Correctional Service Canada
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Recommendations Of The Coroner's Inquest Into The Death Of Robert Gentles

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35. It is recommended that the amount of overtime be reviewed on a monthly basis. Corrective action should be taken where an excessive number of hours are being worked by individual correctional officers. This will ensure that the stresses of the job are not made worse by lengthy exposure to the prison environment.

CSC'S RESPONSE:

All facilities regularly monitor overtime usage by individual staff members. In the majority of cases, staff request overtime shifts and identify the days they are available to work overtime. Through this process it is hoped that staff members and supervisors will exercise judgment in deciding how much overtime is assigned to ensure that they receive adequate rest days to lessen job related stress. Correctional Supervisors who are responsible for scheduling overtime shifts must take into consideration the amount of overtime worked by individual officers prior to assigning any additional overtime work. In this respect, institutions generally give priority (i.e. first chance for overtime) to officers who have accumulated the least amount of overtime in a given time period.

CSC has not established a maximum number of hours, which any officer can work in a given period. CSC is of the opinion that such would be impractical given the unique resourcing levels of individual institutions and the requirement to ensure that essential correctional officer posts are staffed during all shifts. CSC has however, recently been given the authority to hire an additional 1000 correctional officers and it is anticipated that the allocation of these positions to the various institutions will reduce the amount of overtime. CSC will undertake an evaluation of the impact of these 1000 officers and one of the objectives of the evaluation will be to assess the impact on overtime usage.