Commissioner's Directive

Control of Items Critical to the Security and Safety of Institutions


  1. To control those items used routinely in the operation of an institution which, if misused, could pose a threat to the security of the institution and/or the safety of the public.


  1. Standing Orders shall meet the distinctive security requirements of the institution by establishing mechanisms to ensure accountability for keys, tools, dangerous substances and communications equipment. The degree of accountability for each shall be proportional to the potential threat posed by the loss of the article, given the security classification of that institution.


  1. There shall be procedures for:
    1. acquisition;
    2. identification;
    3. issue and control;
    4. prompt access to and good working order of emergency keys;
    5. action in the event of the loss of keys; and
    6. destruction of keys (and locks).


  1. There shall be procedures governing the issue and control of tools and a description of the corrective action to be taken in the event of their loss.
  2. Tools shall be assigned one of the following security classifications:
    • Non-Restricted (Class N)
      a. tools which are used daily and are not usually expected to be used in any dangerous or illegal way;
    • Restricted (Class R)
      b. tools which are most likely to be used in an escape attempt or in any dangerous or illegal way. Class R tools shall be distinctively colour-coded with a blue marking;
    • Prohibited (Class P)
      c. tools which are considered extremely dangerous in the hands of inmates or requiring special security measures. Class P tools shall be distinctively colour-coded with a red marking.


  1. All hobbycraft tools that specifically relate to a hobby shall be authorized for an inmate's use by the institutional head.
  2. The tools referred to in paragraph 6, shall be strictly controlled and a permit, authorizing their use, publicly displayed on the wall of the inmate's cell.


  1. There shall be procedures for the issue and control of any portable communications equipment and a description of the action to be taken in the event of loss.


  1. Standing Orders dealing with substances which pose a threat or potential threat to security and the safety of staff and inmates shall detail procedures for the storage, issue and use of such substances.


  1. Because construction, maintenance and service contractors may use keys, tools, and dangerous substances, the institution shall ensure that control mechanisms are in place for controlling contractor activities.

Original signed by
Willie Gibbs, Acting Commissioner


For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.