Commissioner's Directive 567-1
Use of Force
In Effect: 2018-12-17
- Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), sections 3, 3.1, 4 and 96(z.5)
- Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (CCRR), sections 3, 4 and 73
- Criminal Code, sections 25(1), 25(3), 25(5), 26, 27, 32, 33, 34(1), 34(2), 35, 37, 39, 63 and 69
To establish procedures to safely manage incidents requiring a use of force
Applies to staff involved in the use of force process
- Annex-A-Cross-References and Definitions
- Annex-B-Use of Force Review Matrix
- The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will develop and update policy requirements pertaining to use of force.
- The Director General, Security, will:
- ensure security procedures related to the use of force are within the scope of the law and Correctional Service of Canada policies and limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to attain the purpose of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA)
- monitor to ensure each incident involving use of force is reported and subsequently reviewed in accordance with Annex B – Use of Force Review Matrix
- identify those use of force incidents that will be subject to further review by the Security Branch at National Headquarters
- monitor and analyze intervention and use of force trends
- provide written direction, if necessary, and ensure that corrective action is taken to address deficiencies related to the use of force
- collaborate with the Director General, Learning and Development, regarding training standards for use of force.
- The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will:
- ensure that use of force incidents are reviewed at Regional Headquarters as outlined in Annex B
- notify the Director General, Security, of incidents that require immediate attention even if they were not identified as a concern by the site.
- The Regional Director, Health Services, will:
- participate in the regional review process when force has been used to administer a medical treatment pursuant to CD 800 – Health Services, GL 800-2 – Physical Restraints for Medical Purposes and CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm
- provide advice in assessing the appropriateness of Health Services interventions and documentation
- recommend corrective measures as necessary.
- The Institutional Head will ensure that:
- all use of force interventions are reported and reviewed according to established procedures
- all use of force interventions are managed pursuant to the Engagement and Intervention Model in CD 567 – Management of Incidents
- staff are trained on use of force in accordance with the training standards.
- The Chief, Health Services, will ensure that all medical components of a use of force are reported and reviewed according to established procedures in the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents.
- The Assistant Warden, Operations/Manager, Operations, will:
- provide oversight by identifying trends, reinforcing appropriate use of force and identifying any deficiencies as it relates to the use of force. Where deficiencies are identified, measures to address the deficiencies will be established
- provide the Correctional Managers support and guidance in relation to their role in managing use of force incidents
- ensure that there is a video camera in working condition in each unit and at other strategic points in the institution.
- Any use of force will be limited to only what is necessary and proportionate to manage the incident.
- Use of force responses are classified into two categories: spontaneous use of force and planned use of force. A response to an incident may initially be spontaneous, but once the situation is contained, it should normally become a planned use of force.
- Any planned intervention using line staff will be authorized by a Correctional Manager, normally the Officer in Charge, either verbally or through a written intervention plan. The Correctional Manager will submit a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) detailing the approved intervention plan.
- The Sector Coordinator or the Correctional Officer/Primary Worker identified as the primary responder within the sector is the primary communicator to a Correctional manager, normally the Officer in Charge, including to seek authorization for an intervention plan when time and circumstances permit pursuant to CD 567 – Management of Incidents.
- If the Crisis Management Model is enacted, any planned use of force with the Emergency Response Team will be authorized by the Crisis Manager through a Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications (SMEAC) Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212). Otherwise, the Correctional Manager (Officer in Charge), with verbal authorization from the identified Crisis Manager or alternate, can review and approve a SMEAC prepared by the Emergency Response Team Leader in accordance with CD 600 – Management of Emergencies in Operational Units.
- When time and circumstances make it necessary for immediate verbal authorization of an action plan, the Correctional Manager/Officer in Charge will submit the following documentation detailing the approved plan after the intervention:
- a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) for line staff development, or
- a Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications (SMEAC) Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212) for Emergency Response Team deployment.
- If time and circumstances permit, consultation with a health care professional will occur during the development of a plan to ensure the physical and mental health needs of the inmates are considered. The health care professional will be informed of:
- the inmate(s) involved
- the relevant situational factors
- the nature of the anticipated force to be used.
- In the absence of a health care professional, if time and circumstances permit, any known source of information such as the Offender Management System or RADAR will be accessed to seek any pertinent information, including any alerts/flags/needs in relation to the mental and physical health of the inmate(s) involved.
- Unless required by circumstances, a staff member will not participate in any component of a planned use of force if they were involved in a situation immediately prior, whereby they were subjected to notable physical assault or verbal threats by an inmate where the ability, intent and means to carry out the threat are probable. If a staff member is required to participate, the Correctional Manager authorizing their participation will document the reason in the intervention plan detailed in the Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) or the Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications (SMEAC) Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212).
- When a staff member is directly involved in a spontaneous use of force, attempts will be made, when practical, to limit their involvement in the intervention beyond what is necessary to control the immediate situation.
- When managing use of force incidents, the Sector Coordinator will assume a leadership role in facilitating the appropriateness of the intervention. This role will be transferred, when appropriate, to a Correctional Manager if and when one arrives on the scene. During an Emergency Response Team deployment, the Team Leader will assume this responsibility.
- Prior to using force on a pregnant inmate, the safety of the inmate and the fetus will be duly considered. Any use of restraint equipment on a pregnant inmate will be pursuant to CD 567-3 – Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes and CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm .
Restraints for Health Purposes
- Restraints to ensure the safety of inmates who are self-injurious will be managed pursuant to CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm, and restraints for medical purposes will be managed pursuant to GL 800-2 – Physical Restraints for Medical Purposes.
- The main purposes of video-recording use of force interventions are safety, evidence and accountability.
- A hand held video camera will be deployed:
- from the beginning of any planned use of force
- as soon as possible once a spontaneous use of force is underway
- in other incidents where staff reasonably expect force may be used based on the inmate's past history, present level of compliance, associated actions and situational factors.
- The video camera operator will begin recording by stating their name, the date and time, and provide a brief synopsis of the incident. Prior to stopping the video-recording for any reason, the camera operator will state their name, the date and time and the reason for stopping the camera. If the camera stops by itself, (or when changing operators), the camera operator will narrate the above information once the camera is operational again. They will detail all relevant information in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- When time and circumstances permit, the briefing to staff regarding the intervention plan will be video-recorded.
- Whenever possible, camera operators will safely position and reposition themselves in order to simultaneously capture the inmate’s behaviour and the staff response.
- If first aid is administered during a use of force response, the video camera operator will continue to record this event, except if the first aid or other health care interventions (excluding health assessments) are administered by a health care professional; this is deemed to be medical treatment and will not be video-recorded pursuant the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents.
- Medical treatment by health care professionals will not be video-recorded in order to protect the confidentiality, rights and privileges of the inmate being treated.
- When a planned use of force was not video-recorded from the onset, or a spontaneous use of force was not video-recorded as soon as it was possible, the Institutional Head or delegated reviewer will provide a written explanation as part of the institutional review.
- If, following a use of force, an inmate is being transported outside of the institution, a decision to continue video-recording while in transit will be based on the inmate’s current and past level of compliance and associated actions. The decision will be made in consultation with the Institutional Head or Officer in Charge, and will be stated on the video, and documented in the Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications (SMEAC) Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212) and in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- If a decision is made not to video-record during transport, it is incumbent upon the camera operator to re-commence recording immediately should the inmate’s behaviour become problematic. All breaks in video-recording will follow previously stated procedures.
- Video-recording is not authorized in outside hospitals.
- Following each use of force incident, the camera operator will ensure the video-recording device or removable media is secured with the Correctional Manager (Officer in Charge), and will provide a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) detailing their role in the incident.
- When a strip search is required as a continuation of a use of force intervention, the strip search will be conducted pursuant to CD 566-7 – Searching of Offenders and will be video-recorded. During the strip search:
- only two staff members will conduct the strip search (excluding the camera operator)
- a privacy barrier such as a half-wall, privacy curtain, or portable barrier will be used to prevent the recording of the private parts of the inmate
- the camera operator will video-record the strip search ensuring that staff members performing the search and the inmate are filmed simultaneously, while respecting the privacy and dignity of the inmate. In the event this is not possible, the camera operator will fully capture on video the Correctional Officer/Primary Worker conducting the strip search.
- If the inmate is not willing to comply or becomes uncooperative during the strip search:
- authorization to conduct a non-compliant strip search will be obtained from the Officer in Charge, including the number of Correctional Officers/Primary Workers and equipment required
- the strip search will be conducted under the direction of the staff member in charge of the intervention (i.e. Emergency Response Team Leader, Correctional Manager, Sector Coordinator)
- if, at any time during the intervention, the inmate states that they will cooperate, the staff member in charge of the intervention will reassess the situation and adjust the level of force used according to the assessed risk
- the camera operator will ensure that staff members and the inmate are recorded simultaneously. In these cases, it may be unavoidable to record a naked or partially naked inmate.
- When chemical or inflammatory agents are used, decontamination procedures pursuant to Annex B of CD 567-4 – Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents are to be followed as soon as operationally possible.
- Handcuffs must be removed for the decontamination process. However, if it is determined through a risk assessment that handcuffs are required during decontamination, direct physical control of the inmate by the Correctional Officers/Primary Workers will be required. Any time restraint equipment is not removed for the decontamination, the rationale will be included in the Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- A Correctional Officer/Primary Worker will be physically present to video-record the decontamination procedures and will follow the same process as for video-recording strip searches in reference to privacy, and gender requirements and considerations.
- Staff will continue to monitor the overall well-being of the inmate throughout the decontamination process and will act on any cues of distress exhibited by the inmate by providing appropriate interventions as required.
Post-Use of Force Physical Assessment
- A Correctional Manager, the Sector Coordinator or, if applicable, the Emergency Response Team Leader will brief the health care professional on the type(s) of force used and the inmate’s response. The briefing will be video-recorded.
- A post-use of force physical assessment will be offered by a health care professional, normally, at the inmate’s final cell destination (this could be at another institution), with restraint equipment removed (as determined by the Officer in Charge). This offer and all subsequent offers will be video-recorded.
- The physical assessment will be video-recorded in accordance to the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents.
- The health care professional will end the physical assessment by providing a video-recorded synopsis of the assessment. This must occur in a private area to ensure and maintain confidentiality. If the inmate requires treatment following the assessment, the treatment (including for self-injurious or suicidal behaviour) will not be video-recorded.
- If the physical assessment is conducted while the inmate is still in restraint equipment, a final health care check of the areas where restraints were applied will take place at the inmate’s cell, once the restraint equipment has been removed.
- In the absence of a health care professional on shift, the Officer in Charge will have a staff member currently certified in first aid and CPR offer an initial post-use of force first aid assessment to determine if immediate attention is required. In this instance:
- the Correctional Manager, the Sector Coordinator or, if applicable, the Emergency Response Team Leader will brief the first aid attendant on the type(s) of force used and the inmate’s response to it, and the briefing will be video-recorded
- the offering of the first aid assessment and any subsequent offerings will be captured on video
- should the inmate consent to a first aid assessment, it will be video-recorded
- the first aid assessment will be closed off when the first aid attendant provides a video-recorded synopsis of the assessment, and it is documented in their Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- If, following a post-use of force first aid assessment, no other medical intervention is deemed necessary, the Correctional Manager (Officer in Charge) will ensure that the inmate is offered a physical assessment by a health care professional as soon as one is on site and that it is video-recorded.
- After a level 2 or level 3 use of force, if the inmate refuses the offer of a physical or first aid assessment, a second offer will be made within an hour following the initial refusal pursuant to Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents.
- If a staff member sustains injuries as a result of a use of force, first aid protocols will be enacted. There is a requirement to follow the workplace injury process, including reporting the injury to the staff member’s supervisor.
Completion of the Incident
- An incident will normally be considered complete when the inmate has been:
- decontaminated (if applicable)
- secured in a designated cell
- released from restraint equipment (if applicable), and
- offered or provided a physical assessment by a health care professional.
- Following each use of force incident, a Correctional Manager will conduct a post-incident debrief, pursuant to CD 567 – Management of Incidents, with the Sector Coordinator and as many involved staff as operationally possible. The debrief activity must be recorded by the Correctional Manager in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- Following each use of force incident, a Correctional Manager will, in person, give the inmate an opportunity to provide a verbal or written statement regarding the use of force intervention. If concerns are communicated, these concerns will be documented in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- Following each use of force incident, all required documents will be completed and submitted by staff members involved in the incident.
- All originals and copies of video-recordings and documents will be designated Protected B and handled accordingly.
- Pursuant to the Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents, all health care professionals involved will note their comments in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
- The Chief, Health Services, will evaluate the medical intervention and the physical assessment of inmates involved and document the evaluation in the Health Services review of the Use of Force Review module in the Offender Management System.
- The Use of Force Review module in the Offender Management System is the reporting mechanism for recording use of force intervention details and reviews. The following information will be uploaded into the Use of Force Review module:
- Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875) completed by all staff members involved in the incident
- Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications (SMEAC) Action Plan (CSC/SCC 1212)
- intervention plan as recorded by the Correctional Manager in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875)
- video-recordings of the incident, including closed-circuit television recordings. Video-recordings of pre-intervention negotiations are not required unless the negotiations had a direct impact on the use of force
- Seclusion and Restraint Observation Report (CSC/SCC 1006)
- the documented inmate’s version of events (if provided)
- other related documents.
- A use of force review is an assessment of all incident-related information against law and policy completed within the Use of Force Review module in the Offender Management System.
- There are three types of review processes depending on the type of intervention: level 1, 2 or 3. The requirements for a review and the sample size are identified in Annex B. Note that use of force related to incidents of suicidal/self-injurious behaviour are subject to an increased sample size.
- In order for an immediate determination of whether there are any serious concerns or deficiencies with a use of force which may result in the requirement for an Expedited Review (level 3), the Institutional Head will ensure a cursory review of the incident-related information is completed within three working days of the incident date. This review will be completed by a Correctional Manager or an individual in a more senior position.
- A level 3 use of force – expedited review is where a review indicates possible serious violations of law or policy, or any other aspect related to the intervention that may cause serious concerns. In such cases, the Institutional Head will submit a request via the Offender Management System for an expedited review. This request will be reviewed by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, and if supported, the request will be forwarded via the Offender Management System to the Director General, Security, for final decision as registered in the Offender Management System.
- If a review is approved as a level 3 use of force review:
- appropriate sectors and the Office of the Correctional Investigator will be informed without delay
- the institutional review will be completed within five working days upon receipt of the approval by the Director General, Security
- the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will finalize their review within five working days of receiving notification of use of force review completion by the Institutional Head
- the Director General, Security, will finalize the review within five working days upon receipt of notification of use of force review completion by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services.
- The following criteria will result in a level 2 use of force review:
- any actual physical use of inflammatory/chemical agents, intermediary weapons or firearms
- the intervention management strategy is deemed to be inappropriate
- the force used is deemed not to have been necessary
- force was necessary but is deemed not to have been proportionate
- allegations of excessive force by the inmate.
- All level 2 use of force reviews will be completed:
- and finalized by the Deputy Warden within 20 working days of the incident
- at the regional level, by the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, within 25 working days after completion of the institutional review
- at the national level, within 30 working days of notification of the use of force review completion at the regional level.
- A level 1 use of force review involves any other use of force to manage a situation. Level 1 use of force reviews will be finalized by the Assistant Warden, Operations/Manager, Operations, within 20 working days of the incident.
- The Women Offender Sector will review level 2 use of force incidents that occur at the women institutions. The calculations for the Women Offender Sector reviews are separate from those of the National Headquarters Security Branch.
- In the case of a use of force occurring during an inter-regional escort, the management review will be conducted at the national level outside of the Offender Management System module.
- Following the completion of a use of force review, all identified areas of improvement and corrective actions will be addressed as soon as practicable and documented as action plans in the Offender Management System Renewal.
- As required, the Director General, Security, will forward the national review to:
- the Director General, Clinical Services and Public Health, where serious clinical deficiencies were identified
- the Director General, Investigations
- the Director General, Rights, Redress and Resolution
- the Director General, Labour Relations
- the Deputy Commissioner for Women.
- The Director General, Clinical Services and Public Health, will forward the results of the Health Services review to the Regional Director, Health Services, the Institutional Head, the Chief, Health Services, or equivalent, and others as appropriate for follow-up and will inform the Director General, Security, of any corrective action required.
Gender Identity or Expression Considerations
- Policy direction with regards to offenders with gender identity or expression considerations will be pursuant to Interim Policy Bulletin 584.
Original signed by:
Cross-References and Definitions
CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 003 – Peace Officer Designations
CD 253 – Employee Assistance Program
GL 253-2 – Critical Incident Stress Management
CD 566-7 – Searching of Offenders
CD 567 – Management of Incidents
CD 567-2 – Use of and Responding to Alarms
CD 567-3 – Use of Restraint Equipment for Security Purposes
CD 567-4 – Use of Chemical and Inflammatory Agents
CD 567-5 – Use of Firearms
CD 568-1 – Recording and Reporting of Security Incidents
CD 577 – Staff Protocol in Women Offender Institutions
CD 600 – Management of Emergencies in Operational Units
CD 800 – Health Services
GL 800-2 – Physical Restraints for Medical Purposes
CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm
Departmental Records Disposition Authority
Guidelines for Health Services Responsibilities Related to Use of Force Incidents
Engagement and Intervention Model: a risk-based, person-centred, graphic representation used to assist staff with activating engagement and intervention strategies.
Health care professional: an individual registered or licensed for autonomous practice in the province of practice. Individuals must operate within their scope of practice and competence. Examples include Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Physicians, Health Nurses, and Clinical Social Workers.
Intervention plan: an intervention strategy designed to respond to an incident when time and/or circumstances allow the Correctional Manager the opportunity to formulate a planned response. When time and circumstances permit, the plan will be authorized by a Correctional Manager. This plan may be developed and communicated simultaneously as an incident unfolds. The plan must be documented by the Correctional Manager in a Statement/Observation Report (CSC/SCC 0875).
Necessary and proportionate intervention: taking into account the reasonable need for maintaining certain operational routines, if the threat may be safely managed without a use of force, then force is unnecessary. The amount of force used must also be the minimally necessary force (proportionate) to safely manage the threat. The concept of necessary and proportionate also applies to health interventions.
Planned use of force: a situation where time and circumstances allow for a Correctional Manager/ Crisis Manager to authorize an intervention plan, which may require a use of force measure to safely resolve an incident.
Serious violation: when there is a possibility that the law and/or policy was flagrantly or willingly disregarded and results in inappropriate practices, means, methods, operations or processes.
SMEAC: the acronym for Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration and Communications, which is an action plan detailing intervention strategies designed to resolve an emergency situation requiring the Emergency Response Team. This plan is authorized by the Crisis Manager/Correctional Manager.
Spontaneous use of force: a situation requiring an immediate intervention by staff based on an assessment of risk, in which at least one use of force measure is required to prevent imminent harm to oneself or others.
Use of force: any action by staff, on or off of institutional property, that is intended to obtain cooperation and gain control by using one or more of the following measures:
- non-routine use of restraint equipment
- physical handling (not including assistive or therapeutic touch)
- a chemical or inflammatory agent is intentionally aimed at an individual or dispensed to gain compliance
- use of batons, impact munitions, or other intermediary weapons
- display and/or use of firearms.
Use of Force Review Matrix
|Level of Review||Correctional Manager
|Authority to Finalize Review||Percentage to be Reviewed|
|Level 2||R||R||X||R||O||100%||25% Footnote 1||5%|
|Current Risk of Suicide/ Self-Injury – Alerts in the Offender Management System or designated mental health beds in Treatment Centres and/or mainstream institutions or self-injurious or administration of medical treatment||Authority to finalize review will be determined according to level (1, 2, 3)
of use of force incident
R = Required
O = Optional
X = Not applicable
- Date modified: