Commissioner's Directive

Death of an Inmate: Notifications and Funeral Arrangements


  • To provide direction following the death of an inmate, with respect to communications, funeral arrangements, financial responsibilities and fingerprinting


Applies to all staff and spiritual leaders working in the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) institutions, including Community Correctional Centres (CCC)


  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will develop and update policy requirements to ensure consistency in all procedural matters in the event of an inmate death.
  2. The Regional Deputy Commissioner will ensure that the Regional Administrator, Communications and Executive Services (RACES), who fulfills the role of Family Liaison Coordinator, is recognized as the key point of contact for the sharing of information with families in the event of deaths in custody, after the initial notification has been completed at the institutional level. The responsibility of sharing of information may be delegated to the site personnel who fulfill the role of Family Liaison Officer, under oversight, coordination and monitoring by the RACES.
  3. The Institutional Head/District Director will ensure:
    1. a Standing Order is developed and maintained detailing procedures to be followed to complete notifications, fingerprinting and funeral arrangements
    2. individuals involved in communications pertaining to the death of an inmate receive the Notification of Death training as per the National Training Standards


  1. Following the death of an inmate, the Institutional Head/District Director, or delegate, will:
    1. promptly notify:
      1. the police
      2. Regional and National Headquarters pursuant to CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents
      3. the coroner/medical examiner who has jurisdiction over the area in which the penitentiary is located. This includes situations when an inmate dies outside the penitentiary (e.g. in a community hospital)
      4. the local person responsible for the notification, who will in turn promptly notify the inmate’s emergency contact or next of kin by telephone where possible
      5. the regional Victim Services Unit
      6. the RACES (Family Liaison Coordinator)
    2. in a timely manner:
      1. ensure the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) form Notification of Death of a Person Known to Have a Criminal Record (RCMP/GRC c-163) is completed and provided to the RCMP for proper offender identification. This does not apply to CCCs
      2. in exceptional circumstances where form RCMP/GRC c-163 cannot be completed, obtain a death certificate to complete the inmate record and forward the death certificate to the RCMP to close off the inmate’s criminal history
      3. ensure the local Sentence Management Unit is notified of the death and provided with official documents related to the death (e.g. death certificate)
      4. send a letter of condolence to the inmate’s emergency contact or next of kin that contains the coordinates of the RACES (Family Liaison Coordinator)
      5. wherever possible, facilitate any religious and/or culturally appropriate observances at time of death
      6. advise the Inmate Committee.

Funeral Arrangements

  1. All funeral arrangements must be done in accordance with sections 116 to 119 of the CCRR.
  2. Prior to delivering any portion of the estate of the deceased inmate, pursuant to section 119 of the CCRR, CSC will obtain a duly executed release/signed statement from the inmate’s personal representative in order to verify receipt.
  3. CSC staff will not act as witnesses or executors of an inmate’s will or administrators of an inmate’s estate.

Information Sharing

  1. The RACES (Family Liaison Coordinator), or designate (Family Liaison Officer – site personnel), will share the document titled “Death of a person in the care and custody of CSC: A guide for family and friends” with the deceased’s emergency contact, next of kin or personal representative. Additionally, in collaboration with the Institutional Head/District Director, the RACES, or designate, will collect and share relevant factual information with the deceased’s emergency contact, next of kin or personal representative within the parameters of the Privacy Act and the Access to Information Act, unless it would interfere with an investigation that could lead to a criminal charge.
  2. The RACES (Family Liaison Coordinator), or designate (Family Liaison Officer – site personnel), will document the information shared with all requestors in a local repository.
  3. In the event there are multiple requests for information about the deceased, these will be managed on a case-by-case basis.


Original Signed by:
Don Head




CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 022 – Media Relations
CD 041 – Incident Investigations
CD 048 – Provision of Support Services at Coroner’s Inquests
CD 234 – Claims for Staff Personal Effects and Inmate Personal Effects and the Offender Accident Compensation Program
CD 566-9 – Searching of Cells/Rooms, Vehicles and Other Areas
CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders
CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents
CD 568-4 – Preservation of Crime Scenes and Evidence
CD 701 – Information Sharing
CD 703 – Sentence Management
CD 705-1 – Preliminary Assessments and Post-Sentence Community Assessments
CD 710-1 – Progress Against the Correctional Plan
CD 714 – Community Correctional Centre Standards
CD 730 – Offender Program Assignments and Inmate Payments
CD 784 – Victim Engagement
CD 860 – Offender’s Money

Sentence Management Manual
Hospice Palliative Care Guidelines for Correctional Service Canada


Emergency contact: the person identified by an inmate who will be contacted by CSC representatives in the event of an emergency or death. If the inmate did not identify an emergency contact, then a next of kin will be contacted.

Inmate: for the purpose of this policy, an inmate refers to a person incarcerated in a federal penitentiary, including an offender on day parole or statutory release in a CCC with a Parole Board of Canada residency condition. This policy does not apply to offenders in CCCs under a long-term supervision order or on full parole.

Next of kin: relative identified on the inmate’s contact list.

Personal representative: the person (or persons) appointed to administer and distribute the estate of a deceased person in accordance with the terms of the will or the law of intestate succession.

For more information

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