Guidelines 764-1
Expressive Material

Guidelines

Number: 764-1

In Effect: 2018-05-14

Related links

Policy Bulletin 600

Authorities

Purpose

To provide guidance on how limitations could be reasonably applied to offenders’ access to expressive material

Application

Applies to all individuals working with offenders in institutions, including Community Correctional Centres

Table of Contents

Responsibilities

  1. The Institutional Head/District Director will ensure that a Standing Order on offender access to expressive material is developed in accordance with CD 764 – Access to Expressive Material and these guidelines.

General Access to Expressive Material

  1. In addition to what is outlined in CD 764 – Access to Expressive Material, expressive material that would not be provided to offenders include the following:
    1. information that clearly and purposely explains and/or demonstrates how to:
      1. fabricate, assemble or conceal a weapon
      2. produce an intoxicant or mask its ingestion in order to defeat detection
      3. carry out a criminal act or suppress evidence of a criminal act
    2. material that supports genocide, promotes a theory of racial superiority or incites hatred toward any identifiable group or sub-population
    3. material of a sexual nature that involves violence, coercion, degradation, bodily harm or threats thereof to a person, whether real or fictional
    4. material that recruits membership in, encourages adherence to, or promotes the aims of a security threat group, criminal organization or terrorist ideology, pursuant to CD 568-3 – Identification and Management of Security Threat Groups.
  2. In accordance with the National Guide for Institutional Libraries and in terms of their content, expressive material that would generally be available to offenders, includes the following:
    1. social commentary, political protest and cultural criticism, including works that advocate for prisoner’s rights or reforms to the criminal justice system
    2. literary works and popular publications on mainstream subjects
    3. religious and spiritual resources, pursuant to CD 750 – Chaplaincy Services
    4. legal reference material
    5. educational material.

Procedures

Application

  1. An assessment will be completed for collective and individual limitations on offender access to expressive material. Guidance on the various factors that may be applied and/or considered is provided in these guidelines.

Collective Limitation

  1. To justify a collective limitation on offenders’ access to expressive material, the Institutional Head/District Director may form a belief on reasonable grounds in consideration of factors that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. whether staff can effectively and efficiently monitor and enforce an individual limitation while carrying out their regular duties
    2. whether the institution has or could reasonably acquire the technical capacity to effectively monitor and enforce an individual limitation
    3. whether an individual limitation would identify the offender to the rest of the offender population, and whether that identification adversely impacts the offender, the security of the institution, or the safety of persons
    4. whether the presence or availability of the expressive material has or could have a negative impact on the general working and living environment of the institution, for offenders and staff.

Individual Limitation

  1. To justify an individual limitation on offender access to expressive material, the Institutional Head/District Director may form a belief on reasonable grounds in consideration of factors that include, but are not limited to, the following:
    1. the recommendation of the offender’s Case Management Team, in consultation with a Security Intelligence Officer, a Program Manager, a Chaplain, a Spiritual Advisor, an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, a Psychologist, or any other appropriate department
    2. the offender’s index offence(s), criminal history and criminogenic factors, CSC’s Restorative Opportunities Program (refer to CD 785 – Restorative Opportunities Program and Victim-Offender Mediation Services), and any other relevant risk factors
    3. affiliation with a security threat group, pursuant to CD 568-3 – Identification and Management of Security Threat Groups
    4. reported incidents involving the offender that indicate a link between their access to certain expressive material and a behaviour that:
      1. is inconsistent with their Correctional Plan
      2. contributes to an unsafe and unhealthy working and living environment, for staff and offenders
      3. undermines a person’s sense of personal dignity
      4. presents a risk to the security of the institution or the safety of persons.

Decisions

  1. The following items are required for any decisions on collective or individual limitations as outlined in sections Collective Limitations and Individual Limitations of CD 764 – Access to Expressive Material :
    1. brief statement of the purpose of the report
    2. explanation/assessment of the various factors considered
    3. comments following any consultations that occurred
    4. statement describing why the limitation to offender access to expressive material is reasonable, necessary and proportionate.

Assistant Commissioner,
Correctional Operations and Programs

Original signed by:

Alain Tousignant


Annex A
Cross-References and Definitions

Cross-References

CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 085 – Correspondence and Telephone Communication
CD 559 – Visits
CD 566-1 – Control of Entry to and Exit from Institutions
CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders
CD 568-3 – Identification and Management of Security Threat Groups
CD 702 – Aboriginal Offenders
CD 720 – Education Programs and Services for Offenders
CD 750 – Chaplaincy Services
GL 750-1 – Inmate Religious Accommodations
CD 760 – Social Programs and Leisure Activities
CD 764 – Access to Expressive Material
CD 785 – Restorative Opportunities Program and Victim-Offender Mediation Services
GL 785-1 – Restorative Opportunities Program Protocols
CD 860 – Offender's Money

National Guide for Institutional Libraries

Copyright Act
Criminal Code

Definitions

Case Management Team: the individuals involved in managing an offender’s case, which includes at minimum the Parole Officer and the offender, and in institutions, the Correctional Officer II/Primary Worker.

Expressive material: material in any form (including books, magazines, newspapers/articles, photographs, videos, films, music, clothing, items created/produced by an offender) that conveys an expression, message, thought, or attitude of mind.

Limitation: when an offender(s) access to expressive material is limited in some form (either individual or collective).

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