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Recommendations Of The Coroner's Inquest Into The Death Of Robert Gentles

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60. It is recommended that when allegations of excessive force used against an inmate are proven, the staff member involved be dismissed from the Public Service.


CSC is of the opinion that each incident and each case must be evaluated on its own merits. The philosophy of discipline in CSC is essentially a corrective and progressive one. The disciplinary process aims to correct improper behaviour and through the progressive application of more severe disciplinary actions for successive acts of misconduct. To adopt a blanket position that staff members be dismissed if it is proven they have used excessive force against an inmate, is to usurp the principles of progressive and corrective discipline and to fetter management's discretion in evaluating each case of its merits and determining "mitigating and aggravating" circumstances which may have a determinant impact on the severity of the penalty awarded.

This does not mean that incidents of excessive force against inmates are not viewed as very serious misconduct and warranting of disciplinary action up to and including possible termination. However, to respect the principles of fairness and natural justice requires that each incident be investigated in a timely manner and on its own merits.