Performance Assurance

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Evaluation of Citizens' Advisory Committees: CSC Perspective

Final Action Plan

- File Closure -

Recommendations Actions Taken Status

1. The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) should assist Citizens' Advisory Committees (CAC) with strategies and initiatives to facilitate the recruitment of more Aboriginal, visible minority, and younger members, when this need is identified by CAC Chairs and CSC management.

CACs training to include providing awareness of diversity; CSC representatives attend these sessions to discuss how CACs could target these groups; Planning for forums, networking and other outreach strategies, including the development of presentations targeted to specific groups to attract diverse membership to be undertaken by CSC and the CACs, where needed. The extent of the strategy and specific actions depend of the availability of funding. Through day-to-day activities and meeting forum, Citizen Engagement continues to encourage Regions to focus recruitment efforts toward identified groups.


2. That CSC expands the CAC member training to include more of a focus on CAC-specific information relating to roles and activities.

National Executive Committee (NEC) Sub-Committee on Education reviewed the training and existing manual and developed an action plan to modify the training. A revised CAC orientation package, which includes a pre-reading manual, CAC Orientation Manual for Participants and CAC Orientation Manual for Facilitators, was printed in June 2006 and sent to CAC Regional Coordinators for distribution to sites.


3. That CSC incorporates basic information on CACs (who they are, their role, activities, etc.) in training for staff during their orientation and for offenders at reception.

Discussions have taken place with the Director General (DG), Learning and Career Development to incorporate CAC basic information in ongoing training and with Correctional Operations and Programs, to develop a process to ensure that info on CACs is available to offenders at reception (include in Inmate Handbook, provide CAC pamphlets, etc.). Ongoing discussions with newly appointed wardens, district directors, and EXs to discuss awareness of CACs and their roles.


4. The CSC should ensure that up-to-date pamphlets, describing CACs, are available to CAC members for distribution to staff, offenders, and the community.

Pamphlets have been distributed to all Regional Coordinators for distribution to CACs as well as to CSC sites and for use during CAC awareness activities. A copy of the pamphlet "Working Together" is available on CSC's website (CAC portal).


5.That CSC review the funding structure of the CACs to ensure that funds are allocated in such a way as to facilitate the activities and initiatives of the CACs at the local level.

Regions have developed a funding structure for CAC activities. Regions will ensure that local CAC sites are appropriately funded. Regions have been directed to capture their CAC expenditures against a specific financial code which should assist in determining how much funding is allocated against CAC activities.


6. To increase the visibility of CAC members with staff other than management, through such potential means as reciprocal attendance at meetings, involvement in specific projects, etc.

CAC members attend and present at various meetings (Executive Committee, National Associations Active in Criminal Justice, National Ethnocultural Advisory Committee (NEAC), Federation of Canadian Municipalities, etc.) and participate on the three national advisory committees (maximum security institutions, community reintegration, and restorative justice) and the sub-committee on Federally-sentenced Women. CAC represented on the inmate and computers project; consultation with CACs increased in past year, on issues such as the Safer Tattooing Initiative, Smoking in institutions, and other policy areas, resulting in increased visibility and awareness; presentations at non-CSC conferences such as Canadian Criminal Justice Association (CCJA) (autumn 2005) and to police associations, and other venues. Regional Deputy Commissioners (RDCs) and Wardens and District Directors to ensure CAC visibility at the local level. A CAC portal on CSC's website was established in 2006 to provide an information tool for CAC/CSC.


7. That a one-page description of current initiatives and endeavours be prepared by CACs and sent quarterly or bi-yearly to staff and offender representatives (e.g., the Inmate Wellness Committees [IWC] and/or Lifers' Groups), to enhance communication and ensure ongoing awareness of CAC activities and events.

Current awareness activities of CACs include face-to-face meetings, distribution of brochures/pamphlets, and several other activities. Given that each CAC is different depending on facility type and security level, each local site/region established ongoing activities targeted at enhancing communication and awareness. This recommendation is linked to recommendations 3, 4, 6, and 8. The CAC Annual Report 2005-2006 provides additional details. The report can be found on the CAC Web Portal.

No further action required

8. That follow-up with offenders is ensured following CAC meetings with management on issues brought forward by offender representatives. This can be established by developing and/or maintaining monthly meetings with offender representatives (e.g., the IWC and/or Lifers' Groups) at each operational site.

This practice already occurs at many sites. Instruction to all local CACs has been given by NEC, and RDCs have informed Wardens and District Directors to follow through on this commitment.


9. That CSC consider reviewing Commissioner Directive (CD) 023 to examine whether the policy offers CACs a sufficient degree of flexibility to operate in different types of CSC facilities (e.g., at different security levels and in varying locations).

The Management Accountability Framework for CD 023 has been developed and implemented.


10. That the CAC clarify their role of providing advice and communicate this role to CSC staff (including management) and CAC members, so that CSC maximally benefits from this activity.

Linked to recommendations 3, 6 and 8: implementation of actions related to these recommendations addresses this recommendation as well. Ensure that CSC's policy process continues to involve CACs at earliest possible point in this process. The three advisory committees (Maximum Security Institutions Committee, Restorative Justice Committee, Community Reintegration Committee), as well as the FSW sub-committee, are venues for CACs to provide advice and improve communication between CSC and CACs.