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

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65. The public accountability of each Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) should be strengthened. To achieve this it is recommended that the Regional Deputy Commissioner, at the beginning of each year, take steps to ensure that each CAC in the Region is at optimum levels of strength and performance. Each committee shall be comprised of at least three persons and no more than seven who are reasonably representative of a cross-section of the community. Newspaper advertisements should be used as necessary to recruit new members. A selection committee made up of the head of the institution, the local union president and chair of the local CAC shall select new members. The participation of the correctional officers is considered essential in the success of the committee's mandate.

CSC'S RESPONSE:

Each CAC's Annual Report together with input from the Warden/Parole Director, the annual regional CAC report, the annual regional CAC executive meetings, and the record of the monthly meetings between the CAC and the Warden/District Director are already provided to the Regional Deputy Commissioner. This material provides them with the information necessary to annually assess the effectiveness of the CACs in their region.

The current minimum membership requirement for each Citizen Advisory Committee has been established at five members (which exceeds the recommendation). However, the Commissioner will send a memorandum to each Regional Deputy Commissioner by the fall of 1999, outlining the requirement for the annual review and reinforcing the current minimum membership requirement.

A Recruitment Guide for Citizen Advisory Committees, to be completed by the fall of 1999, will include recommendations about the use of newspaper advertisements.

The recommendation to create a selection committee for the appointment of new members including the Warden, the Chair of the Citizen Advisory Committee and the President of the Local Union shall be included in a revision to CD 023 'Citizen Advisory Committees'. The revised CD must be reviewed and approved by EXCOM, but can be completed by the end of calendar year 1999. However, allowance must be made for the appointment process to continue in the event that one or more of the participants is unavailable.