a man as a normalizing process for a woman runs counter to any kind of equality analysis or programming. The main emphasis of Creating Choices was the creation of an environment that would facilitate healing from past abuse.

Regarding screening of st4 NAWL believes that all workers, women or men - front line or not - staff or contract, in women’s correctional facilities should be screened and trained in accordance with the principles articulated in Creating Choices. They then should work under a very clear and firmly implemented sexual harassment policy.

It is appalling that CSC does not as yet have an explicit sexual harassment policy that clearly prohibits sexual harassment of inmates by staff: A sexual harassment policy is necessary and long overdue but must be carefully designed in order to be effective. One real challenge will be in constructing a credible mechanism that provides genuine access to redress for federally sentenced women. Any mechanism that would be trusted and used by prisoners would have to reside outside CSC authority Failing this, women will not feel safe in bringing complaints forward and once again we would find women not using the policy as they now hesitate to use the grievance process. Women outside of prison often cannot face the rigours of using sexual harassment policies for fear of not being believed. This Fear is magnified for women in prison who generally are stigmatized as "not credible" and who must depend on CSC staff for their daily survival needs.

Concerning your question on consent, there can be no consent for sexual relations between staff and female inmates.

There is a need for ongoing monitoring of cross-gender staffing until the CSC can make the necessary change to staffinng the front lines with women only. NAWL would recommend that in the short run the contract with Lajeunesse and Associates be kept in place to keep an independent eye on the safety and privacy needs of women in prison by the people who at this point have the greatest expertise in monitoring the situation.

The inability of the CSC to adhere to the philosophy of creating choices and to adhere to standards put forward by the Arbour Commission of inquiry during the trial period on cross gender staffing points to the need for a permanent, structural mechanism to assure federally sentenced women’s equality rights. NAWL urges CSC to adopt the national advisory committee model as recommended in Creating Choices. We further recommend that Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies provide leadership in determining membership and mandate of that advisory committee.

This safety and privacy needs of women are of utmost importance to federally sentenced women. NAWL urges CSC to move quickly to a women only front line staffing model in all facilities, to develop an explicit sexual harassment policy to protect women from sexual harassment by staff and to adopt the national advisory committee structure recommended in Creating Choices.

Should we be able to assist in any way, please give us a call.

Sincerely,

 

Bonnie Diamond

Executive Director

 

Union of Solicitor General Employees
PSAC
Syndicat des employé-e-s du Solliciteur général
AFPC

April 10, 2000
Ref: 710-2-1-1

Thérèse Lajeunesse
Cross Gender Monitoring Project
228 Kitson Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2K 0Z5

Dear Ms. Lajeunesse :

This is further to our meeting during which we discussed the interim recommendations in the second annua1 report of the « Cross Gender Monitoring Project ».

Recommendation 1

The USGE agrees with the recommendation that males remain a part of the staff of federal women’s facilities, The USGE supports the need for appropriate tr8ining. That there should be effective policies in place is necessary but such policies should not be discriminatory towards male employees.

We disagree that a quota be placed on the number of male Primary Workers. Instead additional indeterminate staff should be hired to ensure that male workers are treated fairly and equitably.

Recommendation 2

The USGE supports specialized on-going training courses to be given to all staff. The department has always been given the authority to develop staffing assessment tools for the competitive process.

We recommend that all positions be staffed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act and not contracts. The department would then be in a position to ensure that all staff is hired using appropriate assessment tools and given appropriate training.

Recommendation 3

We disagree that male Primary Workers should be restricted from night shifts. The only restrictions should be in compliance with the law. Depending on the number of male Primary Workers compared to female Primary Workers, there may be a requirement for the department to hire additional female workers.

Recommendation 4

We agree that full funding for training and staffing be protected, in accordance with the current imposed Conditions Employment for CXs we strongly recommend that each institution have a joint union/management committee to address training needs and that the department ensures that necessary resources for training are available.

Recommendation 5

We agree with the principle respecting privacy and respect. However, such actions cannot be at the detriment of ensuring the safety and security of staff, the public and offenders.

We continue to support the merit principle for staffing in all institutions including those for female offenders. This may require the department to hire additional Primary Workers resulting in a minimum number of female Primary Workers to ensure compliance with the law when developing rosters.

The USGE has concerns regarding the large amount of overtime required. This has been on going since the opening of the Institutions. Also, the numerous term appointments all lend to support the need t0 hire additional indeterminate primary Workers.

It is the USGE’s position that currently, there are appropriate redress mechanisms in place to address inmate complaints and grievances. There may be a need to improve existing procedures not develop new ones, In addition, the department and union already have policies dealing with harassment. Sexual relations between staff and female inmates would be contrary to the Code of Conduct.

There is a definite need for essential training for al) staff which should be funded and monitored at the national leve1 The work descriptions of Primary Workers should be amended to reflect the duties and responsibilities assigned by management and subsequently classified appropriately.

In conclusion, the USGE support both mate and female professional staff at the federally sentenced women’s institutions. Both male and female Primary Workers should be treated fairly and in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of Employment and future collective agreements. Should additional information or clarification is needed please do not hesitate to communicate with us further.

Yours truly,

Linda Davis
Senior Service Officer
LD/ml

cc : Nancy Stableford
National Executive (CSC)
Presidents of FSW Institutions
Service Officers
Lynn Ray

 

Canadian Human Rights Commission
Commission canadienne des droits de la personne
Policy and Planning Branch
Direction des politiques et de la planification

Ms. Thérèse Lajeunesse
Co-Monitor Cross Gender Monitoring Project
228 Kiten Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R2H OZS

Dear Ms. Lajeunesse:

This is in response to your request for the Canadian Human Rights Commission's views on the issues identified by you and your Co-Monitor, Christie Jefferson, for inclusion in the third and final report on the cross gender monitors.

Attached you will find the Commission's responses to the issues upon which you posed questions. If you have any questions or would like additional information about our positions, please feel free to contact the officer responsible for issues related to federally sentenced women, Donna Duvall. She can be reached by telephone at (613) 943-9094, by fax at (613) 995-1035 or by e-mail at donna.duvall@chrc.ccdp.ca

Yours sincerely,

P Alwyn Child Director

Attach.

344 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1
344, rue Slater, Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 1E1
ww.chrc-ccdo.ca

 

Responses to Questions of the Cross-Gender Monitors on their Second Annual Report

a) What are your views on out interim recommendations?

The Canadian Human Rights Commission would support the implementation of the following recommendations:

#2. All staff working in a FSW facility, including temporary arrangements should complete a screening and training process. The process must include the opportunity for institutional authorities to interview applicants in person.

#3. Male Primary Workers should be restricted from night shifts with the exception of static security where they would be assigned to general duties at night with no inmate contact.

#4. Measures are taken to ensure full funding is protected for screening and training initiatives. Additionally, funds must be set aside to cover the costs of proper screening and training o f all personnel working in these facilities

#5. When privacy curtains are down, staff should knock and wait for a reply that the woman is ready for the curtain to be pulled aside. Unless, there is reason to believe an emergency is occurring, this respect for a woman's privacy and dignity must be paramount.

The Commission is concerned, however, about the first recommendation dealing with the use of males in front-line positions which states:

#1. Males should remain a part of the staff of federal women's facilities, if and only if, all of the following are implemented:

  • recruitment, screening and training policies and procedures remain fully in place, with a return to the 10 day Women-Centred Training;
  • effective policies specifying appropriate roles for male Primary Workers are in place and enforced;
  • Federally Sentenced Women who feel very strongly that they are not able to deal with males in the living quarters at night are accommodated and respected in policy and practice; and
  • male Primary Workers do not exceed 20% of the Primary Worker staff complement.

 

The four conditions make sense, however, the report does not provide a mechanism for ensuring that the conditions continue to be met in policy and in practice. An external monitoring mechanism is crucial to ensuring all of the conditions are respected. Unless there is an external monitoring mechanism, the Commission would not support the recommendation to have ma1e front line workers in institutions for federally sentenced women.

b) How would you advise us to deal with the wishes of the FSW to have access to selected and trained male prison workers in the context of Canada's international human rights commitment which include prohibition of males in living quarters of female institutions?

Thc wishes of thc FSW to have access to selected and trained male Primary Workers need to be considered in the context of Canada's international human rights commitment, the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which includes the prohibition of males in the living quarters of female institutions.

It is important to note that the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (1957) are not mandatory. The intention of the rules, as stated in the preamble, is "to set out what is generally accepted as being good principle and practice in the treatment of prisoners and the management of institutions." It is acknowledged in the section of Preliminary Observations that there will be justifiable departures from the rules. In essence, Canada has committed to the spirit of the rules rather than to each specific provision. For example, the Arbour report acknowle6gcs that where males are allowed to work in front-line positions in female institutions, staffing protocols can be modified to restrict and limit the duties males are allowed to engage in and ensure that they are always paired with a female Primary Worker when patrolling living units-

According to the survey, the results of which are reported in the Second Report of the Cross- Gender Monitor, it has been found that a majority of FSW support the presence of male Primary Workers in female institutions. FSW indicated they could benefit from the presence of well-trained male PWs and that they want to relate to male Primary Workers, talk with them, and develop release plans with them. Although such wishes should be taken into consideration, it is also important to note that only those FSW who voluntarily came forward to speak to the monitors were interviewed. To draw conclusions about the view of all federally sentenced women requires a random survey of inmates to be conducted. Without such a survey, it is impossible to determine whether the views presented are representative of al1 federally sentenced women and, in particular, those whose abusive backgrounds make them particularly apprehensive about male front-line workers. It is essential to consider the problems and needs of those who do not wish to have male primary workers.

 

c) Do you think there are legitimate reasons to require that only women b employed as Primary Workers in female institutions? If yes, list all of the reasons that you think support suck a blanket requirement. If no, explain why you do not think such a requirement is necessary or appropriate.

There are legitimate reasons to require that only women be employed as Primary Workers in female institutions. Because an overwhelming majority of federally sentenced woman have experienced physical or sexual abuse, the presence of male guards in front-line positions may be traumatic for abuse survivors despite sensitivity and woman-centered training on the part of the guards. The 1990 Task Force Report an Federally Sentenced Women (FSW), Creating Choices, strongly suggested that men not be hired to fill front-line, Primary Worker, positions because the abuse suffered by FSW has been inflicted, for the most part, by men known to the FSW and often men in positions of trust or authority. It was generally felt that the presence of males would hinder or interfere with the healing process of abuse survivors and their efforts to cope with past histories of abuse.

  • Are there any alternatives to imposing a blanket requirement?

One alternative to imposing a blanket requirement is to allow for the presence of male Primary Workers but restrict them from specific duties, particularly those which make the women feel vulnerable or threatened, from certain areas such as the washrooms and shower areas and from being in the living units at night.

  • Why/why not? What alternatives are there?
  • Should the present exemption at the Edmonton Institution for Women to allow for female only PW's be considered? Why or why not?

Thc present exemption at the Edmonton Institution for Women shou1d con6nue to a1Iow for female only Primary Workers. The restriction makes available to FSW the option of an all female run institution which may be necessary or preferred by those still suffering from the affects of sexual or physical abuse by men. The Arbour report recommended that at least one federal institution be staffed with no men working in the living units. Justice Arbour stated,

". it is a simple point that some women offenders require shelter from fear, and they should be able to find it even while incarcerated. Furthermore, women prisoners should be detained in an environment not only safe from on-going abuse, but perceived as such. "

d) Do you think there are legitimate reasons for restricting the duties of male Primary Workers in institutions for FSW? What restrictions? Under what circumstances? What reasons would you support these restrictions?

Yes, there are legitimate reasons for restricting the duties of male Primary Workers in institutions far FSW. In particular, male Primary Workers must be restricted from the following activities:

  • strip searching;
  • taking urinanalysis samples;
  • patrolling living units at night; and
  • belonging to institutional emergency response teams.

 

Most significantly, such restrictions allow for the protection of the privacy and dignity of the women who, as abuse survivors, feel threatened or uncomfortable in the presence of males. As it was indicated in the Second Report of the Cross-Gender Monitors, a clear majority of FSW agreed males should be prohibited specifically from these activities. Given these findings, failure to maintain such restrictions would conflict with the wishes of most FSW.

It is noteworthy that the Corrections and Conditional Release Act already prohibits males from conducting strip searches and requires thc collector of urinanalysis samples to be of the same gender. Similarly, the National Protocol restricts males from entering cells or living units at night.

e) Should there be special screening mechanisms for hiring male Primary Workers, or any Primary Worker applying to work in a FSW facitity? What training beyond the regular training for Correctional Officers should be provided, if any?

Yes, it is necessary to have a special screening mechanism for applicants for the position of Primary Worker m institutions for FSW. This must be done to ensure appropriate knowledge of the special needs of the women and appropriate attitudes on the part of the staff. As was noted by Justice Arbour, staff selection should be "based on a demonstrated sensitivity to and awareness of women's issues; professionalism; and, an ability to work in a woman-centred environment."

In terms of training, Justice Arbour noted the importance of the ongoing training of new- recruits. It would also be helpful to provide regular refresher courses for Correctional Officers, to ensure they are up to date on current policies and developments relevant to their work.

f) How can the issues and needs of women who do not want male Primary Workers in their living units be accommodated?

Currently, women who do not want male Primary Workers in their living units have the option of serving their sentences at the Edmonton Institution far Women or Burnaby Correctional Centre. However, given that two-thirds of FSW are mothers, it may be unreasonable to expect that some women would opt to serve their sentences away from their children, families, and support networks. One of the intentions of opening the five regional facilities was to reduce the distance between FSW and their families to provide for more visits. CSC may, therefore, want to consider, at a minimum, prohibiting male Primary Workers in one of the facilities in Ontario or Quebec to accommodate those women who can not be expected to move to Alberta or British Columbia to serve their sentences in an all female institution.

g) Does the present approach to dea1ing with complaints and grievances by Federally Sentenced Women of sexual misconduct by n-inmates work? If not, what changes in policy, regulations or legislation would you recommend?

From the Second Annual Monitors Report, it is apparent that the current informal approach to dealing with FSW's complaints of sexual misconduct by non-inmates does not work. Inmates generally do not trust the mechanism and are apprehensive about using it, fearing reprisal and lack o f objectivity on the part of CSC staff.

Depending on the nature of sexual misconduct, it is necessary to look at options available to the women should they decide to make a formal complaint. FSW should be made aware of the options including the right to file a sexual harassment complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In cases of sexual assault, it is inappropriate to encourage the use of direct conflict resolution between the parties. Unless a victim chooses another course of action, sexual assault allegations should be referred to the police. In the event that the victim does not desire police intervention, the case should referred to external investigation. In either instance, such cases should be brought to the immediate attention of the Deputy Commissioner for Women.

It is in the Commission's opinion that the current approach to dealing with complaint of sexual misconduct by non-inmates may be strengthened by empowering thc Correctional Investigator to enforce its findings and recommendations and to report directly to Parliament. Furthermore, the Commission supports the Yalden repast's recommendation that, for the few cases in which the Correctional Investigator is unable to obtain a resolution compatible with the Correctional Service's human rights obligations, that a process be established by which the matter can be submitted to adjudication through a tribunal or the courts.

h) Should there be a formal sexual harassment policy evoking such behavior against inmates? If yes, should a sexual harassment policy prohibiting such behavior against FSW by non-inmates be a separate policy, part of a broader sexual harassment policy (re staff/staff, staff/inmate,), or part of an overall harassment policy (e.g. racial, sexual etc)?

Yes, a formal harassment policy covering sexual misconduct against inmates should be in place. As is stated in the Arbour report,

''Despite the existence of formal mechanisms for behavioural accountability,... there are still concerns about the need for explicit and effective sexual harassment policies for correctional staff to govern their interaction not only with other staff but also with other inmates. "

 

In its 1999 Annual Report, the Canadian Human Rights Commission indicated its disappointment over the fact that CSC has not yet comp1ied with Justice Arbour's recommendation to extend its staff harassment policy to inmates. Given that 118 out of 127 staff and inmates indicated the need for a specific sexual harassment policy, such a policy should be developed and implemented immediately.

In terms of how the policy should be set up, whether separate from or part of a broader sexual harassment policy, CSC is in the best position to determine which would be most effective. The Commission's main concern is that an effective policy and procedures are in place. It should be clear to staff and inmates that harassment, not only on the basis of sex but also on the basis of race, religion, colour, national or ethnic origin, age, marital or family status, disability and sexual orientation will not be tolerated. It is also essential to make it clear that inmate/inmate harassment is just as unacceptable as staff/inmate or inmate/staff harassment.

Given that harassment may take the form of inmate/staff, staff/inmate, inmate/inmate, and staff/staff the CSC may find it simpler to have one policy which clearly covers all types of harassment in all types of situations. Maxwell Yalden recommended in 1997 that CSC establish one such comprehensive policy.

  • Can sexual relations between staff and female inmates ever be ''consensual''?

 

Women offenders typically have a unique history of physical and sexual abuse. It has been found that abused women are more vulnerable to abuse by persons in authority. The prison provides for an environment where the imbalance of the gender rules between men and women is exacerbated. Given these facts, coupled with the knowledge that women offenders are reluctant to report sexual abuse, it is impossible to know whether sexual relations between staff and inmates are consensual or not. As such, a clear policy shou1d be in p1acc stating staff inmate relations are not acceptable and that the CSC will impose sanctions on staff who violate this policy.

i) How can a national approach recognize and/or incorporate the unique right to self- government of First Nations, including, operations of aboriginal facilities?

This question is very broad and can not be answered by the Commission at this time. However, there are a number of urgent issues relating to federally sentenced aboriginal women which merit immediate attention, including;

  • the need for correctional staff to be more reflective of the inmate population;
  • the need to ensure that all aboriginal inmates who so desire, have access to an aboriginal healing lodge; and
  • the need to address the over-representation of aboriginal woman in the population of federally sentenced women;
  • and the disproportionate number of aboriginal women inmates classified as maximum security.

 

j) As our mandate will end with our Annual Report, what mechanisms should be considered, if any, for longer term or ongoing monitoring?

As noted in the first question, in order to ensure that CSC attends to such issues in the future and to ensure that the four conditions enumerated in recommendation one are being met in policy and in practice, it is essential to appoint an external monitor to provide yearly compliance reports.

The reports of the Cross-Gender Monitors have been instrumental in identifying and providing insight into general issues affecting federally sentenced women. The reports have also shed light on specific issues such as the inadequacies of the current approach to complaints of sexual misconduct.

Even if the recommendation of the Cross-Gender Monitor is that there should be no males in front line positions, it would be helpful to continue to have an external review function with yearly reports prepared based on site visits and consultations with stakeholders. An independent monitor could be particularly helpful with the addition of secure units and Structural Living Environment houses at the regional facilities.

Feb. 11, 2000

Dear «Stakeholder»,

Re: Second Annual Report - Cross Gender Monitoring Project

As you may recall, the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at The Prison for Women in Kingston (Arbour Report) recommended that the impact of Correctional Service of Canada's (CSC) decision's to allow male front line workers in institutions housing Federally Sentenced Women be assessed through independent Monitors. Accordingly, in late 1997, CSC instituted a public tendering process to contract with an arm's length Monitor to assess the systemic impact of cross gender staffing, identify operational and policy issues and forward appropriate recommendations to the Deputy Commissioner, Women Offender Unit, Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

Therese Lajeunesse and Christie Jefferson were contracted as Co-Monitors through the consulting firm Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates Ltd. We are writing to bring you up to date on our activities and to invite you to submit your views and advice to us for consideration in our final report.

Our first report for the period of January 1,1998 to April 1,1998 widely canvassed the issues surrounding cross gender staffing. We heard repeatedly that while we should focus on male front line workers in Federally Sentenced Women's (FSW) facilities, we should broaden our scope to address sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and sexual assault of Federally Sentenced Women by any non-inmate. Our first report recommended the development of a sexual harassment policy with respect to sexual harassment of female inmates by staff.

Our Second Annual Report, which was just released on Feb. 2, 2000, covers the period of April 1998 to April 1999. The report analyzes what we learned from 258 open-ended interviews in the four regional facilities for federally sentenced women, the Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge, three maximum security units for women housed in male penitentiaries, the Prison for Women, the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon, and the Burnaby Correctional Center for Women. We heard clearly from the vast majority of FSW that they wanted well selected and trained male Primary Workers to continue working as front line workers. There was a wide range of views on what restrictions should be placed on the male Primary Workers. Of particular note, a significant minority of women did not want males entering their living units, especially at night.

We heard that the vast majority of staff, both men and women, support the continuation of the Cross Gender National Operating Protocol on Front Line Staffing (CSC's cross-gender policy), although concerns were expressed about employment related issues and fairness perceptions.

Various national organizations were consulted, including the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), the National Association of Women and the Law (NAWL), the Correctional Investigator's Office and the Canadian Human Rights Commission. These organizations raised a number of critical issues, such as the need for Canada to live up to her international obligations to prohibit males from staffing female institutions as front line workers. In addition, we were asked to consider the increased risk of sexual misconduct and sexual assault against FSW posed by the ongoing presence of men in front line positions.

The Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE), the union representing the prison workers, also raised serious issues, including the position that fairness and equity required that male staff in female institutions should be allowed to do what female staff in male institutions are allowed to do.

Our second report contains a number of interim recommendations. We framed them as "interim" given the complexity of the issues and seemingly contradictory human rights concerns.

We are now at the end of our third and final year as Monitors and will submit our final report in May or June of 2000. Consequently, we are anxious to receive input, through formal written submissions, on a number of issues identified in the report and summarized as follows:

a) What are your views on our interim recommendations?

b) How would you advise us to deal with the wishes of the FSW to have access to selected and trained male prison workers in the context of Canada's international human rights commitment which include prohibition of males in living quarters of female institutions?

c) Do you think there are legitimate reasons to require that only women be employed as Primary Workers in female institutions? If yes, list all of the reasons that you think support such a blanket requirement. If no, explain why you do not think such a requirement is necessary or appropriate.

  • Are there any reasonable alternatives to imposing a blanket requirement?
  • Why/ why not? What alternatives are there?
  • Should the present exemption at the Edmonton Institution for Women to allow
  • for female only PW's be continued? Why or why not?

d) Do you think there are legitimate reasons for restricting the duties of male Primary Workers in institutions for FSW? What restrictions? Under what circumstances? What reasons would support these restrictions?

e) Should there be special screening mechanisms for hiring male Primary Workers, or any Primary Worker applying to work in a FSW facility? What training beyond the regular training for Correctional Officers should be provided, if any?

f) How can the issues and needs of women who do not want male Primary Workers in their living units be accommodated?

g) Does the present approach to dealing with complaints and grievances by Federally Sentenced Women of sexual misconduct by non-inmates work? If not, what changes in policy, regulations or legislation would you recommend?

h) Should there be a formal sexual harassment policy covering such behaviour against inmates? If yes, should a sexual harassment policy prohibiting such behavior against FSW by non-inmates be a separate policy, part of a broader sexual harassment policy (re staff/staff, staff/inmate, inmate/inmate), or part of an overall harassment policy (e.g. racial, sexual etc)?

    Can sexual relations between staff and female inmates ever be "consensual"?

i) How can a national approach recognize and/or incorporate the unique right to self-government of First Nations, including, operations of aboriginal facilities?

j) As our mandate will end with our third Annual Report, what mechanisms should be considered, if any, for longer term or ongoing monitoring?

Given the short time remaining in our mandate, we would appreciate your comments by March 15, 2000 in order to allow us to fully consider your submission.

Submissions may be sent to:

Thérèse Lajeunesse
Cross Gender Monitoring Project
228 Kitson St.
Winnipeg, Mb
R2H 0Z5
Telephone: (204) 233-8214
Fax: (204) 237-0548

E-mail: tlajeunesse@home.com

We look forward to hearing from you and we thank you for you assistance.

Sincerely,

Thérèse Lajeunesse
Cross Gender Monitoring Project

 

Organization

Name

Address

Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine, National Chief
(w) 613 241-6789
(f) 241-5806
1 Nicholas Street, 11th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 7B7
Association des Services de Réhabilitation Sociale du Québec Inc. Yves Proteau, Président
(w) 514 521-3733
(f) 514 521-3753
2000 est, boul. St. Joseph
2ième étage
Montréal (Québec)
H2H 1E4
Black Inmates and Friends Assembly (BIFA) Bev Folkes, Executive Director
(w) 416 652 3131
(f) 416 652 5381
2518 Eglinton Avenue West
Toronto, Ontario
M6M 1T1
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies Kim Pate, Executive Director
(w)613 238-2422
(f) 613 232-7130
151 Slater Street, Suite 701
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5H3
Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA): Women's Issues Committee Elizabeth White, Chairperson
(w) 233-5170
(f) 233-5122
383 Parkdale Ave.
Suite 304
Ottawa, Ont.
K1X 4R4
Church Council on Justice and Corrections Michael Maher, President
(w) 613 563-1688
(f) 613 237-6129
507 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1Z5

Organization

Name

Address

Citizen's Advisory Committees to the CSC Ron Warder, National Chairperson
(w) 250 478-9321
5129 Sandgate Road
Victoria, British Columbia
V9C 3Z2
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Lorraine Rochon,
Chief of Staff
(w) 613 747-6022
(f) 613 747 8834
867 St. Laurent Blvd.
Ottawa, Ontario
K1K 3B1
Congress of Black Women of Canada Dr. Byrl Mae Jones
(h) 204 269-8719
(f) 204 774-4134
84 Purdue Bay
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3T 3C7
Métis National Council of Women Sheila Genaille, President
(w) 567-4287
(f) 567-9644
201 McLeod St.
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 0Z9
National Action Committee on the Status of Women

Joan Grant-Cummings, President
(w) 416 932-1718
(f) 416 932-0646

234 Eglinton Avenue East,
Suite 203
Toronto, Ont.
M4P 1K5
National Association of Women and the Law

Bonnie Diamond, Executive Director
(w) 613 241-7570
(f) 613 241-4657

1 Nicholas Street, Suite 604
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 7B7
National Native Sisterhood Bev Johnston, President
(h) 306 763-6421
401 River St. West
Apt. 108
Prince Albert, Saskatchewan
S6V 2Z4
National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada Lucya Spencer, President 219 Argyle Avenue, Suite 225
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 2H4
Native Women's Association of Canada

Marilyn Buffalo, President
(w) 613 722-3033
(f) 613 722-7687

9 Melrose Avenue
Ottawa, Ontario
K1Y 1T8
Organization

Name

Address
Paukatuutit Inuit Women's Association Veronica Dewar, President
(w) 613 238-3977
(f) 613 238-1787
192 Bank Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1W8
Standing Committee on Women's Spirituality Eileen Henderson, Chairperson
(w) 905-844-6272
(f) 905-844-6123
249 Willowridge Court
Oakville, Ontario
L6L 5J1
St Leonard's Society of Canada Ms. Rebecca Howse, President
(w) 416
(f) 416 920-5885
605-920 Yonge St.
Toronto, Ontario
M4N 3C7
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) Nancy Radclyffe, Executive Director
(416) 595-7170
(416) 595-7191
415 Yonge Street, Suite 1800
Toronto, Ontario
M5B 2E7
Strength in Sisterhood (SIS) Society Kris Lyons, présidente
(trav.) 604 438-0487
2-3035 East 56th Avenue
Vancouver (Colombie-Britannique)
V58 2A2
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF) Nancy Radclyffe, directrice générale
(416) 595-7170
(416) 595-7191
415, rue Yonge, bureau 1800
Toronto (Ontario)
M5B 2E7

 

RESPONSE TO CROSS-GENDER CO-MONITORS SECOND ANNUAL REPORT

A)What are your views on our interim recommendations?

Recommendation No. 1

.... males remain a part of the staff of federal women’s facilities, if an only if, all of the following are implemented....

Recommendation No. 2

".... It is important to screen and train other people who work in the institutions housing Federally Sentenced Women..."

Recommendation No. 3

".... Male primary workers should be restricted from night shifts with the exception of static security where they would be assigned to general duties at night with no inmate contact..."

We will start by reiterating our position, as documented in our recommendations to the Arbour Inquiry into the Incidents at Prison for Women, that men not be employed in front line positions at women’s prisons.

This remains our position. Therefore, our responses to your recommendations and questions are based on the premise that the Correctional Service of Canada might continue to employ some men as Primary Workers in women’s institutions and, if they do, we must tailor our response to that reality.

Recommendations 1 and 3

CSC’s National Operating Protocol for cross-gender staffing only partially fulfils the Arbour Report Recommendations.

Arbour Recommendation 5(b)(i) stated that "Men staff must be paired with women staff for all patrols/entries into the house or any room in a house after curfew until at least 6 a.m. each day...". Arbour Recommendation 5(b)(ii) states male staff should not patrol living units at night and we still fully support these and Justice Arbour’s other recommendations.

We have been advised by a number of women that, even when pairing occurs, the male/female team often splits up in houses to do the counts. Given that this is occurring during the time frame for completion of this cross-gender study, we can only anticipate the situation will continue or worsen once your study is completed. (We also note CSC’s recap of your interim recommendation no. 1 does not include the phrase "if and only if’. )

We fully support your recommendation that all staff persons working in a FSW facility (or Unit) should complete a screening and training process to ensure appropriate attitudes, knowledge and experiences.

Recommendation 2

Our position is that the Sexual Harassment Policy should be extended to include inmates but that the Policy must be more explicitly drafted to address issues such as Service’s absolute intolerance for any inappropriate behaviour between staff and inmates. As well, it must state the principle that the protection of the person complaining, both during the investigation and afterward, will be a paramount consideration. It must include appropriate sanctions that will follow a finding of inappropriate behaviour (including discipline and/or termination of employment of officers and contract people).

In the past year or so, we have been made painfully aware of the inadequacies of CSC’s ability to properly investigate and report on allegations of sexual misconduct through and at the expense of a woman offender who reported sexual misconduct. We have also learned that negative and destructive stereotypical attitudes still exist about the very nature of sexual abuse/ assault/harassment. This is true for women in the community but it is quite exacerbated for women who live in conditions where the weight of the state lies behind those in positions of power over them. If, as we know, women in the community often do not report incidents of sexual assault because of the repercussions, we can only imagine the fears of incarcerated women who have been abused or assaulted.

Unless the sexual harassment policy specifically lays out or refers specifically to the protocols are to be followed; who conducts the investigations, etc; and what the sanctions are for engaging in sexually inappropriate behaviour, women will continue to be wary of reporting incidents.

While we respect the women’s views that appropriately trained male staff have the potential to be beneficial for the women, we are aware that the type, quantity and quality of training has already been eroded significantly from the training originally offered to the first male Primary Workers. Unfortunately, our experience indicates this erosion of training will likely not improve but will worsen over time.

Madame Justice Arbour also recommended "refresher" programs specially designed to keep alive the correctional philosophy, which inspired Creating Choices, and it is our opinion that this should be an integral part of male employment in women’s institutions.

As wel1, the issue of lateral transfers occurring in women’s institutions is of great concern unless those wishing to "transfer in" undergo the same screening and training as new hirees.

B) How would you advise us to deal with the wishes of the FSW to have access to selected and trained male prison workers in the context of Canada’s international human rights commitment which includes the prohibition of males in living quarters of female institutions?

In order to respect the women’s wishes, we suggest that appropriately trained males could be used to give programs to the women (under well-controlled conditions). In this way, the women could be exposed to appropriate, professional male role models but avoid the problems inherent in allowing males to file Primary Worker positions.

CSC’s current National Operating Protocol for front-line staffing does not conform to the United Nations’ Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners on the issues of cross-gender staffing. The Rules state, at 53(2) that no male member of the staff shall enter the part of the institution set aside for women unless accompanied by a woman officer; and at 53(3) that Women prisoners shall be attended and supervised only by women officers. This does not preclude male members of the staff, particularly doctors, teachers, Parole Officers, Mental Health Workers and program facilitators from carrying out their professional duties in institutions or parts of institutions set aside for women.

We continue to oppose males in the living quarters of female institutions because of the potential for sexual harassment or misconduct.

C) Do you think there are legitimate reasons to require that only women be employed as Primary Workers in female institutions?

Yes.

A significant number of incarcerated women have histories of physical, emotional and sexual abuse/assault at the hands of men. For many of these women, they

need to be have a physical and emotional "safe place" to deal with the issues that arise from such abuse and this cannot be accomplished in an environment where men hold positions of power over them.

As detailed above, having males as Primary Workers increases the potential for abuse.

Even for women who have not experienced abuse, there exists the potential that their right to privacy and security of the person, basic human rights, will be compromised.

If men continue to be Primary Workers in some institutions, the present exception at EIFW where only females are Primary Workers should be continued. We support Justice Arbour’s recommendation 5(a) that at least one federal institution be staffed with no men working in the living units...

D) Do you think there are legitimate reasons for restricting the duties of male Primary Workers in institutions for FSW?

Yes. For the reasons cited above.

If men continue to be employed as Primary Workers, they should not be allowed to enter living units at any time, for any reason without an accompanying female PW. They should not be allowed in living units at night, under any circumstances.

E) Should there be special screening mechanisms for hiring males?

Yes. Screening interviews should be compulsory for front line staff and any other males that are hired as program facilitators or for any other position, whether permanent or contract. As well, the training must be women centered and delivered by appropriately qualified women trainers.

F) How can the issues and needs of women who do not want male Primary Workers in their living units be accommodated?

It cannot unless, as Justice Arbour recommended, at least one institution is staffed by only women. Even this compromise will entail sacrifice on the part of any woman who does not originate from that area of the Country. We can only imagine the emotional dilemma of a woman from Ontario who has to choose

between seeing her children or moving to another part of the country to reside in an environment where she can heal.

G) Does the present approach to dealing with complaints and grievances by Federally Sentenced Women of sexual misconduct by non-inmates work?

We are not aware of any instance when a woman used the formal Complaint and Grievance Procedure to deal with these issues. Our experience has been that women are less likely to use the procedure to address other issues. Madam Justice Arbour recommended that complaints and grievances procedures be amended to provide that all second level grievances arising from an institution for women be directed to the Deputy Commissioner for Women, rather than to the Regional level. Women might have accessed the current procedures more had CSC accepted and implemented this recommendation.

H) Should there be a formal sexual harassment policy covering such behaviour against inmates?

It is our opinion that such a policy must involve an independent, outside review committee to examine allegations of sexual harassment. This committee must include individuals who are knowledgeable in women’s issues, especially the dynamics of sexual abuse, and who have received cultural sensitivity training. Otherwise, we would be concerned that staff allegations would be seen as more credible than allegations made by the women.

Can sexual relations between staff and female inmates ever by "consensual"?

No. We are of the opinion that there can never be consensual sexual contact between women prisoners and male staff. Staff hold positions of power over the women and any type of sexual relationship is a serious breach of the principles of trust. These principles are recognized in law and no type of explanation or justification can override them.

I) How can a national approach recognize and/or incorporate the unique right to self-government of First Nations, including operations of aboriginal facilities?

If First Nations recover the right to self-government, they will decide how to approach Justice and Corrections issues.

Until then, CSC can continue to open facilities with aboriginal based approaches to healing/rehabilitation such as Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge on the Neekaneet

Reserve in Saskatchewan. When such facilities are up and running, they could then be turned over to the local Reserve(s) to be managed by them.

Other avenues, such as day parole and other facilities could be located on Reserves under the management of the local people through Section 81/84 CCRA agreements.

Real change needs to occur in the existing facilities to attitudes, staff sensitivity training, programs, expectations, release plans, etc. that doesn’t just tolerate but recognizes and embraces the unique cultural, linguistic and social characteristics of Aboriginal peoples.

J) What mechanisms should be considered, if any for longer term or ongoing monitoring?

CSC should contract with an outside agency to do yearly compliance audits. There should be sanctions set out for any institution that fails to meet the standard that will be set out in the policy.

CAEFS
Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
701-181 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1P 5H3
Telephone; (813) 298-Z4ZZ
Facsimile: (61’3) 232-7130

April 4, 2000

Ms. Therese Lajeunesse and
Ms. Chris1ie Jefferson
Therese Lajeunesse and Associates Ltd
228 Kitson Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H OZS

Dear Christie and Thérèse:

Re: Your Second Annual Report - Cross Gender Monitoring Project

Further to your letter and our discussions, I am writing, both to outline the position of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies with respect to Cross-Gender Staffing in general, as we11 as to attempt to answer your speci6c questions. 1 will attempt to do this by responding to the questions you have outlined.

a) What are your views on the interim recommendations?

While we recognize that you were attempting to balance the various views that you have heard over the course of your tenure as Cross-Gender Monitors, we do not believe that there is a significant likelihood that thc recommendations contained in your second report will be implemented in their entirety Indeed, as you have already witnessed yourselves, when the Correctional Service of Canada released the report, reference was made to the interim recommendations, without a clear delineation of thc significance of your vary clear caveats to the overall recommendation that men could be employed as primary workers in the regional prisons.

It has been the experience of CAEFS and others who work closely with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) that such a recommendation would very quickly be watered down and summed up as one that favours Cross-Gender staffing. In short, it is our view that in all likelihood the conditions that you have delineated foe Cross-Gender staffing would disappear once your monitoring ceased.

In terms of the particular recommendations outlined in your Second Annual Report, we do not agree with recommendation number one, as it remains the view of CAEFS that men should not work on the front line in prisons for women. CAEFS does agree, however, with the application of the four conditions you have outlined in recommendation 4 l for any/all men who are hired to work in women’s prisons.

CAEFS supports recommendation number in it’s entirety. In addition, CAEFS recommends that a position be created by CSC whereby an external monitor is funded to continue to follow the progress of the CSC with respect to cross-gender staffing and other recommendations made by Madam Justice Arbour as a result of the Commission of 1nquiry Into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston The nced for such monitoriog has been clearly articulated by Madam Justice

Arbour, the Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women as well as CAEFS and other national women's groups

Given our position with respect to recommendation number one, CALFS does not support recommendation number three, as we do not support the continuation of Cross-Gender staffing at the primary worker level

With respect to recommendation number four, although we do not support recommendations numbers one and three, we do support the need to continue screening, training, and ongoing professional development approaches for all staff in the women’s prisons.

With respect to recommendation number live, CAEFS wholeheartedly supports this recommendation.

b) How would you advise us to deal with the wishes of the federally sentenced women to have access to selected and trained male prison workers in the context of Canada's international human rights commitment which include prohibition of males in living quarters of female institutions

As we have discussed, the views of federally sentenced women differ widely on this point, Following your initial queries of federally sentenced women regarding their expressed desire to have men remain as primary workers within the institutions, CAEFS undertook a more rigorous series of discussions with women in the regional prisons across Canada.

The results of these discussions remain, that federally sentenced women are unequivoca1 in their desire not to have men involved in what has long been recognized as "front line" work within the prison system: namely, strip searches, bed checks, and other invasive security procedures. Indeed, the Correctional Service of Canada appears to have agreed with Madam Justice Arbour and others on this point, in that their policies prohibit men from engaging in these procedures. It is our view, therefore, that the male staff who are working as primary workers are, in fact, not fulfilling the whole range of responsibilities associated with that position.

CAEFS is firmly of the view that Canada must comply with its international obligations and must therefore adhere to the United Nations Minimum Standard Roles on the Treatment of Prisoners We understand and respect the positions of some women prisoners that they enjoy meeting with and working with male staff within the regional prisons. Given the obvious and clear power relationship that exist between male staff and female prisoners, however, we reject the notion that this relationship should be considered a normalizing one for women.

We are also clear that there are a number of federally sentenced women who do not wish to work with male staff under any circumstances. Given this reality, our view remains that ma1e staff should d not be working on the front lines with women prisoners. Male staff can and have worked as contract workers, such as teachers, psychologists, employment supervisors, et cetera. CAEFS, as an organization, has not taken a position in opposition to men working in these kinds of positions.

c) Do you think there are legitimate reasons to require that only women be employed as Primary workers in female institutions. If yes, list all of the reasons that you support such a blanket requirement. If no, explain why you do not think such a requirement’ is necessary or appropriate.

The position of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies is very clearly that there are legitimate reasons to require that only women be employed as primary workers in women’s prisons. It is CAEFS’ view that the UN Minimum Standard Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners represent a minimum standard to which Canada must comply. It is also the view of CAEFS that the rationale of the Correctional Service of’Canada that placing man in these positions provides a normative environment for women in prison is ridiculous in the extreme.

It has long been recognized that, given the long historics of physical and/or sexual abuse, as well as the reality that women prisoners are subject to conditions of confinement that do not represent community norms or standards of living prior to or upon their release from incarceration As such, the norma1izing arguments fail to take into account the severe limitations on freedom that occasion a prison sentence and plus the absence of opportunities for women who are at risk to access formal assistance. Barring other economic, social and fear limitations, women in the community who are not subject to judicial sanction are able to choose whether to stay or 1eave a battering or abusive relationship.

In addition, we feel that there is already evidence that the stringent training and selection criteria which were initially employed by the Correctional Service of Canada have not been continued with the same rigour as they were when men were first being hired in the regional prisons Indeed, we are hearing from staff, as well as from women prisoners, that some of the men who havoc most recently been hired to work in the prisons are not well suited to their positions and that they have clearly not undergone the same screening and selection process as those who were hired within the first year or two of the operations of the new prisons.

For the reasons articulated above, it is the view of CAEFS that there is not a reasonable alternative to imposing a blanket requirement that no men work on the front lines with women prisoners. Consequently, it is our view that the exemption which currently exists for the Edmonton Institution for Women should be expanded and become the policy norm for all women’s prisons.

d) Do you think there are legitimate reasons for restricting the duties for male Primary Workers in institutions for federally sentenced women? What restrictions? Under what circumstances? What reasons would support these restrictions?

As we have articulated above, CAEFS believes there are indeed legitimate reasons for restricting the duties of male workers in women’s prisons. 1n fact, the affirmative action provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms permits, and Canada’s International obligations require such restrictions. Further more, it is the contention of CAEFS that the current restriction of duties for men who work as Primary Workers reveal that CSC is implicitly agreeing with the position taken by CAEFS. By limiting the responsibilities of male Primary Workers to non-invasive security practices, CSC has changed the job description for men and disproportionately created a situation where women Primary Workers have to perform all invasive security procedures.

It is our view, that this situation disproportionately disadvantages women Primary Workers and results in a significant difference in both the nature of the work and the manner in which women prisoners regard the different genders of staff who are referred to as "Primary Workers". Those staff; in this case the women who have the responsibility of counselling and supporting women, also have the obligation to perform such security duties as stripping and searching prisoners.

Given the reality that most prisoners, especially women who have endured histories of physica1 and/or sexual abuse, describe strip searches as akin to being sexually assaulted, and they frequently experience flash backs to previous abuse in such circumstances, it should come as no surprise that women prefer to work with men who cannot subject them to such degradation. Moreover, as we have discussed, some of the men who were initially hired by CSC to fill the primary worker positions are very sensitive, warm, kind men.

These men have the privileged position of utilizing their skills to benefit the women, women primary workers, on the other hand, frequently complain that they arc custodians alone, and that they are not able to utilize their ski1ls to assist the women because they are expected to do what one worker described as the "dirty work". Some of the sta6 have worked for years with women, as rape crisis and transition house Counsellors, social workers, Elizabeth Fry service providers, et cetera. It is a tragic and outrageous irony that such staff are not being permitted to utilize their skills fully to assist women as a result of the presence of male co-workers

e) Should there be special screening mechanisms for hiring male Primary Worker's. or any Primary worker applying to work in a FSW facility? What training beyond the regular training for Correctional Officers should be provided, if any?

Given our position against having men on the front line m women’s prisons, I will restrict this response to the latter part of the question. It is CAEFS’ view that all staff should be adequately screened and trained prior to working with women prisoners Moreover, we support. the training model that was developed by Aboriginal women and implemented with and for the first set of staff who worked at the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. We believe that all CSC staff who work with women prisoners would and undoubtedly benefit from participation in such a training program.

As Madam Justice Arbour and the CSC’s own Task Force on Segregation revealed most recently, too many staff violate prisoners’ rights and entitlements out of ignorance not malice. As such. we believe that all staff should receive initial and ongoing professional training regarding relevant legislation and policy, particularly the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Canadian Human Rights Code and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, appropriate interpersonal communication skills, personal relationships and conflict resolution skills.

J) How can the issues and needs of women who do not want male Primary workers in their living units be accommodated.

Given our positions with respect to some of the earlier questions, I believe our position is dear. We do not feel that women should ever have to deal with male Primary Workers in their living units. Indeed, we believe that there is no question that the law supports the notion that women should not be forced to have men working in their living units. Moreover, we already know that there have been abuses of current protocols and policies regarding men entering the living units of women prisoners. We are also aware, as are you, that most women refuse to officially report these incidents for fear of reprisal. In addition, as 1 will discuss below, the very closed nature of CSC and the intransigence of CSC to address problems which arise internally, create significant concern for CAEFS regarding the ability of women to access assistance, much less justice, when such transgressions occur.

g) Does the present approach to dealing with complaints and grievances by federally sentenced women of sexual misconduct by non-inmates work? If not, what changes in policy, regulations or legislation would you recommend?

It is clear to those of us who work in and around thc women’s prisons, that women are increasingly fearful of making complaints or filing grievances regarding the behaviour of CSC staff within the prisons where they reside. Women describe overt and subtle threats as thc reasons for their reluctance to avail themselves of the legitimate and legislated complaint and grievance mechanisms available to them.

Typically, women who are currently housed in the regional prisons for women and/or the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge will indicate that they are fearfu1, based on clear or implied threats from staff’ that if they choose to pursue grievances, it may be an indication that they are either unhappy or otherwise not suited to the regional prisons A corollary of such comments, is the assertion/threat that if women are unhappy in the regional prisons or the Lodge, then they do have the option of moving to one of thc segregated maximum security units in the men’s prisons.

The converse is true for those women who are imprisoned in the segregated maximum security units in men’s prisons They typically report that the are discouraged from pursuing complaints and/or grievances by staff who remind them that in order to achieve medium security status and therefore the potential to apply for a transfer to one of the regional prisons or the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, women need to demonstrate that they wish to "get along" and demonstrate that their priority is to work towards their eventual integration into the regional prisons.

In addition, women frequently relate examples to us of situations where, when they have pursued a complaint or a grievance, they are generally confronted by the staff involved, and "encouraged" to engage in a "mediation" process rather than pursue the complaint or grievance. Women report feeling intense pressure to withdraw any written documentation at this stage. In addition, although we frequently report matters to the Office of the Correctional Investigator and they undertake thorough investigations, whom are also often discouraged from pursuing complaints with that office

It is our view, that rather than rely on the current complaint and grievance mechanisms alone, a monitoring mechanism is required to ensure that CSC adheres to legislative, regulatory and policy framework. Furthermore, we believe that the CCRA should be amended so as to require Correctional Service of Canada to act upon any documentation of breaches of thc law that are pointed out to it by the Office of the Correctional investigator. We also believe that the Office of the Correctional Investigator should report directly to Parliament, and that section 77(b) of the CY.’RA should be amended to require that the Solicitor General establish a National Women’s Advisory Committee, chaired by CA’EFS, to provide advice to CSC and monitor the provision of correction services to federally sentenced women in accordance with domestic law and international agreements

h) Should there be a forma1 sexual harassment policy covering such behaviour against inmates? If yes, should a sexual harassment policy prohibiting such behaviour against FSW by non-inmates be a separate policy, part of a broader sexual harassment policy (re: staff/,. staff/inmate, inmate/inmate, or part of an overall sexual harassment policy (e.g. racial, sexua1, etc.) ... Can sexual relations between staff and female inmates ever be "consensual"?

CAEFS is firmly of the view that there should indeed be a formal sexual harassment policy covering the behaviour of staff towards prisoners. In addition, CAEFS is of the view that while there is already a separate policy covering sexua1 harassment between staff, that there are generally particular fiduciary, trust and power relationships between prisoners and staff which necessitate specific harassment po1icies. CAEFS also believes that particular policies are required to address racism and harassment of racialized women, Finally, CAEFS is also firmly of the view that sexual relations between and staff and women prisoners can never be anything but coercive, as opposed to "consensual".

i) How can a national approach recognize and/or incorporate the unique right to self government of First Nations, including, operations of Aboriginal facilities?

CAEFS would recommend that you work with and support the recommendations of non-governmental Aboriginal women, particularly those who were involved with the Planning and Vision Circles and have thereby demonstrated leadership with the respect to the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. In addition, CAEFS would support the development of a self-defined monitoring and support mechanism for First Nations Aboriginal women prisoners.

j) As our mandate will end with our third Annua1 Report, what mechanisms shou1d be considered, if any, for longer term ongoing monitoring?

As we discussed in (g) above, CAEFS would strongly urge that you support the development of a national 1egisfated body, whose monitoring function would include follow-up to our report and recommendations. It is our view that such a monitoring function, cou1d be sub-divided into separate, but inter-related areas, ranging from such issues as community integration planning, institutional programming, sexual harassment and monitoring cross-gender staffing, complaint and grievance mechanisms, et cetera. In addition, as we have a1so mentioned above, we would recommend the addition of a legislative amendment whereby the responsibility for legal transgressions would fall squarely upon the Correctional Service of Canada. As we also identified above. CSC should be required to rectify al] legal transgressions identified by the Correctional Investigator, yourselves, et cetera.

We would also support the extension of your mandate, so that additional data regarding the results of cross-gender staffing in the women’s prisons would continue to be collected. Indeed, it is our view that your monitoring has not continued for a sufficient period of’ time to allow you to adequately assess the impact of men working on the front line in women’s prisons. Moreover, we are concerned that CSC may not be amenable to input regarding this issue once your mandate expires. Unfortunately, our experience following the Commission of Inquiry Into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston, has been thus. Similarly, it is as a result of their experiences of CSC intransigence that judges in the Proctor, Gentles and other cases have c1early documented the need for CSC to be monitored on an ongoing basis. To quote Madam Justice Arbour,

"In terms of general correctional issues, the facts of this inquiry have revealed a disturbing lack of commitment to the ideals of justice on the part of the Correctional Service. I firmly believe that increased judicial supervision is required. The two administration of the grievance process, In both areas, the deficiencies that the facts have revealed were serious and detrimental to prisoners in every respect, including in undermining their rehabilitative prospects. There is nothing to suggest that the Service is either willing or able to reform without judicial guidance and control. "

(page 198 of the Arbour Commission Report)

We trust that the foregoing wil1 assist you as you complete your mandate for the Correctional Service of Canada Please do not hesitate to contact us at your earliest convenience, should you have any questions or require any additional information regarding the foregoing. We wish you all the best to your comp1etioa of your mandate and support you in any expansion or extension of said mandate Thank you for your willingness to continue to consult with us and others who have an interest and expertise in the area of federally sentenced women.

Sincerely,

Kim Pate
Executive Director

c. CAEFS’ Membership