Bill C-56-
An Act to amend the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and the Abolition of Early Parole Act

Almost all federal offenders will eventually return to the community. Safe and humane custody and access to rehabilitative programs and services while incarcerated mean they are much more likely to come back as law-abiding, contributing members, which creates greater public safety for all Canadians.

With this in mind, the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) is supporting the Government of Canada in strengthening the country's federal correctional system. As part of this effort, Bill C-56 was tabled on June 19, 2017. It would make important changes to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), including use of administrative segregation.

We are still reviewing the requirements of the Bill and what they may mean for CSC, and we will continue to monitor the Bill's progress through Parliament. If Bill C-56 is passed, we will ensure the appropriate training, resources and updates to policies are in place to implement this legislation.

Specifically, this Bill is proposing to:

Administrative Segregation

  • Set presumptive release for offenders in administrative segregation by 21 days (e.g., offenders will be released before the end of the 21st calendar day, unless the Institutional Head provides a written rationale that shows their release would jeopardize the security of the institution, a person or the offender, or interfere in an ongoing investigation) and move to a 15-day presumptive release 18 months after the legislation take effect.
  • Have independent external reviewers appointed by the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness to review the files and make a recommendation in relation to any offenders who: are in administrative segregation for longer than 21 calendar days; have been in segregation for a total of at least 90 cumulative days within the same calendar year; or, have been in administrative segregation at least three previous times in the same calendar year.
  • Authorize the head of a CSC region to, following a review, order that an inmate be released or maintained in segregation. 
  • Hold a comprehensive review of the reforms made to administrative segregation five years after the legislation comes into effect.

Additional changes to the CCRA

  • Reinstate in the CCRA the principle of using "the least restrictive" measures when dealing with offenders.
  • Amend the Abolition of Early Parole Act (AEPA). The previous Accelerated Parole Review (APR) framework gave first-time, non violent offenders the chance to be reviewed for parole at an earlier date. That framework was repealed in 2011. Now the AEPA will be amended so that offenders who committed their offence prior to the law coming into effect in 2011 but were only sentenced for it after that date may be eligible to benefit from it. 
  • Amend the CCRA so that, after a suspension, termination or revocation of parole or statutory release, you will get an oral hearing.