Correctional Plans: Purpose and Content
When offenders come under CSC’s responsibility, CSC gathers information about their lives and their crimes, including information from the courts and police. As offenders go through a process called “Intake”, CSC gives them special tests and comes up with ratings about a number of key aspects of their lives, such as mental health, education, and substance abuse. With this information CSC evaluates offenders’ needs in the following eight areas:
- Education – level of education, vocational training
- Employment – work skills and experience, history of unemployment
- Marital/Family – history of relationships, family abuse, parenting skills
- Associates – criminal friends, isolation from pro-social people
- Substance Abuse – history of drug and/or alcohol abuse and its link to offending
- Community Functioning – ability to manage finances/housing, involvement in pro-social recreation/leisure activities
- Personal/Emotional Orientation – problem-solving skills, self-discipline, interpersonal skills, anger management
- Attitude – rationalization for crime, attitudes towards the law and criminal justice system
All of this is used to write the offenders’ Correctional Plan, which states if and how these factors contributed to their criminal behaviour. The Plan also lists the goals the offenders are expected to meet while serving their sentence - for example, the programs that the offender needs to participate in.
The Plan is reviewed and the ratings are updated throughout the sentence, based on the offenders’ progress and whether they are meeting the goals set out in the Plan.
CSC also looks at the following:
- how much offenders take responsibility for their crimes;
- whether offenders are willing to actively work on meeting the goals of their Correctional Plan;
- whether offenders want to and are willing to make the effort to change; and
- offenders’ ability to return to the community without committing crimes in the future.
The Canadian Victim Bill of Rights introduced a change to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that allows victims to receive information about offenders’ Correctional Plans. In most cases, this information dates back to the beginning of their sentences. CSC will provide victims with a guide to explain the terms found in these reports. The guide also helps victims understand the process of correctional planning and reporting, and how information is used in making decisions about offenders, while in custody and once on release in the community.
As of June 2016, CSC can begin sending these reports to registered victims who ask for them. We will respond to all requests within a reasonable timeframe, but will start with cases where important dates are coming up in the offenders’ sentences. Victims can discuss the possible date that they could receive the report when they contact their Victim Services Officer to ask for it.Further information about receiving this type of report can be found on CSC’s website: http://www.csc-scc.gc.ca/victims/index-eng.shtml.
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