Commissioner's Directive 710-7
Work Releases

Commissioner's Directive

Number: 710-7

In Effect: 2021-01-25

Related links

Policy Bulletin 666

Authorities

Purpose

To provide inmates with opportunities to access the community through supervised work releases

Applications

Applies to staff involved in the work release process

Responsibilities and Procedures

  1. The Regional Deputy Commissioner will:
    1. make decisions to "approve" or "not approve" work releases recommended by the Institutional Head that exceed 60 days, as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 days after receipt of the Assessment for Decision
    2. provide consultation comments to the Institutional Head on specific cases where the unescorted temporary absence authority is the Parole Board of Canada (PBC), as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 days after receipt of the Assessment for Decision.
  2. The Institutional Head will:
    1. authorize all work releases
    2. prior to authorizing a work release where the duration is to exceed 60 days, obtain the approval from the Regional Deputy Commissioner. This would include more than one application for the same work release program, each of which is for less than 60 days, but cumulatively exceeds 60 days
    3. consult with the Regional Deputy Commissioner on specific cases where the unescorted temporary absence authority is the PBC
    4. ensure staff are trained prior to supervising a work release
    5. ensure that the expectations of an inmate residing at a community-based residential facility and the extent of the inmate's access to the community are included in the work release decision
    6. assign a staff member to coordinate the work release program
    7. ensure policies and procedures for High Profile Offenders are followed pursuant to CD 701 – Information Sharing
    8. ensure processes outlined in CD 784 – Victim Engagement are respected.
  3. Prior to the implementation of a work release or a program of work release, staff responsible for the coordination of work releases will:
    1. ensure that all persons or organizations using the services of inmates on work releases or supervising a work release program are briefed in writing. The briefing will include all work release policies, procedures and conditions, as well as any significant information about each inmate
    2. consult with the Manager, Employment and Employability, CORCAN where there is a potential for the work release participation to include certification of apprenticeship hours at the work release location
    3. ensure that for each work release, the responsibilities of the supervisor are detailed, including the type and frequency of supervision, reporting requirements, incident intervention, the measures to be taken to cancel the work release, and procedures for returning the inmate to the institution
    4. obtain a written waiver from each person or organization involved in the work release using the services of inmates, using the Work Releases – Employer Responsibilities (CSC/SCC 1073) form, with the exception of inmates employed by CORCAN
    5. ensure that the following procedures and conditions are established, as applicable:
      1. a clear understanding of the work or community service to be performed, including hours of work, expected duration of project, and wages to be paid, if any
      2. the responsibility of both the person(s) and/or the organization using the services of the inmate(s), and the institution, regarding the provision of work clothing, tools and safety equipment, meals, transportation to and from work, and any other such arrangements
      3. the keeping of records for each inmate participating in a work release. This will include the number of hours or days worked, wages paid, deductions made, employer's name, and verification and identification of the account to which the funds are deposited
      4. an agreement obtained from each person or organization using the services of inmates to provide the CSC with a statement of earnings and deductions for each inmate, when requested
      5. the frequency and requirement of interim evaluation reports for each work release of extended duration
      6. any other conditions under which the paid or volunteer work is to be performed.
  4. The Parole Officer will, up until the first positive decision, and the Correctional Officer II following the first positive decision will:
    1. process inmate applications for a work release within the prescribed timeframes
    2. obtain input from other members of the Case Management Team when assessing and reviewing applications
    3. obtain input from the Elder/Spiritual Advisor, the Indigenous Liaison Officer and/or the Indigenous Community Development Officer, where appropriate, when assessing and reviewing applications
    4. obtain input from the Victim Services Unit if there is a Victim Notification Required - CSC flag.
  5. The Primary Worker will complete the work release process at Women Offender Institutions.
  6. The Parole Officer/Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker will ensure information is provided to the Victims Services Unit pursuant to CD 784 – Victim Engagement.
  7. Inmates participating in work releases are subject to all labour standards in effect in the province in which they work.
  8. For volunteer work, the inmate will receive inmate pay or a basic living allowance, whichever is most appropriate.
  9. Where a work release involves a daily return to a community-based residential facility or another facility (e.g., bush camp), the inmate will not have access to the community for reasons other than to perform work. With the exception of an unforeseen emergency, any other access to the community must be covered by a different type of conditional release (i.e., escorted temporary absence or unescorted temporary absence).

Eligibility for Work Releases

  1. Only inmates eligible for unescorted temporary absences are eligible to apply for work releases.
  2. Inmates classified as maximum security and inmates detained beyond the Statutory Release Date under the provisions of the CCRA are not eligible for work releases.

Criteria to Authorize Work Releases

  1.  Work releases may be authorized where, in the opinion of the Institutional Head:
    1. the inmate will not, by re-offending, present an undue risk to society during a work release
    2. it is desirable for the inmate to participate in a structured program of work or community service in the community
    3. the inmate's behaviour while under sentence does not preclude authorizing the work release
    4. a structured plan for the work release has been prepared and is linked with the Correctional Plan.

Process

  1. Upon receipt of a completed Application for Work Release (CSC/SCC 1072), the Parole Officer will, up until the first positive decision:
    1. review the work release application against the objectives of the Correctional Plan
    2. interview the inmate to discuss the proposed work release
    3. request, if applicable, a Community Assessment or a Community Strategy. A Community Strategy is required if the inmate will be residing at a community-based residential facility for more than 72 hours
    4. complete the Assessment for Decision pursuant to Annex B, within 70 days of receipt of application.
  2. The Parole Officer will also complete all of the above, up until the first positive decision following a situation when:
    1. the work release (either individual or the program) has been cancelled or terminated due to the inmate's behaviour
    2. a conditional release has been suspended, cancelled, terminated or revoked
    3. the inmate has been assigned a higher security classification.
  3. The Correctional Officer II will complete the work release process for all subsequent applications following the first positive decision.
  4. The Primary Worker will complete the work release process for all applications at Women Offender Institutions.
  5. The Correctional Manager will:
    1. review submissions for work releases processed by the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker
    2. provide a recommendation to the decision maker on the appropriateness of the work release application that they have identified as a concern and/or if deemed required, provide a recommendation on cases supported for work release.
  6. The Manager, Assessment and Interventions, will:
    1. quality control all submissions for work release processed by the Parole Officer
    2. provide a recommendation to the decision maker on the appropriateness of the application for the work release that they have identified as a concern and/or if deemed required, provide a recommendation on cases supported for a work release.
  7. When a work release is supported by the Institutional Head, the Regional Deputy Commissioner will be consulted for decisions on specific cases where the unescorted temporary absence authority is the PBC, and any of the following circumstances exist:
    1. there has been no previous unescorted temporary absence decision on the current sentence
    2. there has been a previous negative PBC decision on the current sentence with respect to an escorted temporary absence or an unescorted temporary absence
    3. there has been a previous positive PBC decision on the current sentence with respect to an escorted temporary absence or an unescorted temporary absence and the release was cancelled or suspended
    4. there has been a previous positive decision on the current sentence for work release and the release was cancelled.
  8. Work release applications that exceed 60 days require two documented decisions: a first decision by the Regional Deputy Commissioner to "approve" or "not approve" the work release and a subsequent decision by the Institutional Head to "authorize" or "not authorize" the work release.
  9. The Regional Deputy Commissioner will:
    1. provide consultation comments on specific cases within 10 days after receipt of the Assessment for Decision. The consultation comments will be documented in the "recommendation" section of the CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090)
    2. document in a CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090) their decision to "approve" or "not approve" a work release which exceeds 60 days as soon as possible, but no later than 10 days after receipt of the Assessment for Decision. 
  10. For all work release applications, the Institutional Head will document in a CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090) their decision to "authorize" or "not authorize" the work release as soon as possible, but no later than:
    1. 10 days after the completion of the Assessment for Decision for work release of 60 days or less
    2. 20 days after the completion of the Assessment for Decision for work release over 60 days
    3. 20 days after the completion of the Assessment for Decision for work release for specific cases.
  11. The CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090) will include the following:
    1. the rationale for the decision
    2. details with respect to the purpose and conditions of release and supervision requirements (frequency of contact) and responsibilities for the entire duration of the work release, including reporting instructions. If required, the Institutional Head will identify the most appropriate person to accompany the inmate to and from the work release
    3. the frequency and the requirements of interim evaluation reports for each work release of extended duration
    4. if applicable, where PBC has identified issues, discuss how these have been addressed.
  12. A copy of the CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090) will be provided to the inmate.
  13. Unless significant changes have occurred and the application is supported by the Case Management Team, any subsequent review of a work release application will be conducted no sooner than six months following a negative decision.
  14. Any changes to the destination or conditions of an approved work release plan (individual or program) require a new Assessment for Decision, recommendation and decision.
  15. Following a change in an inmate's security classification that results in a transfer, the Parole Officer/Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker will review the previously-approved work release and submit a recommendation to the Institutional Head, who will confirm through a CSC Board Review/Decision process, whether the particular work releases will be implemented, modified or cancelled. Unless significant changes have occurred, a new Assessment for Decision is not required.

Release Procedures

  1. Before a work release or a series of work releases is implemented, the Parole Officer and/or the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker will meet with the inmate to discuss:
    1. behavioural expectations
    2. the conditions of release, the supervision requirements and, if applicable, the reporting instructions
    3. how to manage money they will earn
    4. the amount of money they may be permitted to carry on their person during the course of the work release
    5. whether or not they can purchase personal effects during the course of an extended work release.
  2. One permit is to be issued for the entire duration of the work release program. A copy of the permit is given to the inmate to carry with them during the work release period.
  3. Normally, at least five days before the inmate commences a work release, the Parole Officer or delegate will review and, if applicable, will:
    1. update the Standard Profile information
    2. ensure that the inmate's photograph is current
    3. advise the supervising parole office in writing that the revised Standard Profile and photograph are available.

Conditions of Release and Supervision

  1. The decision-making authority may impose any special conditions considered the least restrictive measure to manage the risk.
  2. The terms of the work release will specify how the supervision of the inmate is to be carried out and will cover the entire period that the inmate is away from the institution, including the time spent travelling to and from the work site as well as the time required to obtain meals.

Permits and Police Notification

  1. The Parole Officer/Primary Worker, or the person designated to administer the work release will:
    1. ensure that the release permit, which must specify the details respecting the conditions of the work release, reporting instructions and the supervision requirements, is issued and signed by the Institutional Head or the designated person normally at least 72 hours prior to the release
    2. notify the destination police agency prior to the commencement of the work release. The notification will be completed electronically through the Offender Management System (OMS). When this cannot be completed through OMS, the Parole Officer or designated person will document, in a Casework Record, how the notification was completed (i.e., via email, facsimile, telephone) and include the date, time and to whom the notification was made
    3. enter the applicable completion codes pursuant to Annex C.

Cancellation and Suspension

  1. A work release may be cancelled before or after its commencement by the Institutional Head, pursuant to subsection 18(4) of the CCRA, or by a staff member designated for that purpose in a Standing Order if, in their opinion, the cancellation is justified in order to protect society based on information that was not available when the release was authorized.
  2. Where the person supervising a work release believes that there may be grounds for cancellation, they must contact the Institutional Head or designated person, who will determine if the continuation of the work release program should be reviewed.
  3. If a review is seen as necessary to address the nature of the situation and risk to public safety, possible interventions include:
    1. in cases where the inmate has absconded:
      1. declare the inmate unlawfully at large if they leave the work site or place of accommodation (e.g., community-based residential facility)
      2. refer to the institutional contingency plans
    2. in cases where the inmate has not absconded:
      1. the work release supervisor escorts the inmate back to the institution
      2. the institution provides a staff member(s) to escort the inmate to the institution
      3. the police are asked to intervene if the potential risk that the inmate poses cannot be managed without assistance
      4. if outside assistance is required, the Institutional Head or the person in charge of the institution has the authority to issue a Warrant of Apprehension and Recommitment. This warrant may be executed by a peace officer, as circumstances require.
  4. Following a suspension of a work release, the Parole Officer/Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker will complete an Assessment for Decision as soon as possible, identifying the reasons for the suspension with a recommendation to either cancel or re-instate the work release. 
  5. The inmate will be provided with a copy of the written final decision and associated reasons within five working days after the final decision, and will be given an opportunity to make representations when the decision is attributable to their actions pursuant to CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances.

Evaluations

  1. completion of the work release or work release program and forward it to the Parole Officer/Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker. The report will include a balanced overview of the work release and, if applicable, identify and describe any problems apparent during the course of the release.
  2. If the work release is cancelled, the work release supervisor will forward the evaluation report within one working day. 
  3. For each work release or a series of work releases of extended duration, interim evaluation reports will be completed as detailed on the CSC Board Review/Referral Decision Sheet (CSC/SCC 1090).

High Profile Offenders

  1. If a work release involves an offender with a high profile offender flag, the procedures regarding high profile offenders will be followed pursuant to CD 701 – Information Sharing.

Redress

  1. In the event of a disagreement, the inmate may seek relief from the decision by filing a complaint and grievance pursuant to CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances.

Commissioner,


Original signed by:

Anne Kelly

Annex A: Cross-References and Definitions

Cross-References

CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances
CD 228 – Information Management
CD 700 – Correctional Interventions
CD 701 – Information Sharing
CD 702 – Aboriginal Offenders
CD 710 – Institutional Supervision Framework
CD 712-1 – Pre-Release Decision Making
CD 715-1 – Community Supervision
CD 715-3 – Community Assessments
CD 730 – Offender Program Assignments and Inmate Payments
CD 735 – Employment and Employability Program
GL 750-1 – Inmate Religious Accommodations
CD 784 – Victim Engagement
CD 860 – Offender's Money
CD 870 – Maintenance Allowance for Offenders

Indigenous Social History (ISH) Tool
Canada Labour Code
Canada Occupational Safety and Health Regulations

Definitions

High profile offender: an offender whose offence dynamics elicited or have a potential to elicit a community reaction in the form of significant public and/or media interest.

Special condition: a condition imposed by the decision maker to manage risk and enhance public safety when an offender is under a conditional release or is subject to a long-term supervision order.

Annex B: Assessment For Decision For Work Releases – Report Outline

Introductory Statement Case Status

  1. Provide a brief statement of the purpose of the report.

Risk Assessment

  1. Risk Factors
    1. Briefly analyze the inmate's risk factors, specific to the offence cycle as outlined in the Correctional Plan. Incorporate actuarial assessments.
  2. Structured Plan for the Proposed Work Release

    Include analysis of the current work release relative to the inmate's Correctional Plan, including a specific assessment on the nature of the role of the work release in preparing the inmate for a gradual structured release to the community.

    Indicate:

    1. the purpose of, and the objectives the inmate must achieve while on the work release
    2. the supervision requirements, including the frequency and nature of the supervision contacts
    3. the details regarding accompaniment of the inmate to and from the work site, if required.

Overall Assessment

Provide an overall assessment incorporating the following elements, as applicable and appropriate:

  1. consultation with the Security Intelligence Officer, where applicable (e.g., incompatibles and affiliations) (if there are no concerns, a statement should be made to that effect)
  2. recent professional opinions regarding release such as physical or mental health care, psychological information, police comments and/or previous CSC decisions (if applicable)
  3. previous PBC decision (nature and purpose, all relevant comments, specific reference to relevant issues noted in the decision, including demonstrating how concerns/issues previously raised have/have not been addressed)
  4. previous work release supervisor evaluation reports (if applicable)
  5. current risk
  6. indicate the likelihood of escape and the level of risk to public safety in the event of an escape
  7. inmate's current security level
  8. inmate engagement
  9. the inmate's progress against the objectives of their Correctional Plan
  10. outstanding factors requiring intervention
  11. an analysis of high-risk behaviours or patterns observed during the sentence
  12. history of crime free periods and prior periods of supervision, including any previous failures on release (if applicable)
  13. inmate's understanding of risk factors and offence cycle, and how risk will be managed
  14. consider elements of Indigenous social history (if applicable)
  15. for an inmate involved in a healing path, incorporate their understanding of the healing components of the Correctional Plan
  16. special conditions, including the rationale for and a statement on the duration (if applicable)
  17. any victim considerations that should be taken into account.

Dissenting Opinion

Recommendation

Annex C: Completion Codes for Work Releases – Descriptions and Definitions

Code Description Definition
01 Bail The offender was released on bail during the time of the work release.
02 Breach of condition Following the offender's return to the institution, it became apparent that one or more conditions had been violated, but no administrative action was taken during the course of the temporary absence because the violation went undetected.

Note: Recoding to code 06 will be required once a conviction for a disciplinary offence mentioned in code 06 is obtained.
03 Detained by police The offender was detained by the police and remained in police custody beyond the expiry of the work release permit and a warrant was not issued.
04 Deceased The offender died during the time of the work release.
05 Did not participate The offender refused to participate, or was unable to participate, in a work release following the creation of the permit but prior to the start of the release.
06 Extension An extension of the time of return specified in the permit will normally be authorized prior to the offender's return to the institution. However, when the offender is late for reasons beyond their control and is unable to contact the institution beforehand, the officer-in-charge or Parole Officer may approve it after the fact.

Note: Recoding will be required if, subsequent to the offender's return, conditions described in any one of the following codes applies: 01, 06 or 08.
07 Offender convicted of being under the influence of an intoxicant and/or in possession of contraband upon return to the institution The offender returned to the institution either late or on time but was subsequently convicted of being under the influence of an intoxicant and/or of being in possession of contraband upon return.
08 Late The offender returned to the institution late but was not declared unlawfully at large and a warrant was not issued.

Note: Recoding will be required if, subsequent to the offender's return, conditions described in any one of the following codes apply: 01, 06, or 08.
09 Objective of work release not met This code should be used when all of the following conditions apply:
  1. The offender returned from the work release on time.
  2. None of the following codes applies: 01, 02, 06, 10, or 11. These codes take precedence over code 08.
  3. One or more of the objectives stipulated in the work release were not met for reasons directly related to the offender's performance even though no conditions were breached and no offences were committed.
  4. The failure to meet stated objectives is deemed to be serious enough to prevent the granting of further work releases until related concerns are fully addressed.

Note: Recoding will be required once the violation has been substantiated. Codes 01, 02, 06, 10, or 11 take precedence over code 08.
10 On time The offender returned on or before the time specified on the permit.

Note: Recoding will be required if, subsequent to the offender's return, conditions described in any one of the following code definitions apply: 01, 06, 08.
11 Temporary absence suspended The temporary absence was suspended while in progress.
12 Temporary Absence Terminated The Temporary Absence was terminated for reasons beyond the control of the offender.
13 UAL The offender failed to return to the institution and was declared unlawfully at large.
14 Work release suspended The work release was suspended while in progress.
15 Work release terminated The work release was terminated for reasons beyond the control of the offender.
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