Commissioner's Directive

Inmate Movement


  1. To provide direction for controlling and monitoring inmate movement.


  1. Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), sections 3.1, 4, 15.1, 17, 18, 29, 31 and 81

    Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (CCRR), sections 8 to 16, 19 to 23 and 90


  1. This Commissioner's Directive applies to staff controlling and monitoring the movement of inmates at all institutions, excluding Community Correctional Centres.


  1. The Institutional Head will ensure that:
    1. a Standing Order is in place to monitor and control inmate movement at all times;
    2. inmate movement during a medical emergency will occur as per CD 800 – Health Services;
    3. specific times are established for health care clinics and distribution of medication as per CD 800 – Health Services; and
    4. all movement procedures allow inmates to engage in their Correctional Plan, including participation in case management, correctional programs and approved religious and cultural events, while taking into consideration institutional security requirements, both during work and leisure hours.
  2. The Deputy Warden will ensure Post Orders are developed to monitor and control inmate movement during and after regular working hours.
  3. The Assistant Warden, Operations/Manager, Operations, will ensure procedures are implemented to supervise and monitor inmate movement.
  4. The Correctional Manager, Operational Desk, will manage routine and non-routine inmate movement in a timely manner.
  5. The Correctional Manager, Unit/Sector, will manage cell changes and inmate movement within a unit or sector in a timely manner in accordance with CD 550 – Inmate Accommodation.
  6. The Correctional Officer/Primary Worker will ensure each inmate's pass and/or movement is authorized.
  7. All staff will:
    1. use and verify the pass system; and
    2. report unauthorized inmate movement.


Standing Order

  1. The Standing Order will consider the security level of the institution and inmates' needs in terms of structure and control and will include the following:
    1. times when movement is permitted;
    2. the maximum number of inmates permitted to move at one time;
    3. reasons for inmate movement;
    4. methods of initiating inmate movement;
    5. a pass system; and
    6. out-of-bound areas during movement.
  2. At maximum security institutions, the Standing Order will indicate:
    1. that cell doors are only to be left open during the identified changeover period or when a group of inmates return from special activities, such as religious services, visits, group meetings, etc.;
    2. that once the range is secured, one cell per range may remain open (to allow for cleaning, etc.) only if there are no other inmates in the range area; and
    3. when applicable, the maximum number of inmates allowed on the range for leisure activities.

Pass System

  1. The pass system will consist of one or more of the following methods depending on the site and security level:
    1. paper record;
    2. electronic system;
    3. telephone clearance;
    4. pick-up or check-off list; or
    5. escorted movement.
  2. The pass system will include the following:
    1. the areas of the institution where passes or escorts are required;
    2. the times passes are required;
    3. reasons for issuing the pass;
    4. staff who can authorize inmate passes;
    5. a system for inspecting passes to prevent breaches of security and abuses of the pass system; and
    6. a statement describing the responsibilities of all staff for enforcing the pass system.
  3. Taking into account the security level of the institution, the procedures for the pass system will identify:
    1. the information required for inmate passes;
    2. the responsibilities of the initiating and receiving staff;
    3. how to schedule visitors;
    4. the recording system;
    5. how to terminate or cancel a pass;
    6. the action to be taken when unauthorized movement occurs;
    7. the procedures to be followed during non-scheduled call-outs;
    8. how to authorize movement within the institution in preparation for temporary absences, conditional releases, escorts and transfers;
    9. how to dispose of used paper passes; and
    10. what special passes can be issued, including their use and the review process required for these passes.


  1. Procedures for inmate work and program attendance will consider:
    1. the times when inmate movement to and from their workplaces and program areas are allowed;
    2. the responsibilities of staff;
    3. how inmates will be released, including restriction of the number of inmates that may move at one time (where applicable);
    4. the security control points used to monitor inmate movement to and from their workplaces and/or program areas;
    5. requirements for movement between work departments and/or program areas;
    6. special requirements for movement of inmates to and from the kitchen;
    7. requirements for the movement of inmates working on split shifts;
    8. requirements for the movement of inmates who work on maintenance crews or require mobility;
    9. measures for inclement weather or emergencies;
    10. measures for dealing with inmates who fail to report to the workplace and program; and
    11. measures for reporting unauthorized absences from the workplace and programs during work hours.
Movement – Work Outside the Perimeter
  1. Movement procedures for work attendance outside the perimeter will include:
    1. out-of-bound areas;
    2. a procedure to monitor and control movement in and out of the institution;
    3. the maximum number of inmates allowed outside the perimeter at one time;
    4. identifying inmates;
    5. escort requirements;
    6. the responsibility of specific officer(s) for searching the inmates in accordance with CD 566-7 – Searching of Inmates; and
    7. procedures for emergencies.
Inmate Movement During Leisure Hours
  1. Movement procedures for weekends, holidays and leisure hours will include:
    1. the times when inmate movement is permitted;
    2. the maximum number of inmates to be moved at one time;
    3. the areas of the institution where inmate movement is permitted;
    4. identification of out-of-bound areas;
    5. identification of the positions and responsibilities of supervising officers;
    6. identification of the security control points for monitoring inmate movement;
    7. release procedures from activities to another location;
    8. procedures for interviews during leisure hours;
    9. restrictions on inmate movement during inclement weather; and
    10. procedures for emergencies.
  2. At maximum security institutions, the number of inmates allowed in the yard will not exceed 50.
  3. Intake Assessment Units that are located within a maximum security institution are not required to limit the number of Intake Assessment offenders attending yard.


  1. Strategic Policy Division
    National Headquarters
    Email: Gen-NHQPolicy-Politi@CSC-SCC.GC.CA


Original signed by
Don Head




Medical emergency:
an injury or condition that poses an immediate threat to a person's health or life which requires medical intervention.

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