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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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THE CROSS GENDER MONITORING PROJECT

FIRST ANNUAL
JUNE 1998

 

Thérèse Lajeunesse
and
Christie Jefferson

 

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Background

3. Overall Approach and Methodology
a) Key Questions
b) Research and Monitoring Methods
c) Information to be Collected

4. Monitoring Activities
a) Meetings and Consultations
b) Review of Documentation
c) Site Visits

5. Emerging Issues and Questions

6. Phase Two Approach

7. Recommendations

Appendix A - Monitoring Project Team

Appendix B - Letter to Stakeholders

1. Introduction

The Cross-Gender Monitoring Project was initiated to implement a recommendation from the Arbour Commission of Inquiry's review of the incidents at Prison for Women beginning on April 22,1994, when an all male Institutional Emergency Response Team was called into the prison. A Request for Proposal was issued by the Correctional Service of Canada in November 1997 and the contract for Cross-Gender Monitoring was awarded to Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates Ltd, a bilingual consulting firm based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. Work on the Project began at the end of January 1998 with a series of introductory meetings in Ottawa and the development of a Workplan for the duration of this Project.

The objectives of the Monitoring Project can be summarized as follows:

• to assess the systematic impact of cross gender staffing, especially on inmates and staff, in federally sentenced women's facilities across the country;

• to identify operational and policy issues; and

• to forward appropriate recommendations to the Deputy Commissioner for Women, Correctional Service Canada.

The Cross-Gender Monitoring Project has been divided into three Phases. The first Phase, which ends with this report, was developmental and focused on initial site visits to five institutions, consultations with key individuals, the development of research tools, and concluded in June 1998 with this first Annual Report. The second and third Phases will be for each of the following fiscal years until March 31, 2000. An Annual Report, intended for public distribution, will be prepared at the end of each fiscal year.

The purpose of this first Annual Report is to provide a "blueprint" of how the Project will be operating for the next two years and to outline issues identified from our initial set of meetings and site visits. It is anticipated that the blueprint will evolve as the Project matures, and we hope that readers will feel free to comment and make suggestions to not only improve the Project but to also help capture all elements necessary to fulfill the Monitoring role in the best possible manner. Information about how to reach us is provided In Appendix A. This Appendix also provides information about the Monitoring Project Team.

The next section of this report presents background information on what has led to the need for this project, while Section 3 describes our methodology and approach. Section 4 summarizes activities undertaken since the commencement of this Project, and Section 5 outlines emerging issues. Section 6 traces the approach to be taken in the next year and the last Section outlines recommendations arising from Phase 1.

 

2. Background

In 1996, the Arbour Commission of Inquiry Into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston submitted its report to the Solicitor General of Canada and the Commissioner made a series of recommendations ranging from preventing the repetition of what occurred at the Prison for Women, to amending a wide range of practices including the grievance system, accountability, selection and training of staff, and the use of segregation, among others. The Commissioner recommended the appointment of an independent Monitor to review and report on the implementation of cross gender staffing at CSC's women's facilities. It was further recommended that the Monitor issue public Annual Reports including descriptions of any corrective measures taken by CSC to redress the problem(s) identified. Finally, it was recommended that the Deputy Commissioner for Women report to the Commissioner of Corrections after three (3) years on the desirability of continuing cross gender staffing.

The Arbour Commission's recommendations about monitoring are consistent with CSC's Mission Statement that sets out a blueprint for "an ideal of what we can become if we commit ourselves to its values and principles"1. The Mission Statement reads as follows:

The Correctional Service of Canada as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to the protection of society by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising safe, secure and humane control.2

The objectives of the Monitoring Project seek the same ends as the Mission Statement: ensuring that institutions offer a safe, secure and respectful environment for female inmates serving federal sentences.

Institutions for Federally Sentenced Women across Canada are located as follows:

• Nova Institution for Women, Truro, N.S.;

• Springhill Institution (for maximum security women), Springhill, N.S.;

• Joliette Institution, Joliette, Québec;

• Prison for Women, Kingston, Ont.;

• Grand Valley, Kitchener, Ont.;

• Saskatchewan Penitentiary (for maximum security women), Prince Albert, Sask.;

• Regional Psychiatric Centre, Saskatoon, Sask.;

• Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, Maple Creek, Sask.;

• Edmonton Institution for Women, Edmonton, Alta; and

• Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women, Burnaby, B.C. (A provincially-run all female staffed institution, it is included in our mandate as an example of this type of model).

Cross-gender staffing has been an issue of debate for quite some time. Until 1989, male staff were restricted from supervising women inmates in their living areas within the walls of Kingston Prison for Women. As a consequence of a successful complaint by a male correctional officer to this female-only staffing policy ( King v. Canada Correctional Service, unreported, July 5, 1989 [Public Service Commission Appeal Board]) , the Correctional Service of Canada altered its policy and allowed male Primary Workers to apply for and staff front-line positions in most institutions housing federal female inmates. CSC policies were further refined in the wake of a Supreme Court of Canada decision ( Conway v. Canada [1993] 2 S.C.R. 872) , in which a male inmate claimed invasion of privacy rights with regard to the CSC policy of allowing female Primary Workers in men's institutions. The Court upheld the employment of women as front-line workers in male prisons, but did not close the door to an argument under the equality provisions of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms concerning male front-line workers in female institutions. Special selection processes and training programs were instituted by CSC in 1993, along with policy directives in an attempt to address the concerns relating to privacy and safety expressed by women inmates and community groups.

The issue of male staff in female institutions was raised in the highly publicized events in the Prison for Women involving an all male emergency response team and the subsequent report by the Arbour Commission of Inquiry of April 1996. Madam Justice Arbour focused hearing time on, and considered submissions from concerned parties along with research on the issue of cross gender staffing. Her recommendations included the need for an exceptional form of monitoring the implementation of the cross-gender staffing policy in the living units of the new institutions, and on similar issues found in any institutions housing federally sentenced women.3

A number of concerned parties disagree with the policy of allowing male correctional staff to supervise female inmates, particularly in their living quarters. The Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS), the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), as well as some Federally Sentenced Women (FSW) have expressed grave concerns. Most of these concerns centre around the potential for sexual harassment and abuse of women prisoners by male correctional staff, as well as invasion of privacy of women engaged in intimate activities, such as bathing or using the toilet.

Despite reservations about male Primary Workers in female institutions, CSC has adopted a different viewpoint, one which centres on the ability of sound policies, training and adaptations to the physical environment to decrease the potential for abuse and increase the safety and security of inmates. This position is grounded in the following: legal decisions that preclude a 'female-only' approach to staffing institutions which house female inmates; a review of training to ensure that staff are sensitive to women's issues; the view that institutions should reflect the make-up of the community, including the presence of male staff; and, that positive male role models can assist women who have, historically, suffered at the hands of male aggressors.

It is our objective to, over the next few years, collect significant information about the issues outlined in this report, to further contribute to the debate about cross-gender staffing and to recommend a definitive approach to cross gender staffing in Federally Sentenced Women's facilities across Canada.

3. Overall Approach and Methodology

a) Key Questions

A number of key questions will be addressed in the course of the monitoring of Correctional Service of Canada's cross gender staffing policy and related issues. These will be addressed for each target institution and for a comparative analysis of the overall approach.

These questions include:

Policies and Protocols

•  How effective are regulations, policies and procedures in place addressing issues relating to sexual exploitation and privacy invasion?

•  What protocols, i.e. policy documents outlining an agreed step-by-step approach, exist that place restrictions on male Primary Workers and other male staff with regard to strip-searching, privacy, night duty, and other related issues? What protocols outline the procedures for female Primary Workers?

•  What are the protocols regarding professional staff and contract staff?

•  What protocols exist with law enforcement agencies, e.g. RCMP, in each community where a federal women's institution is located, in the event that a disturbance or riot would result in the need to request assistance from that law enforcement agency? Do such protocols take into account the need for sensitivity to women's issues while, at the same time, permitting an effective and expedient emergency response to an incident?

Physical Structure

•  How are the various federal institutions housing women designed with respect to privacy of women using the toilet, bathing, changing clothes? How are video monitors placed in segregation/assessment areas with respect to these issues?

•  Are these designs effective and appropriate from the viewpoint of i) inmates; and, ii) staff?

Staff Selection and Training

•  Is the selection process for staffing effective in selecting male and female staff who have a strong sensitivity to and awareness of women's issues, professionalism, and a demonstrated potential to work in a women-centred environment? Is this process being followed in an ongoing manner for all relevant institutions?

•  Does the training of staff make a difference in the effective and safe cross gender staffing of female institutions? If so, what approaches are being used? Is the 10 day women-centred training enough? If not, what approaches should be adopted? Is appropriate staff training on-going? How does the effectiveness of training for the Healing Lodge compare with the training correctional staff are undergoing at other facilities?

•  How consistent is training across the country?

Inmate Population

•  Does the composition of the institutional population make a significant difference? Does the proportion of male/female inmates or male/female staff make a difference in respondents' views of cross gender staffing, for example, where there are single sex institutions or co-located with men's institutions?

Grievance Procedures

•  How does the complaint and grievance system operate? Is it effective? Is it readily available to inmates and open in redressing harm and abuse of power? Do inmates feel comfortable using it? What is the inmate's understanding of the complaint and grievance system?

•  Are complaints about sexual harassment or abuse handled fairly, efficiently and sensitively, and what are the outcomes of reported incidents? What are the roles of the Correctional Investigator's Office and the Canadian Human Rights Commission in this regard?

Institutional Disciplinary Procedures

•  How does the disciplinary process operate? Are there cross-gender implications in how decisions are made or in how independent chairpersons are used?

Correctional Investigator

•  How is the role of the Correctional Investigator compatible with the role of Monitoring or interceding in difficult situations?

Inmates

•  How do federally sentenced women view the policy change allowing male Primary Workers? Do they feel that the safeguards recommended by women prisoners during the consultations by the Federally Sentenced Women Program Committee are being met?

•  Are women seeking to reside in particular institutions and to what extent is CSC able to take these preferences into account?

Staff

•  How do Primary Workers, program staff and administrators view the CSC policy on cross-gender staffing? What do they view as the strengths and weaknesses of the policy? Do they agree with its implementation? Do they feel their views have been adequately addressed? Do they feel their training is adequate?

 

b) Research and Monitoring Methods

Due to the complex nature of this issue, a multi-faceted research and monitoring approach is necessary to meet the objectives of the project. Our approach includes the following components:

•  review of CSC policies and programs;

•  review of documentation about cross gender staffing from other sources;

•  review of human resource policies re hiring and performance indicators, and training for all FSW institutions;

•  review of physical design of institutions housing federal women and inmate/staff perceptions;

•  file review of complaints by both staff and inmates;

•  inmate interviews;

•  staff interviews;

•  interviews with Wardens;

•  meetings with institutional Citizens' Advisory Groups;

•  interviews with Union representatives;

•  meetings with representatives of Native Women's Associations;

•  meetings with community service organizations;

•  representatives from law enforcement agencies; and others.

The methodology can therefore be grouped into three categories: i) review of documents; ii) review of the physical design of institutions; and, iii)interviews and meetings during site visits.

A list of documents consulted to date can be found in the Activities Section of this report. As for the physical design of institutions, a checklist of common points will be used to ensure uniformity in data collection. Interviews with individuals or with groups will be held depending on the nature of the meeting, and needs and requests of respondents (e.g. meetings with inmates' committees versus one-on-one interviews).

 

c) Information to be Collected

•  We anticipate that the methods described in the previous section will result in the gathering of the following information:

Regulations, policies and procedures:

•  Regulations, policies and procedures with respect to sexual harassment,

•  exploitation, and abuse, as well as strip searches and access to viewing of women while they are undressed;

•  Number of reported incidents related to cross gender staffing;

•  Number of unreported incidents, and, if possible, reason for lack of reporting;

•  Extent of awareness among inmates of grievance/complaint options; and,

•  Process for handling complaints and the outcomes of such complaints.

Inmates:

•  Number of women, type and length of sentence, province/territory of origin;

•  Single sex vs. mixed staff institutions and women institutions vs co-located institutions ( including proportion of female to male inmates and proportion of female and male staff, and types of inmate population); and,

•  Degree to which the wishes of female inmates for place of incarceration based on same gender versus cross-gender staffing are reflected.

Staff:

•  Amount and type of training (e.g. gender sensitivity, violence against women and children, dispute resolution, non-violent intervention, responding to emergencies/critical incidents, and cross cultural awareness);

•  Selection and experience of staff;

•  Selection, experience and training for contract staff;

•  Ongoing education for staff;

•  Counselling/support services for staff; and,

•  Breakdown by gender.

The Institutions:

•  Classification, design and size of facility;

•  Institutional profiles including: capacity and count on a given day; type and length of inmate sentences; province/territory of origin; staff positions; male/female complement; description of institution; and, specific Standing Orders relating to cross gender staffing;

•  Privacy protection in washrooms and living areas; and,

•  Physical lay-out of institutions with regard to safety and privacy concerns.

 

4. Monitoring Activities

Activities during this first Phase can be grouped under the following categories: meetings/consultations; review of documentation/policies/reports; site visits including preliminary interviews with key individuals; and, the development of research instruments.

 

a) Meetings/Consultations

An integral part of Phase I has included meeting with key individuals, agencies, and organizations across Canada to obtain information, identify issues and concerns about cross-gender staffing, and to establish ongoing liaison for the duration of the Monitoring Project. The following provides a summary of these meetings, as well as preliminary findings, where available.

 

CSC Women Offender Sector, CSC

Regular contact was maintained with this Branch of Correctional Services of Canada, as both the contracting body for the Monitoring Project, and as a source of information and expertise. Meetings with key individuals included Deputy Commissioner, Nancy Stableforth, and key staff working in that division, including Hilda Vanneste, Manager, Women Offender Sector; Marnie MacDonald, Project Assistant; and Sandra Lyth, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner, Women. Documents received by the Co-Monitors were largely drawn from material available to the Women Offender Sector or material was made available after requests to other sources within CSC.

 

Inmate Affairs, CSC

A meeting and ongoing contact with Mr. Brian Mainwaring, Acting Director of Inmate Affairs, focused on the collection and collation of information with respect to inmate complaints and grievances. This CSC Section in Headquarters is developing an aggregate data system which has been made available to the Monitoring Project.

The Offender Complaint and Grievance System operates in the following manner in all federal penitentiaries. An inmate may lodge a complaint with staff of the institution for resolution. If the inmate is not satisfied with the handling or outcome of his or her complaint, s/he can lodge a level 1 grievance with the Warden of the institution. Decisions at that level can be appealed to level 2, which is the Regional Deputy Commissioner at Regional Headquarters, and from there to level 3, which is the CSC Headquarters level in Ottawa. Level 3 grievances go to the Deputy Commissioner of Corporate Development and the Deputy Commissioner of Women reviews those pertaining to women. Commissioner's Directives lay out the time frames for handling these grievances. Inmate Affairs collects aggregate data for each level of complaint and grievance, by institution and in total. There are separate charts for federally sentenced women, but they do not include grievances from women housed in maximum security men's facilities.

The largest category of complaints and grievances for women is "other", unlike what is found in the summary charts for the male inmate population. Due to the fact that it is unknown what types of grievances may be captured in the "other" category, members of the Monitoring Project will be examining records to establish the type of grievances encapsulated in this category. As for the classifying of grievances, individual institutional staff are assigned the responsibility of classifying inmate grievances by type based on a list and brief description of each category provided by CSC Headquarters. The categories are established for all of CSC by the Offender Management System. The Branch can, however, isolate specific data if requested.

 

Correctional Investigator (CI)

Two meetings were held with the Correctional Investigator's staff, one introductory meeting with the Executive Director and one meeting with an Investigator and the CI's Legal Counsel. The purpose of these meetings was to discuss respective mandates and to establish a working relationship throughout the life of the Monitoring Project. Ongoing contact will be maintained throughout the duration of the Project.

As for the Correctional Investigator process, inmates can lodge complaints with the Correctional Investigator, an independent authority legislatively created and given substantial investigative powers under the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. An inmate can complain to the CI concerning his/her treatment, whether based on an individual incident or broader systemic issues. The CI can proceed based on an inmate complaint, or can initiate his own investigation such as that which occurred following the incident at P4W in 1994. Presently, two female employees are charged with investigations of all complaints originating in women's institutions. Any decisions, however, and subsequent recommendations are not enforceable.

The CI regularly refers harassment complaints to the Human Rights Commission given their role in dealing with rights violations. While the CI is under no obligation to defer to any other authority, if there was a criminal charge involved, the CI would defer to the criminal investigation but may deal with circumstances surrounding the crime, for example, if there were reprisals as a result of reporting the criminal act.

As an inmate may complain directly to the CI, the Monitors are establishing a protocol for obtaining information from the CI, without personal identifiers, should a complaint be lodged that falls within the purview of the Project's mandate.

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS)

The Co-Monitors met on two occasions with the Executive Director to obtain a sense of what the concerns of CAEFS are with respect to cross gender staffing. CAEFS is a national federation of agencies working with women and girls in conflict with law, and as such, staff regularly visit institutions for federally sentenced women. CAEFS also made submissions to the Arbour Commission and have been monitoring the follow-up and implementation of CSC's cross gender staffing project. CAEFS concerns are noted in the following Section under "Employment Issues".


1 Ole Ingstrup, "Commissioner's Foreword" in Mission of the Correctional Service of Canada . Ministry of Supply and Services. 1997. p.3
2 Ibid. p.4.
3 Arbour, The Honourable Louise. Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston. Public Works and Government Services Canada, 1996. p. 217

Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE)

The Co-Monitors met with two representatives of the USGE, at Headquarters in Ottawa. The Union has a long-standing interest in cross gender staffing, having engaged in grievances against the historic female only policy for front line staff. The Union also made submissions to the Arbour Inquiry and is closely observing policy changes and implementation issues. Again, the USGE concerns are incorporated below.

 

The Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC)

A meeting was held with two representatives of the HRC who have responsibility in the areas of Corrections. Background information as to the HRC's jurisdiction with respect to types of complaints by inmates was provided to the Co-Monitors.

Inmates may lay a complaint to the HRC if they feel their rights have been violated, including experiencing sexual harassment. An agreement with the Correctional Investigator's office has been established where an inmate's complaint will be referred to the HRC if it involves a prohibited ground, and complaints to the HRC involving administration of CSC will be referred to the Correctional Investigator. This allows for investigation of a complaint by the body that has the most expertise on the matter of the complaint. If an inmate uses the CSC internal grievance system, there is no requirement to refer to the HRC. Should a complaint involve a sexual assault, the inmate would be referred to the police and the complainant would be provided with supportive contacts.

In general, the HRC has not had many complaints from federal inmates, and even fewer from federally sentenced women. Nevertheless, the HRC representatives felt that the Co-Monitors could be informed of complaints, with personal identifiers removed, should it fall within our mandate.

 

National Stakeholders

National Stakeholders have been contacted twice about the Monitoring Project. A letter inviting National Stakeholders for input was sent on March 17, 1998. A copy of this letter, as well as a list of the groups, can be found in Appendix B. In addition, one of the Co-Monitors, Ms Christie Jefferson, made a presentation on April 21, 1998 in Montréal to a Stakeholders' meeting, convened by the Women Offenders Sector. In attendance were representatives of various women's and community organizations, other interested organizations such as the Correctional Investigator's office and the Human Rights Commission, Union representatives, senior CSC officials, Wardens or their designates, and Citizen Advisory Committee representatives. Ms Jefferson provided background to the project, our mandate and objectives, and information on our methodology, time frame and research questions. Those in attendance had an opportunity to ask questions, and all were invited once again to provide regular comments and submissions to the Co-Monitors as the project unfolds.

 

b) Review of Documentation

A tremendous amount of information was collected for the Monitoring Project, ranging from policies and procedures to reports and manuals. Subject areas included:

•  policies and protocols concerning cross gender staffing;

•  inmate and staff grievance policies and procedures;

•  institutional disciplinary procedures;

•  incidents with potential cross-gender implications;

•  emergency policies and procedures including use of force, strip searches, cell extractions;

•  sexual harassment;

•  selection and training of staff;

•  segregation;

•  statistics on the female population;

•  privacy for female inmates;

•  Arbour Commission of Inquiry submissions, and follow-up by CSC;

•  mental health strategies;

•  maximum security issues;

•  institutional design; and,

•  data on inmate populations

The Project was able to develop an understanding of the breadth and depth of the policy considerations, and establish a regularized system for obtaining changes to policies, and collection of data and other relevant materials.

In the process of reviewing documentation, the Co-Monitors found that the Women Offender Sector has initiated a number of policy revisions in response to the Arbour Report, and is still in the process of formulating other changes. The following changes relating to cross-gender staffing have already occurred:

an amendment to paragraphs 6(c), and 13 of Commissioner's Directive (CD) 571- "Searches and Seizure of Contraband re Federally Sentenced Women" outlining the specific requirements with respect to strip searches of women inmates. It states:

The amendments to CD 571 clearly provide that in no case, including an

emergency, shall a male staff member participate or be present as a

witness in a strip search of a woman inmate. If a male officer believes

that an emergency strip search is necessary, he should contain the

situation until such time as female staff arrive to conduct the search.

an amendment to CD 600- "Management of Emergencies", paragraphs 24, 30 and 32, ensures emergency procedures are in line with the amendment to the CD 571 on searches and seizures. This amendment states:

Local emergency response teams of the FSW ( Federally Sentenced Women) facilities be comprised of only women staff. In the event that an emergency response team of a men's institution or police force is brought into an FSW institution, the men on the team will not be permitted to participate in conducting the strip search or as a witness to the strip search of a woman inmate. The FSW facilities shall be required to address the issue of the role, responsibilities and protocols of male IERT members and police officers in their contingency plans.

 

c) Site Visits

Despite the short time frame of this developmental stage, a cross section of women's facilities was visited including: Grand Valley in Kitchener, Ontario; Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan; Edmonton Institution for Women in Edmonton, Alberta; Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge, in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan; and, Joliette Institution in Joliette, Québec. These institutions represent a cross section in that they include three of the new regional facilities, one maximum security institution, and the Healing Lodge which was designed specifically for Aboriginal women. These visits were introductory with the following purpose: to view the physical layout of each facility, to establish contacts with key individuals, and to seek input about issues relating to cross gender staffing for use when the Team developed the research instruments.

In terms of the new federal facilities for women visited in Phase I, they have the same basic layout. The main building that houses programs, health facilities, segregation units, staff, and administration is largely on one level. Women live in houses that are placed in a semi-circle with each accommodating approximately 6-8 women. Most women have their own room and can lock their door. Staff also have a key. Each house has a kitchen, living room, dining room, laundry and common washrooms. Also in the semi-circle are two family visiting units. The Healing Lodge is structured differently, with the main administration building constructed in a round fashion so that the inside corridor goes around in a circle, and a separate spiritual Lodge, built like a teepee, and centred in the middle of the facility. Individual houses for the women are similar to other facilities. The administration building of Edmonton Institution for Women, also contains an Aboriginal Spirituality room.

These new facilities are classified as multi-level but only house minimum and medium security women at this point. Each have about eight segregation cells, half located in a secure area, half as administrative or voluntary segregation complete with kitchen and living areas. All have toilets in each cell, along with some kind of privacy barrier. Typically this barrier is a solid square placed beside the toilet so that the woman's feet and head are visible. Some have a semi-transparent curtain. The segregation facilities are located so that security can monitor inmates visually and eventually with cameras.

In summary, exploratory interviews in each institution were held with: the Warden and/or Deputy Warden; staff representatives such as Primary Workers, Parole Officers, Case Workers or other staff representatives; the local USGE representative if she was available; representatives of applicable Advisory Committees including the Citizen's Advisory Committee; a representative or more of the Inmates' Advisory Committee and other individuals including other community representatives, as appropriate.

These visits were highly instructive in assisting us to formulate our plans for the next two Phases, as well as in eliciting the fundamental issues and items for the Interview Schedules. Emerging issues described in the following Section are largely based on information obtained during the site visits.

For each of the next two years, all facilities for Federally Sentenced Women will be visited.

 

5. Emerging Issues and Questions

The following issues are highlighted in this report either because they were identified by one or more of the respondents contacted during this Phase of the Monitoring Project, or because they represent a logical area of inquiry connected to cross-gender staffing. It is our intention that this short summary of issues that have come to the fore will provide readers with a brief overview of the issues to be included in our assessment of cross gender staffing. Issues are presented in no order of priority.

 

Employment Issues

In general, union representatives expressed a deep commitment to notions of fairness and access in terms of staffing for all positions in any federal facility by any qualified candidate. In a letter to the Co-Monitors from the Union of Solicitor General Employees (USGE), the union representative stated:

The USGE's position supports staffing according to merit for all positions being staffed by the Department. Therefore, we do not support FSW facilities excluding men from competitions, deployments and any other staffing procedures.

It is the position of the USGE that if an adequate increase in staffing is implemented, then the issue of males doing rounds paired with a female officer when required will meet the recommendations of the Arbour Report. The USGE also supports the rationale that male Primary Workers were hired to present a positive role model to the federally- sentenced women. Having said that, it is important that the male employees be treated fairly and equally.

In those institutions visited during Phase I where male Primary Workers were employed, many staff members felt, on the whole, that the cross gender staffing policy was working well. In institutions visited where there are no male Primary Workers, there was a strong commitment to maintaining female only front line workers. However, most inmates interviewed did express a desire for male Primary Workers based on the notion that the "inside" would then reflect the composition of the outside world. A few inmates in female-only institutions did nevertheless express strong opposition to men in front line positions. In any event, a number of issues have emerged during the implementation of the new CSC cross gender staffing policy that employees would like addressed.

The restrictions on male Primary Workers have raised a number of problems. These include:

•  There are different protocols concerning assignment of males in living quarters during night hours. At least one institution allows men to work the night shift, but they must be accompanied by a female worker, while in other institutions males are not allowed at all to work the night shift in the cell/bedroom areas.

•  Where male Primary Workers cannot be assigned to night shifts in the living areas in institutions housing federally sentenced women, night shifts fall more heavily on female staff. This situation is likely to worsen as video monitors are more broadly utilized in women's institutions. This is seen as unfair by some staff, and there were concerns expressed that resentment is building among female Primary Workers. In one case, a female Primary Worker spoke of putting off having a child as the workload and heavy emphasis on night shifts make it impractical at this time.

•  Similarly, restrictions on assignment for male Primary Workers is also creating unequal distribution of overtime hours.

•  Some employees felt that the difference in assignment and roles in such areas as interventions and emergencies is almost amounting to different job descriptions. Some recommended that the distinctions be eliminated, including night shifts, as long as there are two staff on at all times.

•  Lack of clarity as to what behaviour is permissible or desirable on the part of male workers is of concern to some. For example, there is no explicit sexual harassment policy and related training concerning staff actions involving inmates. The Commissioner's Directive entitled “Code of Discipline” includes a section about relationships with offenders. This section outlines general guidelines, but it does not address sexual harassment specifically. Some male workers said they feel vulnerable with this lack of clarity, including the possibility of facing a complaint. In addition, should there be a need for a male Primary Worker to intervene, for instance, to stop a fight among inmates, some male Primary Workers expressed uncertainty about the level of physical contact they can use to stabilize the situation.

•  A male Primary Worker discussed the high level of stress associated with his job, with a significant amount originating from his perceived vulnerability to a charge by a female inmate should she be angry about something, such as a pass or parole denial. He expressed the concern that it may not in the long run be possible to have men work in such close quarters with female inmates, at least at a Primary Worker level.

•  Some male staff stated that they found it hard to be viewed as potential harassers or rapists just because they happen to be male, and that the issue of harassment and sexual exploitation is not just limited to male staff.

Both inmates and staff in most institutions raised the issue of the difficulty in the role of Primary Workers in that they have a dual (and perhaps contradictory) function of security and front line worker in assisting inmates. As inmates pointed out, it is hard to trust and have access to your Primary Worker who also could be involved in strip searches and other security measures. Part of the concern was about accessibility, i.e. with night shift work an inmate may not see her Primary Worker for over a week, which is a concern when parole due dates are nearing. They also felt it is impossible to provide confidential information in a “helper” relationship knowing that the Primary Worker has a dual function. This issue is obviously not limited to cross-gender concerns but is raised in this context as a significant concern expressed by respondents. Cross gender issues may arise if an inmate must relate to a different worker when her own Primary Worker is not available.

In addition, although cross-gender staffing implies the use of male front line workers in female institutions, the Monitoring Project takes the view that part of the monitoring also involves examining the repercussions of having female only Primary Workers as in Edmonton Institution for Women and at Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge. The two positions of female-only versus male form opposite points in the same continuum of operational realities flowing from implications of cross-gender staffing. However, all institutions have male staff in roles other than that of Primary Worker, thus the impact of cross-gender staffing goes beyond that of the Primary Worker.

Furthermore, all institutions have males in staff positions and other positions of authority. The Monitoring Project will also include assessing policies and practices with respect to all these functions.

 

Staff Selection and Training

It is our understanding that there is a special selection process for staff working in federal facilities for women. This process involves utilizing criteria to select individuals who have a sensitivity towards women and their life experiences, and an interview process that involves role playing with actors to assess attitudes and approach. We will be looking closely at this process, including what positions are targeted for this approach, and how it is working. We will also be monitoring the process for any ongoing changes.

In order to have staff sensitized to the particular needs and realities of federal incarcerated female offenders, CSC has developed a 10 day "Women-Centred Training" curriculum, in addition to the regular Correctional Officer training, consisting of modules on the following topics:

•  Background to the New Women's Facilities;

•  Women's Criminality and the Links to Personal History;

•  Overview of Women's Issues;

•  Power and Control;

•  Self-Injury and Suicide;

•  Surviving Family Violence;

•  Creative Problem Solving;

•  Same Sex Relationships;

•  Substance Abuse;

•  Managing Conflict;

•  Cultural Sensitivity;

•  Facilitating Group Decisions;

•  Dealing Effectively with Lifers;

•  Connecting with Lifers;

•  Women's Ways of Knowing; and,

•  Personal and Team Issues.

This training is provided to recruits in addition to the core CSC training for Primary Workers. It should be noted that training provided for the staff at the Healing Lodge lasted over a period of one year, with intensive training in substance abuse, including a residential stay at a treatment facility.

A cursory review of the training materials indicate that the materials are well done and the topics addressed are quite fundamental to issues surrounding correctional management of federally sentenced women. However, the Co-Monitors are concerned about how some of these topics can be adequately addressed in less than one day. More will be said about this during the course of our monitoring.

Initial interviews with some Primary Workers indicated that, in some cases, the Women Centred training has been reduced to four days; questions relating to the impact of this training, the length of training, and who is receiving the training, will be the subject of further inquiry and comment. It should be noted that there has been no formal evaluation undertaken of this training.

 

Sexual Harassment

A central issue to cross gender staffing has been and remains sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual exploitation of female inmates. While privacy concerns are also pivotal for both male and female inmates with respect to cross gender staffing, sexual harassment, sexual assault and sexual exploitation are more gender specific. Statistically, women make up the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual harassment and abuse/rape, while males compose the vast bulk of perpetrators.

Advocacy groups such as CAEFS and LEAF, base their strongly held recommendation that only females should act as front line staff with women inmates on these facts and concerns. CAEFS writes the following in their submission to the Arbour Commission:

The Task Force (Creating Choices) found that more than 80% of federally sentenced women have histories of physical and/or sexual exploitation, most at the hands of men in positions of authority over them. The figure rises to 90% for First Nations' women alone, a group that is disproportionately over-represented in the prison population. CAEFS is of the view that the potential risks and/or perceived risks of abuses of power in general, and sexual coercion, harassment and/or assault more particularly, are likely to be exacerbated by the presence of men in front-line correctional worker positions ¼ Moreover, in 1980, Canada endorsed international norms with respect to the assignment of male and female prison guards. Article 53 of the United Nations' Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners specifies that women prisoners are to be “attended and supervised only by women officers”.4

An excerpt from the LEAF submission to the Arbour Commission reads as follows:

Proponents of cross-gender staffing claim it "normalizes" the prison environment. LEAF submits that "normalization" is a misleading term because it replicates and reinforces injury to women in our current sex-unequal society. Given the unique power imbalances in the guard-inmate relationship, as well as the preponderance of abuse histories among federally sentenced women, LEAF submits that the prison setting may require measures which do not replicate the outside, "normal" society.5

Victims of sexual harassment in the workplace often do not complain because they feel nothing will be done, they will be ridiculed, or they will face reprisals in the hierarchical structure of the work environment. It is submitted that concerns about fear of reporting are exacerbated in the prison environment, where the power imbalance between inmates and guards is worse than between employees and employers. In addition, employees who are victims of sexual harassment are free to leave their jobs (although, it is recognized that this may entail serious financial consequences); women inmates do not have the option to leave the prison.6

Both CAEFS and LEAF still are of the view that there should be a female only front line staffing policy.

Other comments made to the Co-Monitors in this first Phase urge that a broader lens be applied to our work. For example, several staff and inmates noted that harassment and sexual exploitation should be seen as something that can and does occur with same sex staff. Also, others noted that Primary Workers are perhaps too much the focus, and that sexual harassment/assault/exploitation can and does occur with other staff and authority figures in the institutions. It may also extend to contractors, counsellors, health professionals, teachers, ministers, Elders, and senior staff.

A number of questions have emerged in addition to those already identified by the Co-Monitors in light of the comments and submissions made to us to date. These include:

•  Is there a fiduciary relationship between the government of Canada and inmates?

•  Can an inmate ever truly consent to a sexual interaction/relationship with a staff member or other authority figure within the institution in light of the power imbalances?

•  Should there be an explicit sexual harassment policy covering staff and inmates?

•  What should the policy be with respect to other non-inmates, including the development of sexual relationships (e.g. When is a sexual relationship sexual exploitation?)

•  What distinctions, if any, should there be in terms of restrictions on actions and roles between male Primary Workers and any other males who are in positions of authority in the institution?

 

Abuse of Power

Another form of abuse, similar to what has been described above, can be called abuse of power. The dynamics of power and control are found throughout society and are likely to be found in the institutional setting. Typically, this can take the form of physical coercion, intimidation, or threats, among others. The topic of "power and control" is one that is included in the Women-Centred Training and training materials outline that powerlessness and inequities are likely to be felt more acutely by many federally sentenced women. The issue of abuse of power is of interest to the Monitoring Project when abuse of power is related to cross gender staffing issues.

 

Grievances

The topic of grievances has become an area of concern due to three observations made during this first Phase. The first is one that has already been mentioned, which is that the largest category for grievances from federally sentenced women is "other". The second is that information on grievances from women in maximum security facilities is not separately collected from those of men in these institutions. Finally, the third observation, based on inmates' comments, is that they see no incentive for laying grievances for fear of repercussions from staff at the facilities. This is obviously a preliminary finding and this area of inquiry will be closely monitored during the duration of this Monitoring Project. Any repercussions are contrary to the official policy of CSC. The Offender Complaint and Grievance System Training Manual for Staff states: "An offender is not to be penalized or intimidated with respect to his use of the complaint and grievance system"7. The view of inmates is clearly that there will be negative repercussions ranging from subtle changes of behaviour vis à vis the grieving inmate to influencing decisions pertaining to temporary absences and parole. The Co-Monitors intend to monitor the grievance system closely for complaints and grievances pertaining to cross gender issues, as well as to identify impediments to the use and data gathering ability of the system.

 

Privacy

Privacy issues constitute another central feature of the debate surrounding male staffing of female institutions. Privacy barriers were visible in the institutions visited in Phase I and generally took the form of a partition of three to four feet and or a curtain by the toilet in an inmate's cell, including in segregation facilities. These barriers allow an inmate to be accounted for while still allowing some modicum of privacy while using the toilet. The Co-Monitors will need to determine if all facilities have such barriers in all circumstances and whether they are sufficient.

Privacy is complicated where video monitors are utilized to observe women in segregation/assessment cells or any other circumstance where they might be unclothed. As noted in the above section on employment issues, video monitors mean further restrictions on male Primary Workers. Who else has access to these monitors? What policies should be in place with respect to who can view women in such circumstances?

A few Primary Workers have stated that some federally sentenced women are purposely undressing in front of staff, including male staff, and may do so in the context of a security incident. To what degree, if any, should the voluntary nature of a state of undress by a female inmate affect restrictions on male staff? This issue requires further monitoring and consideration, with input from staff, inmates and other key stakeholders.

 

Other Equality Issues

Sexual harassment and assault often can be coupled with other forms of discriminatory behaviour such as racial harassment, and targeting of particular females by the predator. Concerns were expressed by some inmates and community contacts that the high percentage of First Nations', black and other minority group inmates means that staff should be sensitized to the impact of stereotypes, demeaning comments about race or origin, and increased vulnerability of women who are from minority communities. Concerns were also expressed that the ten day women centred training program staff are receiving when selected to work in a women's facility does not include sufficient training on racism and diversity.

Other women who are potentially at greater risk and who experience multiple discrimination are women from other countries, lesbians, and women with disabilities, including mental disabilities.

The Co-Monitors will need to analyze concerns, comments, and incidents in light of these concerns and keep these diversities in mind when making any recommendations.


4 Phase II Submission of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies to the Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston . CAEFS. January 10, 1996. pp. 10-11.
5 Submission of Women's Legal Education and Action Fund on Proposed Cross-Gender Staffing at the new Regional Institutions for Federally-Sentenced Women , LEAF, 1996, pp. 15-16.
6 ibid., p. 36
7 Correctional Service of Canada. The Offender Complaint and Grievance System Training Manual for Staff. Chapter 2. 2.1 (pages not numbered)

 

Aboriginal Issues

Many reports and studies over the years have documented the special situation and needs of Aboriginal offenders within the justice system. Aboriginal people are overrepresented throughout the justice system and this is no more true than in the federal correctional system where Aboriginal women represent 26% of federally-sentenced women. In 1988, 14.2% of the federal female inmate population was made up of Aboriginal women; today that figure has grown to 26%.8 The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge was specifically developed to meet the unique needs of Aboriginal women. A central feature of programming at the Healing Lodge includes spiritual teachings and the provision of all programs in a culturally relevant manner. Elders play a significant role in assisting women on their healing journeys. Recent changes to policies at the Lodge now require male Elders to be accompanied when speaking to inmates. The recent practice, however, has been to hire only female Elders. This change was the result of the need to ensure the protection of women at the facilities. How does this change affect the quality of communication between inmates and Elders? How do the Elders feel about this constriction? Will this result in the use of more female Elders over time? These and other questions will be specific to the Healing Lodge as the Monitoring Project unfolds.

 

Special Needs of Maximum Women

The problem of finding appropriate facilities for women classified as maximum security has been an issue for quite some time. Although regional facilities are classified as multi-level, this in fact means the regional facilities are for women classified as minimum and medium security. The problem is further compounded by the fact that Aboriginal women are disproportionately classified as maximum security. In fact, according to a CAEFS Position Paper, 41% of federally sentenced women classified as maximum security are Aboriginal.9Maximum security women are housed in Springhill Institution, Prison for Women in Kingston, and Saskatchewan Penitentiary in Prince Albert. From a cross-gender monitoring point of view, these women are likely to be more vulnerable to negative cross-gender incidents, as these facilities are located within men's institutions where few staff members may have had any gender specific training. In addition, as discussed earlier in this report, disenfranchised women, such as Aboriginal women, are particularly susceptible to sexual exploitation due to their abuse histories, and to not reporting it. Monitoring conditions in maximum security institutions will be a focal point of this Project.

 

Institutional Emergency Response Teams (IERT)

The use of an all-male Institutional Emergency Response Team triggered the Arbour Commission of Inquiry and thereafter, this Monitoring Project. Madam Justice Arbour recommended that male IERT's never be deployed again in a female institution. Although CSC has indicated that this recommendation has been accepted in principle, and that an all male IERT will never be used as a first response. It is further specified that when the Cell Extraction Team or the all female IERT cannot handle an emergency, that recourse will be made to the local police or RCMP detachment. For instance, at the Healing Lodge in Maple Creek, there is an agreement with the local RCMP detachment that, should there be an incident, the RCMP will be called. This area will also be subject to particular scrutiny of the Monitoring Project.

 

Use of Conflict Resolution and Mediation Models

The Offender Complaint and Grievance System Training Manual for Staff, under Section 1.4 entitled "Dispute Resolution - Active Participation of Staff and Offenders” states the following:

In keeping with the spirit and the guiding principles of the Mission, both offender and staff are responsible for actively pursuing ways of resolving problems at the lowest possible level. This increases the system's timeliness and efficiency by either reducing the number of issues that move on to a complaint or grievance stage or helping the conflicting parties at any level of the system reach a consensual settlement.

There is no question that solving certain types of problems and complaints at the lowest possible level is a desirable goal for the most satisfactory outcome. However, initial interviews with inmates during this Phase indicate that there is some skepticism about how this system is being used. The use of conflict resolution approaches and skills in situations where there are clear power imbalances is problematic at best. It is even more problematic when, in this case, Primary Workers have only received one day of training in conflict resolution. Although this approach may be working well in some situations with specific individuals, such as in disputes between or among inmates, when conflict is between an inmate and a staff member the use of these methods may be inappropriate. Some inmates have reported discomfort or opposition to this approach while feeling powerless to oppose it. The "impartiality" of a third party intervening in the dispute is a cornerstone of the mediation approach. The fact that this impartiality is not likely to exist is a serious concern. When occurring between female inmates and male staff there is potential for negative cross gender impacts. Another danger is that this whole process is invisible to the outside world. Coupled with the fact that female inmates may not be using the complaint or grievance system, this issue is a concern to the Monitoring Project. It too will be an area of scrutiny during the life of this Project.

 

6. Phase Two Approach

This report has, so far, outlined the overall approach, activities and emerging issues for the Monitoring Project during Phase 1. Phase 2 will proceed according to the following Workplan:

 

Phase Two Workplan

Month/Year

1998

1999

January

 

• second visit to 5 regional institutions

 

February

 

• finalize Second Annual Report

 

March

 

• Second Annual Report delivered

April

 

begin Phase 3

 

May

• submit draft Annual Report

• Monitoring Project Review Cmt meeting

 

 

June

• final Annual Report submitted

• Site Visits: Healing Lodge, Joliette

 

 

July

• Burnaby, Saskatchewan Penitentiary

 

August

• Grand Valley, Nova, Springhill

 

 

September

• Edmonton, Prison for Women

• Ottawa meetings

 

 

October

• Project Team meets; data analysis begins

 

 

November

• verbal debriefing report - Monitoring Project Advisory Cmt

 

December

• begin Second Annual Report

 

 

Objectives of Phase 2 are the same as those for the overall project, namely:

•  to assess the systematic impact of cross gender staffing;

•  to identify operational and policy issues; and,

•  to make recommendations.

 

Activities

Specific Phase 2 activities will include:

•  site visits to all institutions with interviews with all respondent groups identified, i.e. staff, inmates, representatives of Citizen Advisory Committees, Union representatives, community service organizations, Native Women's Associations etc.;

•  ongoing collection of CSC policies relevant to the Project Team's mandate;

•  review of staff selection procedures and training materials;

•  review of data regarding complaints and grievances;

•  review of the physical design of institutions;

•  ongoing consultation with relevant stakeholders;

•  ongoing consultations with CSC officials as required;

•  ongoing consultations with National Parole Board as required; 

•  ongoing liaison with the Correctional Investigator's office and the Human Rights' Commission to monitor types of complaints received; and,

•  others as required.

 

Time Frame

The time frame for Phase 2 is June 1, 1998 to March 31, 1999.

 

Information to be Collected

Information to be collected has been outlined on pages 6 and 7 of this report. In addition, is anticipated that the following profile will be developed for each institution:

•  capacity and inmate count at Dec. 1, 1998;

•  type and length of sentence;

•  province/territory of origin;

•  list of staff positions;

•  male/female complement;

•  number of staff who has taken Women Centred Training;

•  description of institution;

•  specific Standing Orders relating to cross gender staffing;

•  arrangements concerning privacy; and

•  specific policies about cross gender staffing.

 

Interview results will be pooled for general perceptions about issues but will be specific to the respective institution should a problem or incident arise.


8 LeClair, Dale and Steven Francis. Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge. Alternative Dispute Resolution. Creating New Approaches through Institutional Dynamics. Correctional Service of Canada. no date. p.5.
9 Position of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies (CAEFS) Regarding the Classification and Carceral Placement of Women Classified as Maximum Security Prisoners. p. 2.

 

Annual Report

An Annual Report will conclude this phase and report findings from all sources. Themes will be identified and discussed and recommendations advanced. The format of the report should be similar to the first Annual Report.

 

7. Recommendations

Phase I has been primarily an information gathering and preparation phase for the formal monitoring of CSC's cross gender staffing policy for the next two years. While it is certainly too soon to draw conclusions concerning the implementation of the staffing policy, there are three recommendations that have already emerged as changes that should occur regardless of the cross gender staffing policy. Two related recommendations concern collection and synthesis of complaints/grievances data. The third addresses the question of a sexual harassment policy concerning staff/inmate interaction.

 

Recommendation 1:

That the Inmate Grievance Data collected and compiled by CSC be amended such that:

•  a breakdown of complaints and grievances from federally sentenced women serving their sentence in all federal facilities are included in the total number of complaints/grievances and by facility; and

•  the subject categories under which individual complaints and grievances are categorized be clarified such that the "other" category is more explicitly delineated, and that allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation be under a separate category(ies).

 

Comment:

These changes would ensure that the Co-Monitors, CSC, in particular the Woman Offender Sector, and other interested parties have information on complaints and grievances by federally sentenced women. This information is needed to determine problems and trends. Without these changes, it is difficult to determine what is occurring with regard to women inmates lodging complaints/grievances relating to cross gender staffing except to review each complaint and grievance at each institution, regionally and nationally. Please see Section 5 for further information on this issue.

 

Recommendation 2:

That Commissioner's Directives explicitly define and prohibit sexual harassment of inmates by staff, and include an appropriate range of penalties, including dismissal.

 

Comment:

The Arbour Report expressly called upon Correctional Service of Canada to extend the sexual harassment policy for staff of the Correctional Service to apply to inmates. It is our understanding that while CSC has decided not to extend the policy to cover inmates, there is consideration being given as to how else this issue might be dealt with.

While there are several options that might be considered as to how to best address sexual harassment of inmates by staff, it is our view that there must be some type of clear policy for the benefit of both staff and inmates. Present policy is limited to “Standards of Professional Conduct” published by CSC in March 1993. This document is, in light of Phase 1 interviews, insufficient and too vague with respect to sexual harassment. The most direct statement is found on page 13 of this document and states:

Inappropriate relationships include, but are not limited to, concealing an offender's illegal activity, using inmate services for personal gain, and entering into business or sexual relationships with offenders, their families, or their associates. Supervisors are expected to take prompt action when they see signs that an inappropriate relationship between an employee and an offender exists of could develop.

It is important that there is a strong message to all staff that sexual harassment of inmates will not be tolerated, and the clearest way to do this is a separate policy statement. This should also provide an opportunity to clarify the difference between appropriate, sensitive and supportive contact by staff with inmates and behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment. Changes to the Standards for Professional Conduct and the CD “Code of Discipline” should also be made to reflect a prohibition of sexual harassment as well as an encouragement of appropriate and sensitive behaviour.

The definition used in the Commissioner's Directive entitled "Harassment and Other Forms of Discrimination in the Workplace" which covers harassment of staff could easily be adapted to a policy covering sexual harassment of inmates. The present policy states:

"For the purpose of this policy, sexual harassment means any conduct,

comment, gesture or contact of a sexual nature, whether on a one-time

basis or a continuous series of incidents, that might reasonably:

a. be expected to cause offense or humiliation to any employee; or

b. be perceived by any employee as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or on any opportunity for training or promotion. "

Adaptation of the staff sexual harassment policy should include recognition that the staff person's sexual behaviour may be perceived by the inmate in such a way that failure to comply would lead to negative consequences or agreement to favours or benefits. In the long run, the policy should also ensure mechanisms to protect a complainant from reprisals.

 

Conclusion

Phase 1 has been highly instrumental in providing the Co-Monitors with the opportunity to further refine the approach to be taken in the next two years and to highlight emerging issues within this context. We look forward to this next Phase and thank all those who freely provided their comments to assist us in framing the issues and providing subject areas for the research instruments.

 

Appendix A - Monitoring Project Team

Thérèse Lajeunesse
Co-Monitor
Winnipeg (Manitoba)

Christie Jefferson
Co-Monitor
Trenton (Ontario)

Dianne Macdonald
Monitoring Project Associate
Saskatoon (Saskatchewan)

Betty-Lou Edwards
Monitoring Project Associate
Burnaby (British Columbia)

Myrelene Ranville
Monitoring Project Associate
Sagkeeng First Nation, (Manitoba)

To reach us, please contact us at:

Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates
228, Kitson St.
Winnipeg (Manitoba) R2H 0Z5
(204) 233-8214
Fax: (204) 237-0548
E-mail : tlajeune@mb.sympatico.ca

 

Appendix B - Letter to Stakeholders

Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies
Church Council on Justice and Corrections
Citizens' Advisory Committees to CSC
Strength in Sisterhood Society
Canadian Criminal Justice Association: Women's Issues Committee
Association des services de réhabilitation sociale
National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada
National Association of Women and the Law
Status of Women Canada
Native Women's Association of Canada
Paukatuutit Women's Association
Women's Legal Education and Action Fund
Canadian Human Rights Commission
Union of Solicitor General Employees
Congress of Black Women of Canada

March 17, 1998

Ms Lucya Spencer
National Organization of Immigrant and Visible Minority Women of Canada
225-219, Argyle Avenue
Ottawa (Ontario)
K2P 2H4

 

Dear Ms Spencer,

Re: Cross Gender Staffing Monitor

As you are probably aware, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) recently awarded a contract to my firm, Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates, to provide independent monitoring of cross-gender staffing of federal institutions housing federally sentenced women. Ms Christie Jefferson and myself are Co-Monitors during the 27 months of the review. Three other women will be working with us in various regions: Ms. Betty-Lou Edwards of Vancouver, B.C.; Ms. Dianne Macdonald of Saskatoon, Sask.; and Ms. Myrelene Ranville of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. We have attached a copy of our summary sheet for your information.

Our work consists of three (3) phases. Phase 1 began at the end of January 1998 and will be completed at the end of May when we will be submitting the first of three (3) annual reports. In this phase we are gathering information, finalizing our approach and methodology for the monitoring period, visiting a cross-section of institutions housing federally sentenced women, and identifying the issues and problems which various stakeholders have identified with respect to cross gender staffing and federally sentenced women. It is with this in mind that we are writing to you and your organization.

Phases 2 and 3 will extend over each of the following two years and will entail the complete gathering of information including interviews with inmates, staff members and community members, who wish to be interviewed about cross gender staffing.

I am writing now to request your written comments with respect to cross gender staffing and federally sentenced women. This input will greatly assist us in determining what we address in our monitoring capacity and how we approach our mandate. Issues raised by you will also be incorporated into our research tools, including the interview schedules intended for both staff and inmates.

Due to the tight time frame of Phase 1, I would request that you write, fax or E-mail your response to this letter no later than April 17, 1998 to:

Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates
228, Kitson St.
Winnipeg (Manitoba) R2H 0Z5
Fax: (204) 237-0548
E-mail: tlajeune@mb.sympatico.ca

I appreciate that this is a short time for response but hope that it will not cause you any significant difficulties. Please contact me directly if you do have problems meeting this deadline.

I hope that this will be just the first in a series of discussions with you about cross gender staffing and I thank you for your consideration and response.

 

Sincerely

Thérèse Lajeunesse

 

Summary

CROSS GENDER STAFFING MONITOR

Thérèse Lajeunesse and Associates Ltd

Background

The Arbour Commission of Inquiry into Certain Events at the Prison for Women in Kingston recommended that there be an independent Monitor to review the implementation of cross gender staffing at the women's facilities and to report to the Deputy Commissioner for Women of the Correctional Service of Canada.

The Monitoring will continue over three fiscal years ending in March 2000.

Approach

The Arbour Commission recommended that the mandate of the Monitor be “to access the system, rather than individuals, and to make recommendations accordingly”. It is therefore not the mandate of the Co-Monitors to follow through with individual complaints but rather to gather information about the types of issues and events surrounding cross gender staffing.

The first year, or Phase 1, is developmental and includes gathering information about cross gender staffing including CSC documents and policies, reviewing the Arbour Report and various other submissions and reports. In addition, interviews chedules are being developed and pre-tested with different schedules for inmates, staff, Wardens, Elders and community contacts. In Phase 1 a cross section of women's facilities will be visited including Grand Valley, Saskatchewan Penitentiary, Edmonton Institution for Women, the Healing Lodge and Joliette Institution. These visits are introductory in purpose to establish contacts with key individuals and to seek input about issues relating to cross gender staffing, as we develop our research instruments.

Phase 1 also includes meeting with selected stakeholders and agencies such as the Correctional Investigator's Office, CAEFS and the Union of Solicitor General Employees, among others.

Phase 2 and 3 for each of the subsequent years will include annual visits to all women's facilities and interviews with all respondents who seek to have input. Ongoing discussion will also occur with stakeholders throughout the duration of the monitoring project.

There will be three Annual reports produced for each of the three years. The first should be ready by the end of May 1998.

For further information please contact: Thérèse Lajeunesse at (204) 233-8214.