This Web page has been archived on the Web.
The Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women was established by the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) in 1989 to develop a comprehensive strategy for the management of women offenders that would be responsive to their specific needs. The Task Force was unique in that it was co-chaired by both CSC and the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies and included diverse representation from government, correctional practitioners, community advocates, Aboriginal organizations and women offenders.
The Task Force’s Report, Creating Choices, was accepted by the federal government in 1990. Its primary recommendations included the closure of the Prison for Women and the construction of four regional institutions and an Aboriginal healing lodge. The Task Force also recommended the development of women-centred programs and the establishment of a community strategy to expand and strengthen programs and services for women on conditional release.
The Report set out five principles for a new correctional strategy for women offenders: empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environments, and shared responsibility. These principles have guided the development of a women-centred vision of corrections that addresses women's criminogenic factors while adopting a holistic approach to meeting their needs.
The Task Force was clear that changes to the existing model were required in order to support women’s safe reintegration into the community. In keeping with these five principles, CSC has a responsibility not only to provide women offenders with an environment that is safe, but also one that is supportive, empowering and promotes personal growth and healing. This philosophy remains the foundation upon which federal corrections for women in Canada is built.
In their 2003 Report entitled Protecting their Rights- a Systemic Review of Human Rights in Correctional Services for Federally Sentenced Women, the Canadian Human Rights Commission called for an independent external redress body for federally sentenced women offenders. CSC’s response noted that while there were no plans to introduce an external redress body at that time, an external review of women’s institutions would take place. In 2005, CSC invited Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons to conduct a thorough review of two women’s institutions. The Inspectorate subsequently inspected Nova and Grand Valley institutions in fall 2005.
These inspections were a unique opportunity for CSC to benefit from an independent review of its operations and policies to further assist in improving interventions and services for women offenders. One of the issues raised by the Inspectorate as an area of concern was bullying behaviours among offenders. CSC is addressing the issue in a number of ways, including the development of this National Initiative, which will inform the creation of each institution’s own Safer Institutional Environments (S.I.E.) Strategy. Work is already underway in the women offender institutions; local S.I.E. committees were established, and the chairs of these committees, along with representatives of the Women Offender Sector, formed a National Working Group to develop and implement this National Initiative.
Bullying behaviours produce a variety of consequences, causing specific distress and anxiety to victims and have negative consequences on the entire institution, by promoting a culture of intimidation, violence and fear. Specifically, bullying behaviours can lead to an increase in threats, property damage, assault, drug use, isolation, stress, depression, anxiety, anger, hostility and incidents of self-harming. If left unmanaged, it can encourage a hostile environment, threaten the security of the institution, the safety of offenders and staff, damage staff-offender relations and impede the rehabilitation process.
One of CSC’s five priorities is the safety and security of staff and offenders within its institutions. This underscores a strong focus and commitment to reducing all forms of institutional violence in order to create an environment that is safer and healthier for both staff and offenders. In addition, section 70 of the CCRA states that "The Service shall take all reasonable steps to ensure that penitentiaries, the penitentiary environment, the living and working conditions of inmates and the working conditions of staff members are safe, healthful and free of practices that undermine a person’s sense of personal dignity."
Another priority for the Service is the safe transition of offenders to the community, and by assisting women offenders to respond pro-socially to aggressive or threatening situations, CSC aims to enhance their skills to return effectively to the community and to deal appropriately with situations where, in the past, they may have resorted to aggressive behaviours.
Therefore, given the harmful impacts of bullying behaviours not only on the overall safe operation of institutions, but also on those who are targeted by these behaviours and the benefits of further equipping women to succeed in their reintegration, the development of this National Initiative is both a logical and necessary step.
The goal of this National Initiative is to provide direction to individual sites in the development of their specific Safer Institutional Environments (S.I.E.) strategies to ensure a consistent and strategic approach to addressing offender-to-offender bullying behaviours. The National Initiative outlines the key beliefs and essential elements that must be incorporated. When the Strategies are implemented, it is anticipated that bullying behaviours and their effects will be reduced by explicitly promoting a more positive institutional community culture that will lead to safer, more respectful environments while enhancing the potential for successful reintegration.
Fundamentally, this Initiative and each institution’s strategy will be practical, useful and should resonate with all women under custody. The strategies must convey the clear message that CSC is committed to enhancing the safety of institutional communities and that bullying behaviours are not tolerated. The key elements to be included in each strategy are:
This Initiative is rooted, first and foremost, in the five principles of Creating Choices and is also founded on thefollowing values:
Women-centred - each woman’s actions must be understood and addressed within the context in which she lives. Strategies must take into account women’s socio-political and economic backgrounds, recognizing the need for ongoing support, while respecting the importance and centrality of relationships in women’s emotional development.
Diversity - women offenders are not a homogenous group. They not only have different needs and learning styles, but they also come from varied socio-economic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. It is essential that the strategies respect and accommodate these differences and that they be accessible to all women (available in both official languages, easy to read and understand, provided in all institutional handbooks and in different formats where required - audio or Braille).
Holistic - everyone’s actions shape the institutional environment, and each individual has a role to play in contributing to a more positive climate; therefore, a "whole-institution approach" is required to achieve change. Further, strategies will consider and value the totality of each woman (their physical, psychological, mental, emotional, spiritual and social selves).
Flexible and sustainable - given the differing populations within each women offender institution, it is crucial that the institutions have the flexibility to develop their own strategy to best respond to their specific needs. As the strategies need to be sustainable, this flexibility will lend to their success.
Continuity of care - to be effective, this Initiative and its spirit must be embraced by all and applied from
the point of first contact by a community parole officer in a provincial institution, to orientation, throughout the sentence
and upon release into the community.
Most definitions of bullying are based on school literature. Dr. Jane Ireland, a forensic psychologist who published the first book on bullying in prisons in 2002, explains that in schools, the two most common characteristics of bullying are a repetition of the behaviour and the presence of an imbalance of power. Bullying should therefore be considered as an umbrella term to describe "intra-group aggression," as it covers a range of aggressive behaviour that occurs between individuals. Dr. Ireland however is of the opinion that the fear of repeated aggression should form the basis of the definition and accordingly defines bullying in the following way:
An individual is being bullied when they are the victim of direct and/or indirect aggression happening on a weekly basis, by the same or different perpetrator(s). Single incidences of aggression can be viewed as bullying, particularly when they are severe and when the individual either believes or fears that they are at risk of future victimization by the same perpetrator or others.
[Appendix A provides a list of behaviours indicative of bullying.]
The literature indicates that addictions, boredom, social status, specific crimes, relationships, and personal possessions are some of the main reasons people engage in bullying behaviours in a prison setting. The reasons why incarcerated offenders engage in these behaviours can generally be broken down into three main areas. It is important to note that bullying behaviours are not solely an individual phenomenon, but rather the result of the interaction between individual characteristics and the physical and social environment1:
Individual characteristics are important, but they are insufficient on their own to explain why someone engages in bullying behaviours. Examples of individual characteristics include empathy deficits, considerable experience in an institutional setting, level of social skills (which determines whether a person can bully another and how effective they will be), addictions and mental illness.
The physical aspects inherent to an institution increase bullying behaviours as access to material goods is limited, supervision patterns are often predictable, there is a lack of stimulation, and the women reside in close living quarters. Engaging in bullying behaviours can therefore be an effective method to acquire goods that are in limited supply in an institution. In addition, the simple fact of being in an environment where one is unable to escape or avoid certain situations can lead to the adoption of bullying behaviours by people who would not usually resort to aggressive behaviours under normal circumstances (e.g. in the community).
Institutions are highly structured environments in which social hierarchies based on dominance are formed and the offender subculture discourages offenders from interacting with staff or informing on their peers. Women become part of a social group where negotiations of power and dominance are constant, and engaging in bullying behaviour can be a useful method to achieve these goals. Resorting to bullying behaviours can in fact be a way for the women to protect themselves from victimization by others.
These physical and social aspects of the prison environment promote and reinforce the use of bullying behaviours. Engaging in these behaviours in a prison setting can therefore serve as an adaptive function as they are both a protective measure as well as a proactive one that allow an offender to acquire goods, etc., that are in short supply. This is by no means meant to imply that these are acceptable behaviours, but rather that they serve an effective function.2
[Appendix B - Interactional Model for Prison Bullying (Ireland, 2002, Ireland, 2005)]
Information from the women offender institutions confirms the limited research available that most bullying behaviours are verbal or relational in nature (e.g. gossiping, intimidation, exclusion) and far less frequently physical. This indirect form makes detection more difficult, which, when coupled with offenders’ reluctance to come forward, could lead them to believe that little is being done by management to correct the problem. Many women who experience bullying will not report that they are being bullied for a number of reasons, including shame, fear of retaliation and/or fear of being seen as breaking the "inmate code" by disclosing information to staff. Further, some women will not recognize they are being bullied, especially when it is indirect. Therefore, a crucial component of the site-specific strategies will be staff’s continued vigilance and their ability to identify indicators of bullying. Indirect aggression is an effective way of victimizing as it combines a high cost for the person harmed and a low cost for the person responsible in terms of being caught by staff3 . Therefore, staff cannot depend solely on visible signs, but should rather focus on understanding and identifying the various invisible yet damaging forms of indirect bullying behaviours.
Bullying can be expected to occur given that human interaction will always involve some level of conflict and prison environments are by their very nature conducive to bullying as they confine many women with varying personalities from differing backgrounds in a closed setting for prolonged periods. Eradicating all bullying behaviours therefore is unlikely to occur; however, by raising awareness of this topic, providing specific and useful information to both offenders and staff while promoting a more positive institutional culture, these behaviours and their effects can be reduced.
2 Applied Social Problem-Solving Model: Ireland, J.L and Murray, E. (2005), "Social Problem-solving and Bullying: Are Prison Bullies Really Impaired Problem Solvers?" in J. L. Ireland (Ed.), Bullying Among Prisoners: Innovations in Theory and Research, Willan Publishing.
3 Ireland, J. L. and Monaghan, R. Behaviours Indicative of Bullying among Young and Juvenile Male Offenders: A Study of Perpetrator and Victim Characteristics, 2006, Aggressive Behaviour, 32, pp. 172 - 180.
This National Initiative has been developed to inform each site’s local strategy. It is intended to provide institutions with the ability to be flexible in their approach in order to meet the needs of their specific offender population while providing direction on the essential elements that are required to maintain a level of national consistency:
Each institution must have an S.I.E. Committee with a clearly defined, well-publicized mandate, which meet on a regular basis (monthly). They must be multi-disciplinary, represented by as many departments as possible within the institution, such as management, front-line staff, spirituality, programs, health care (including mental health), security, psychologists, education, etc. They will also have links with other relevant committees/groups as required (e.g. Inmate Committee, Aboriginal Offender Wellness Committee, Peer Support, etc.).
The committees will strategically promote a healthier and more respectful environment while specifically addressing offender-to-offender bullying behaviours. Once these committees have developed their local strategies, they will also be responsible for implementing and monitoring them, supported by the Women Offender Sector and Regional Headquarters. The Women Offender Sector will organize and participate in regular conference calls with the National Working Group on Safer Institutional Environments (which also includes Chairs of each site’s committee and regional representatives), where best practices, challenges and successes can be shared. These calls are an opportunity to continually renew the energy of the initiative, increase knowledge and share practices, with the aim of improving and strengthening approaches and interventions.
To be effective, the institutional community should be familiar with the National Initiative and specifically with their own site-specific strategy. Everyone should be aware of the range of behaviours considered to be bullying and their effects not only on the people directly involved, but also on the institution as a whole. Additionally, women offenders need to be aware of the process to follow and the options available to them when they feel they are being bullied. Therefore, each site’s strategy will include a communication plan to ensure that everyone in the institutional community (offenders, staff, Citenzen’s Advisory Committee members, volunteers, visitors, stakeholders, etc.) understands the strategy’s process and its components.
Staff will be provided with information on bullying via training and also through education and awareness activities planned by their institutional S.I.E. Committee:
Correctional Training Program (CTP)
The CTP was revised and now includes a new module on prison sub-culture with gender-specific information and scenarios dealing with aggressive/bullying behaviours. Other topics such as facilitating group discussions will be covered. This proactive approach will be particularly useful when staff are holding house meetings or trying to solve an issue between women offenders.
Women-Centred Training and Refresher (WCT and WCT-R)
Staff in the National Training Standard target group will be provided with information on bullying as part of the Women-Centred Training Refresher that is being offered in 2008 and 2009. Training includes proactive measures that staff will be expected to undertake and/or facilitate to help foster a positive institutional culture (e.g. running a house meeting utilizing a circle format). The use of a pro-active approach lessens the need for formal processes and allows issues or bullying incidents to be addressed in a safe environment. It also allows the women to take responsibility for their actions and encourages them to treat everyone concerned with respect and dignity, even in situations of conflict or disagreement. They will be given a general background on bullying, including learning about specific bullying indicators, why it occurs, different types of bullying and how to most effectively respond to these situations. Staff will be provided with information on the most vulnerable situations, locations and times when the women may be more susceptible to bullying behaviours. At the same time, consideration should be given to which aspects of the social and/or physical environment can be amended in order to limit opportunities to engage in bullying behaviours.
Annual information sessions will be provided by each site in conjunction with the Women Offender Sector to ensure consistency in staff approaches to bullying behaviours, to minimize the effects of complacency and to ensure that staff remain up to date with the most recent research evidence. Community parole officers, staff from Community Residential Facilities, volunteers, Citizens’ Advisory Committees, National Parole Board members as well as the Independent Chairpersons should be invited to attend these sessions and any other related activities.
Information on bullying will be provided through varied means:
All women will be provided with this National Initiative as well as their site-specific strategy in the Inmate Handbook. Sites are expected to provide awareness activities for the women with respect to their specific strategy at least once a year. These gatherings should emphasize the holistic, “whole-institution” approach to this issue while sharing information with the women on the different types of bullying behaviours, their effects on the social environment, the benefits of addressing these behaviours, what their options are, and the role played by the bystander. Overall, it is critical that women know what to do when bullying situations occur.
Orientation sessions for newly admitted women will address bullying behaviours and the women should be connected with peer support, if available, upon arrival. S.I.E. committees will include new admissions as a standing item on the agenda for their monthly meeting so that special care is taken to ensure that they are not subject to bullying behaviours as a result of their status as newly arrived offenders. Therefore, where possible, the committee will proactively identify and address potential bullying situations as part of the wider issue of healthy community living.
Awareness sessions for the women should include discussions about the critical role that bystanders play. Engaging bystanders is crucial to the success of creating safer institutional environments. Bystanders are not neutral, but rather play an integral part in the cycle of bullying. They can be active (e.g. encouraging the situation) or passive (not intervening, watching or looking away). Addressing bullying in the orientation sessions (see above) may help those who would otherwise adopt the role of bystander. Some of the reasons that bystanders do not intervene include:
Bystanders also experience consequences from not intervening; they may feel guilty or feel as though their own security within the institution is in jeopardy and thus feel a sense of powerlessness. This can have an overall negative effect on their well-being and adherence to their Correctional Plans. When bystanders remain passive observers, they allow the cycle of bullying behaviours to continue. Therefore, given that they may face consequences from their peers should they intervene, sites must determine safe and effective approaches to address this issue. Although some women will decide to intervene depending on the situation, this Initiative, and each site’s strategy, must highlight that these behaviours will not be tolerated hence removing the onus on individual women to come forward.
Upon admission, all women complete the Engagement and Education component of the Women Offender Substance Abuse Program (WOSAP). The purpose of this module is to heighten women’s awareness of how to contribute to a healthy, substance-free community. Phase 1 includes eight one-hour sessions which all women must complete. As part of the Women's Violence Prevention Program, two additional sessions have been added which target the prevention of violent behaviour by addressing such issues as intimidation tactics and relational violence.The Program targets women who have committed two or more violent offences to assist them in developping ways of living that are incompatible with violence. This intervention is followed by an Institutional and Community Relapse Prevention / Maintenance Program that targets all criminal behaviour.
Other examples of education and awareness-raising activities for both staff and offenders can include, but are not limited to:
4 Staff should exercise care in how they select these peer educators. They should assess whether potential peer educators are exhibiting bullying behaviours. This reflects research evidence suggesting that "pure bullies" often present in a pro-social manner towards staff. (Jane Ireland, PhD, Professor, University of Central Lancashire)
Women will be encouraged to discuss any problems they are having directly with staff. However, given that bullying behaviours are most often indirect and many women who are victimized will not report it, staff must continue to be vigilant in their interactions and observations, as many issues can be resolved proactively before a situation occurs. Most often a problem will be discovered because staff will have recognized the signs (e.g. a change of behavioural pattern, withdrawal, distress).
Given that some people may be reluctant to approach staff directly if they are concerned a bullying situation is occurring, sites are encouraged to devise a method for the women to share their observations/concerns. However, direct communication remains the preferred method of sharing information and is encouraged.
It is important to consider overall how the social and physical (e.g. population density, turnover, supervision style) environment can be influenced to promote or increase a sense of community.5 Staff modelling is key to achieving a more respectful environment in the institution. Staff have a critical role to play in providing leadership and in supporting and assisting women to find pro-social solutions to the problems they encounter. Therefore, everyone involved with women offenders, both directly and indirectly, must take a proactive approach to creating a safer, healthier environment. Partly this means staff’s continued vigilance and constant assessment of the environment and relationships. Creating more opportunities for women to have positive interactions with each other and with staff will also assist in building an institutional climate that is more conducive to respectful behaviour.
5 Community-based approach: Ireland, J.L. (2007), "The Effective Management of Bullying among Prisoners: Working towards an Evidence-based Approach," in G. Towl (Ed.), Psychological Research in Prisons, BPS Blackwell.
Examples of other proactive initiatives include:
Talking circles and house meetings
Ideally, regular house meetings should also be held to check in with the women and monitor the climate in the house. These meetings provide an excellent opportunity to discuss any issues that the women may be experiencing, allowing for the resolution of issues before they escalate and require official intervention.
Talking circles are an Aboriginal tradition used in healing, community building and for sharing ideas and feelings with one another. Support and concern are what bring people together in a circle and relationships are a key focus . They are inherently non-hierarchical and inclusive, based on respect, equality, and interconnectedness and are holistic in nature.Utilizing a circle approach is particularly effective in resolving issues as they offer each woman the opportunity to be heard and understood in a safe and respectful environment and to contribute to the solution, enhancing their abilities to resolve issues pro-socially as well as build and sustain healthy relationships. Staff will be provided with information on how to hold a circle during the WCT Refresher for 2008-09 and will be encouraged to utilize them when appropriate and if they feel comfortable doing so. Institutional Elders are also an invaluable resource that can be consulted and/or approached to facilitate a circle.
Interventions are to continue as is current practice, utilizing the Situation Management Model (SMM) and responding appropriately, according to law and policy and CSC’s legal obligations, including the completion of relevant reports. In cases where the offender’s behaviour would normally result in charges being laid under one of the following bodies of law: the Criminal Code or section 40 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), normal procedures apply. There may however be times when the behaviour may be more indicative of bullying; in these instances, the process for responding remains the same; however, it is the follow-up with those involved that may differ.
[Appendix C provides an Intervention Flowchart.]
Follow-up after a bullying incident has occurred
Based on the exhibited behaviour, there is a continuum of interventions available to staff once they become aware of a bullying incident. The first step, as is current practice, is to respond to the situation and ensure the person harmed is safe. Subsequently, there will be a determination as to whether charges (institutional or outside) apply. If so, normal procedures apply but, additionally, staff will work with the women involved to develop an action plan and the follow up should be documented in a Casework Record.
Action plans are intended to provide a framework for staff to be able to address a bullying related incident in a consistent manner. The person harmed should work with staff to determine what kind of intervention/support she feels would be most effective for her, with the understanding that she will not be involved in determining the consequences for the person responsible. Responses to the person harmed can be immediate, short and long term. An immediate response may be to connect the woman to Peer Support, Chaplaincy, or an Elder for support while a plan is being formulated that, depending on the situation, may include devising ways to widen her social group, strengthen her social skills and self esteem, etc. Involving the person harmed in the process may help alleviate any feelings of helplessness and powerlessness that she may feel.6 It is essential to validate the person harmed and that all parties communicate that these behaviours are not acceptable and will not be tolerated. In addition, staff should only offer support but not insist on it - the person harmed may not feel the need for intervention/support. If this is the case, staff should observe her interactions more closely and increase their interactions with the parties involved to monitor the situation.
6 Ireland, J.L. (2002), Bullying Among Prisoners: Evidence, Research, and Intervention Strategies, London and Hove: Brunner-Routledge, p. 196.
When working with the person responsible for the harm, staff should collaborate with her using a corrective approach, such as setting targets for appropriate behaviour, exploring the motivation behind the bullying behaviours and identifying the costs and benefits of the behaviour in order to suggest more appropriate and pro-social ways of accomplishing her objectives.7 In some cases, interventions that examine the victim’s perspective may be beneficial. When improvements are observed in her behaviour, these should be conveyed to her as a way to encourage pro-social behaviour. In instances where her behaviour has been deemed serious or severe enough to require outside charges, normal procedures will apply, in keeping with law and policy, as indicated above.
Sites are asked to ensure that bullying incidents are documented in such a way that they may be tracked. Appendix D gives an example of how this could be achieved and sets out that at a minimum, any report contains a description of the incident and what action has been taken with the person(s) harmed and the person(s) responsible, including documenting the follow-up. Each site would also benefit from developing a specific process to facilitate the flow of information to all relevant personnel within the institution about the situation and what is being done to address it so that a consistent approach can be applied.
Some points for consideration when staff are determining what action should be taken:8
8 Ireland, J.L. (2007), "The Effective Management of Bullying among Prisoners: Working towards an Evidence-based Approach,"in G. Towl (Ed.), Psychological Research in Prisons, BPS Blackwell.
It is important to note that prior to employing traditional conflict resolution methods, it is important to develop individualized action plans in order to determine the motivation for the behaviour, etc. In certain cases, such methods may prove valuable. However, mediation should not be widely recommended as there is the risk of re-victimizing the person harmed. Asking the person harmed to negotiate with the person responsible can convey the message that she is on her own to deal with the situation, and often people harmed by bullying behaviours will agree to mediation as they feel they have to. In cases where mediation methods are identified as an appropriate avenue, these must be very carefully managed.
The Women Offender Sector will distribute an annual survey in order to gather information about both the nature and extent of bullying behaviours between offenders in the institutions. This includes questions on locations, motivations, effectiveness of staff responses, women’s overall sense of safety, and what can further be done by staff to support them. A baseline measurement has already been established by the UK Inspectorate of Prisons Survey (2005) as they included a section on safety in their survey. The Women Offender Sector has included the questions from the UK Survey into its own survey while incorporating additional questions. The information collected will assist in determining areas of concern and the most effective responses to the situation. The results will be shared with the institutions and will also help to ascertain whether the Initiative and resulting site-specific strategies are effective.
There are two main categories of activities containing a range of behaviours that can be characterized as bullying. Direct bullying refers to the most obvious and recognizable types of behaviours and can take many forms (as indicated below). Some of these are criminal offences and should be dealt with accordingly. Indirect bullying is less likely to be recognized, as it is a more subtle form of bullying and includes behaviours that may not be as obvious. Because these types of behaviours are harder to detect, they are often used more frequently with significant emotional impact, and the person harmed by the behaviour may not always know who the person responsible for the behaviour is. The examples below are not to be considered a complete list.
9 Jane Ireland, PhD, Professor, University of Central Lancashire
|Environmental Characteristics||Mediated by
|Incentives to Continue to Bully|
Restriction on material
Capitalist economic structure
High social density
Limited spatial density
Physical escape not possible
Staff supervision limited as staff to prisoner ratio low
Supervision is predictable
Lack of stimulation
Aggression normalized and possibly an adaptive response
Authoritarian / hierarchical structure based on overt control and discipline
Reliance on rules
Presence of a prisoner subculture
Negative/ indifferent attitudes towards victims
Importance of dominance relations between prisoners
Importance of status and maintaining status
Low genetic and attachment relationships
Increased Tendency To Bully
Intrinsic characteristics of individual
e.g. psychopathic tendencies, impaired ability to empathize, tendency to aggress and to have positive beliefs about aggression
Descriptive characteristics e.g. length of time spent in prison, previous convictions etc.
Level of physical/social skill possessed by the individual e.g. ability to bully others physically, verbally or indirectly. Will help to determine if they can bully and the type of bullying strategy used.
outcome - dependant on opportunity)
Increased access to material goods
Victims unlikely to inform e.g. inmate rules against informing
Increase in status and power
Privileged place in prisoner hierarchy
Proven ability to dominate that reduces chance of being victimized by others in the future
Social support for bullies
Increase in stimulation/ reduction in boredom
*Figure first appears in Ireland, J. L. (2002, 2005) - Reproduced with permission
(click link to view larger image)
|Alleged Person(s) Responsible
(FPS, Sec. Level)
|Alleged Person(s) Harmed
(FPS, Sec. Level)
(FPS, Sec. Level)
|Date & Location||Reported By:
[staff (e.g: PW, CM) or woman offender]
|Brief description of occurrence:
[known motivation (e.g: racial, sexual, money, status, historical)]
|Action Taken||Follow Up|
|Women Offender Sector (WOS)||Each Regional Facility and the Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge||Regional Headquarters|
|Develop and distribute a National Initiative on Safer Institutional Environments (S.I.E.). Support sites in the development of their strategy.||Develop and implement a local S.I.E. strategy by following the National Initiative.||Support the institution in the development of their strategy|
|1. Safer Institutional Environments Committees|
|Publicize the Committee’s mandate.|
|Hold regular meetings.|
|Organize regular conference calls with the National Working Group.||The Chair of each S.I.E. Committee will participate in regular conference calls with WOS.||Invited to be part of monthly conference calls.|
|Support sites in the implementation of their strategy.||Upon completion of their local strategies, these committees are responsible for implementing and monitoring the strategy.||Support the sites in the implementation and monitoring of the strategy.|
|2. Education and Awareness|
|Provide support as necessary to Learning and Development, NHQ and the Centre of Excellence for Women Offenders (Ontario Staff College) as they develop the Safer Institutional Environments Women-Centered Training Refresher to be delivered 2008-09.|
|Support the sites as necessary.||Hold annual information sessions for staff.||Support the sites as necessary.|
|Support the sites as necessary.||Hold annual information sessions for offenders on local S.I.E. Strategy.||Support the sites as necessary.|
|Provide all offenders with a copy of the National Initiative and their specific site’s strategy by way of the Inmate Handbook.|
|Include information on bullying behaviours in orientation sessions for newly admitted women and connect them with Peer Support.|
|S.I.E. committees will include new admissions as a standing item on the agenda at their regular meetings.|
|3. Interaction and Intervention|
|Each site must establish or confirm steps to follow in responding to a bullying situation (e.g. Action Plan).|
|Each site will develop a specific process to facilitate the flow of information on bullying behaviours to relevant personnel (security, case management, psychology etc.) within the institution.|
|Provide an annual survey in order to gather information about both the nature and extent of bullying between offenders in the institutions.||Distribute the annual survey, collect completed copies and return to WOS.|
|Analyze data collected in surveys and provide sites with site-specific analysis of any issues, gaps, best practices, etc.||Implement any corrective measures identified in the survey analysis to address any gaps, etc.||Support the sites as necessary|
|4. Evaluation and Measurement|
|Overall coordination and monitoring function.||Sites will keep track of the bullying incidents in their institutions.|