Policy Bulletin 632

Policy Bulletin

Policy numbers and titles:

CD 709 – Administrative Segregation
GL 709-1 – Administrative Segregation
CD 800 – Health Services

Why were the policies changed?

Following a legal challenge regarding administrative segregation brought by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association and John Howard Society of Canada, the British Columbia Court of Appeal ruled on January 7, 2019 that the suspension of the declaration of constitutional invalidity related to administrative segregation be extended until June 17, 2019, or until further court order. This extension requires that the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) amend certain conditions for inmates in administrative segregation units. In addition to changes outlined in the Interim Policy Bulletin (IPB) 628, further obligations are required with respect to conditions of confinement for inmates housed in segregation.

This IPB encompasses all CSC requirements stipulated in the IPB 628 dated January 17, 2019, in addition to new requirements related to Elder visits to inmates in administrative segregation. This IPB replaces IPB 628, which is now revoked.

What has changed?

Elder Visits and Counselling

The Institutional Head will take steps to designate an Elder to visit inmates in administrative segregation on their first day of work to get acquainted with inmates and, thereafter, to be available for a minimum of two hours per working day to provide services to inmates in administrative segregation when requested. These visits and counselling sessions will be logged in the Segregation Log (form 0218) and documented in a Casework Record in OMS.

As of May 1st, 2019, Institutional Heads will ensure that Standing Orders are developed or amended to align with the direction outlined above with respect to Elder services and responsibilities, as well as establish a process for inmates in administrative segregation to request Elder services, including a request mechanism, and scheduling and record keeping requirements.

Legal Counsel

Inmates can request, and CSC will allow, their legal counsel to be present at their Institutional Segregation Review Board hearings to make submissions on their behalf. Attendance and participation of counsel will be facilitated while ensuring it does not impact the timeframe established in policy for these reviews.

In addition, when inmates in administrative segregation request a phone call to their counsel, they will be offered the opportunity to make the call, within a reasonable period, in a private area outside of their cell. Staff will document in the Segregation Log Book that the inmate was offered a call outside their cell. Should the inmate refuse the offer to make a call in a private area outside their cell, this too will be documented in the Segregation Log Book.

Pursuant to Commissioner’s Directive (CD) 709 – Administrative Segregation, staff are reminded that upon admission to administrative segregation, an inmate will, without delay, be informed of their right to counsel and given a reasonable opportunity to retain and instruct counsel in private.

Health Care

Registered health care professionals working in an institution can, for health reasons, including mental health reasons, recommend to the Institutional Head that the conditions of confinement of an inmate in administrative segregation be altered or that the inmate not remain in administrative segregation. Changes to conditions of confinement may include, but are not limited to, timing, frequency and duration of time outside of cell, and leisure and intervention options.

Where a registered health care professional is of the opinion that the inmate should no longer remain in administrative segregation or should have conditions of confinement altered, a recommendation must be provided to the Institutional Head, in writing, including the basis upon which the recommendation was reached and any health care needs requiring accommodation. The registered health care professional must provide the recommendation in a stand-alone report as soon as reasonably practical and, in any event, not more than 24 hours after forming the opinion.

The recommendation will be documented using the OHIS-EMR (OSCAR) e-form Health Services Recommendation Regarding Administrative Segregation, which will be printed and forwarded to the Institutional Head. As an interim measure until OMS enhancements are made, the text of the recommendation from the e-form will be copied into a Memo To File with the subject heading "Health Services Recommendation Regarding Administrative Segregation".

Where an Institutional Head receives such a recommendation, they will, without delay, implement the recommendation or provide a written explanation to the registered health care professional as to why the recommendation will not be implemented. The Institutional Head will document the decision in OMS using a Memo to File with the subject heading "Implementation of Health Recommendations Regarding Conditions of Confinement", indicating the implementation date or the rationale for rejecting or delaying part or all of the recommendation. When implementation of the recommendations is delayed, interim measures to mitigate potential risks will also be documented. Cases where the recommendations are rejected, altered or delayed will be reported without delay by the Institutional Head to the Regional Deputy Commissioner and the Assistant Commissioner, Health Services.

Copies of the written decision and explanation, along with the health care professional’s written recommendation, will be provided to the inmate, and, if requested by the inmate, to their legal counsel. The registered health care professional will enter the Institutional Head’s decision into the OHIS-EMR (OSCAR) on the Health Services Recommendation Regarding Administrative Segregation e-form that was completed when making the recommendation.

Time to Exercise Outdoors (Yard Time)

Inmates will now be given the opportunity to exercise outdoors for at least 1.5 hours every day, instead of one hour. In the event that the weather does not permit exercise to occur outdoors, this will be documented in the Segregation Log Book, and the exercise opportunity will be provided indoors instead. These requirements will be met every day, including on weekends and statutory holidays. Should the inmate refuse the offer to exercise, whether indoors or outdoors, this too will be documented in the Segregation Log Book.

Institutional Standing Orders

To ensure additional time outside of the inmate’s cell is safely implemented, and while acknowledging that institutions may already have procedures in place to assess risk, Institutional Heads will establish Standing Orders outlining procedures for determining the number of inmates, the population and risk factors to be considered in determining which inmates may associate outside of their cell at the same time.

The Correctional Manager assigned to the Administrative Segregation Unit will ensure that there is a daily association schedule that maximizes meaningful association of inmates, unless there are known safety or security concerns.

Inmates in administrative segregation will continue to be provided with the opportunity to exercise and associate with other compatible inmates in administrative segregation if there are no safety and security concerns.

Population and compatibility risk factors that must be considered in determining the daily association schedule include, but are not limited to:

Upon an inmate’s admission to administrative segregation, the Correctional Manager will consult the Security Intelligence Officer to identify factors that could influence the daily association schedule. If security intelligence information related to a specific inmate is unavailable, the inmate’s routines involving association with other inmates will be adjusted until consultation with the Security Intelligence Officer has occurred and/or the required information is received.

Total Time Outside of the Cell and Specific Requirements of the Daily Health Care Visits – PACIFIC REGION ONLY

In the Pacific Region only, inmates in administrative segregation will now be provided the opportunity to be out of their cells for a minimum of 2.5 hours per day, instead of the previous 2 hours. Staff must allow for a minimum of 1.5 hours of outdoor exercise to be included within these 2.5 hours.  

The daily visits of health care professionals with inmates in administrative segregation must include a visual observation, without physical barriers, of the inmate, unless, due to exceptional circumstances, such observation would jeopardize the safety and security of the institution. In this situation, the registered health care professional will document, in the OHIS-EMR (OSCAR), the reasons why unobstructed visual observation was not done.

Who will be affected by the policies?

All staff and contractors involved in the administrative segregation process and in the provision of health care services to inmates in administrative segregation.


National, regional and institutional staff responsible for administrative segregation and health care.



Original signed by:

Anne Kelly

Date modified: