Commissioner's Directive 764
Access to Expressive Material

Commissioner's Directive

Number: 764

In Effect: 2018-05-14

Related links

Policy Bulletin 600

Authorities

Purpose

To outline what form of expressive material would generally be provided to offenders and to ensure that any limitations on access to expressive material are reasonable, necessary and proportionate

Application

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

Table of Contents

Responsibilities

  1. The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, has the authority to develop applicable guidelines that must be followed with respect to offender access to expressive material.
  2. The Institutional Head/District Director will ensure that offender access to expressive material is reasonable and consistent with this directive, the associated guidelines (GL 764-1 – Expressive Material), and relevant legislation and policy.
  3. The Institutional Head/District Director will establish a Standing Order that outlines:
    1. the procedure for assessing offenders’ access to expressive material, including any consultations that must occur
    2. the procedures for the approval and implementation of collective and individual limitations on offenders’ access to expressive material
    3. the procedure for sharing limitation decisions (collective and individual) with appropriate departments who are responsible for the purchasing and recording of materials (such as Education, Admission and Discharge, Institutional Supplies and Services, Programs, etc.)
    4. any collective limitations that are in place for offenders’ access to expressive material.

Procedures

Distribution

  1. The television service inside an institution must not exceed the service provided to the local community or the service authorized by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.
  2. Only Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission approved services and local Canadian television channels will be distributed inside an institution. Foreign services that are not authorized by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission must not be offered to offenders.

General Access to Expressive Material

  1. An offender’s access to expressive material, in any form of media, includes:
    1. viewing privately, reading or listening
    2. purchasing, acquiring or receiving
    3. displaying (including wearing personal attire), viewing, or listening with others.
  2. An offender will generally have access to expressive material that is lawfully available in the community, is an authorized personal property item pursuant to CD 566-12 – Personal Property of Offenders, and enters the institution (including a Community Correctional Centre) in accordance with applicable legislation and policy.
  3. Expressive material is lawfully available in the community where it is not contrary to regulations or prohibited by law, including under legislation such as the Copyright Act and the Criminal Code. Examples of expressive material that is not lawfully available include:
    1. unlicensed or pirated copies (in any form) of movies, music/voice recordings, publications or software
    2. photos, drawings or written works that involve the sexual depiction of minors.
  4. Live entertainment may be permitted pursuant to GL 764-1 – Expressive Material.
  5. When the Institutional Head/District Director considers imposing a limitation on offender access to expressive material, they will balance the severity of the limitation against the objective(s) of the limitation, take into consideration CSC’s Restorative Opportunities Program if applicable (refer to CD 785 – Restorative Opportunities Program and Victim-Offender Mediation Services and GL 785-1 – Restorative Opportunities Program Protocols), and apply the principles that guide the Service pursuant to paragraph 4(c) of the CCRA.
  6. Where possible, the Institutional Head/District Director will ensure that a limitation addresses the circumstances of an individual offender so as not to hinder access to expressive material by other offenders.
  7. Where possible, the Institutional Head/District Director will ensure that a limitation is only imposed on a certain form of offender access, while allowing other forms of access to the expressive material; for example, the access may be permitted in printed form but not in electronic form.

Collective Limitation

  1. The Institutional Head/District Director may limit offenders’ access to expressive material where they believe on reasonable grounds that:
    1. it contributes to an unhealthy working and living environment
    2. doing so would be pursuant to section 96 of the CCRR.
  2. The Institutional Head/District Director will communicate all decisions to implement a collective limitation via a memorandum to the offender population. Any collective limitations that are in place will also be documented in a Standing Order.
  3. The Institutional Head/District Director will reassess on a yearly basis the decision to implement a collective limitation, preferably as the applicable Standing Order is being reviewed. The offender population, via the Inmate Committee (if applicable), will be advised that the review is occurring and provided with the opportunity to comment. Furthermore, the offender population/Inmate Committee may submit a request to the Institutional Head/District Director for the decision to be reassessed no less than six months after the decision is made, providing significant new information for further consideration. The Institutional Head/District Director will complete the review within 45 calendar days of receiving the request.

Individual Limitation

  1. The Institutional Head/District Director may limit an offender’s access to expressive material where:
    1. possessing/viewing such material would be inconsistent with the offender’s Correctional Plan
    2. doing so would be pursuant to section 96 of the CCRR.
  2. The Institutional Head/District Director must document in writing on the offender’s file (via a Memo to File saved in the Offender Management System) a decision to limit an offender’s access to expressive material. Decisions are to be reassessed no less than 12 months after the decision is made, or within one month of receipt of new information that could affect the decision.
  3. An offender may submit a request to the Institutional Head/District Director for the decision to be reassessed no less than six months after the decision is made. The offender must provide significant new information for further consideration. A review by the Institutional Head/District Director will be completed within 45 days of receiving the request.

Consultation

  1. The Institutional Head/District Director will consult with members of a Case Management Team, a Security Intelligence Officer, a Program Manager, a Chaplain, a Spiritual Advisor, an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, or other staff members, prior to imposing a collective limitation or an individual limitation on offender access to expressive material.
  2. Prior to imposing a collective or an individual limitation on offender access to expressive material, the Institutional Head/District Director will consult with:
    1. an Aboriginal Liaison Officer, an Elder/Spiritual Advisor, an Aboriginal Correctional Program Officer, or a Pathways Coordinator, if the material involves Indigenous cultural or spiritual content, and
    2. a Chaplain or Regional Chaplain, if the material involves religious or spiritual content.
  3. Prior to imposing a collective limitation on offender access to expressive material, the Institutional Head/District Director will consult with the offender population (through the Inmate Committee or other similar forum).
  4. If security concerns prevent consultation with the Inmate Committee, the Institutional Head/District Director will:
    1. advise the Inmate Committee accordingly, and
    2. record the security concerns in a document to be saved in the local Central Registry.

Interim 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 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
GL 764-1 – 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

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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