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Citizen Advisory Committees Annual Report
April 1, 2008 – March 31, 2009
April 1, 2009 – March 31, 2010

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Table of Contents


2010–11 Membership

National Executive Committee (NEC) of Citizen Advisory Committees (CAC)

Ron Joiner, National Chair

Doug Barrett, Atlantic Regional Chair

Bernard Tremblay, Quebec Regional Chair

Sharon Mitchell, Ontario Regional Chair

Gary MacDonald, Prairie Regional Chair

Bob Marshall, Pacific Regional Chair

Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) Regional Coordinators

Gail Thompson, Regional Coordinator, Pacific

Nell Hales, Regional Coordinator, Prairies

Dianne Anthony, Regional Coordinator, Ontario

Jean-François Cusson, Regional Coordinator, Quebec

Paulette Gaudet, Regional Coordinator, Atlantic

Citizen Engagement Branch, Public Affairs
and Parliamentary Relations

Mark Nafekh, A/Director General, Citizen Engagement Branch

Jim Murphy, Director, Community Relations Directorate

Carole Diotte, Senior Project Officer, Community Relations Directorate

Diane Bourbonnais, Project Officer, Community Relations Directorate

Claudine Bérubé, Project Analyst, Community Relations Directorate

We wish to also acknowledge former NEC members and Community Relations employees for their contributions to CAC activities from April 2008 to March 2010.

For more copies, please contact:

Correctional Service of Canada
Public Affairs and Parliamentary Relations Sector
340 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P9
Tel.: 613-992-9854
Fax: 613-947-0091


Mission

Mission of the Citizen Advisory Committees

Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs), through voluntary participation in the Canadian federal correctional process, contribute to public safety by actively interacting with Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff, the public and offenders, and providing impartial advice and recommendations, thereby contributing to the quality of the correctional process.

Mission of the Correctional Service of Canada

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.


Role of the Citizen Advisory Committees

Much of the fear in the minds of the public comes from not knowing what is going on behind the high wall. That wall keeps offenders confined, but it also discourages citizen participation in the institution and inmate involvement in outside community activities.
—MacGuigan Report, 1977, p. 124.

With a keen interest in contributing positively to the correctional process, CACs provide a vehicle for the community to represent and express itself in CSC's core work.

CSC deems the role played by local community-based advisory committees critical in managing itself with openness and integrity. Correctional facilities and programs are part of the community and cannot exist in a vacuum.

Within the context of their mission, and as volunteers representing a cross-section of the community, CACs have three main roles. They act as:

Advisors

CACs provide impartial advice to CSC managers on the operation of correctional facilities and their impact on surrounding communities. CAC members fulfill this role by regularly visiting correctional facilities and meeting regularly with offenders, local union representatives, and local CSC management and employees. CACs also advise and assist local, regional and national CSC managers to help with the overall development of correctional facilities and programs, and with the impact of this development on the community.

Impartial Observers

CAC members act as impartial observers of CSC's day-to-day operations. They help CSC evaluate and monitor the provision of adequate care, supervision and programs for offenders, in accordance with the stated values, legislation, and approved regulations and procedures, such as CSC's Mission and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA). CACs also act as impartial observers during institutional crises. This helps demonstrate CSC's commitment to openness, integrity, and accountability.

Liaisons

As a link between communities and CSC, CACs educate the public about CSC, address public concerns, and build support for the correctional process. They also give CSC management, both parole and institutional, a community perspective on institutional, operational and policy decisions. CACs educate the local community on correctional objectives and programs, develop and implement means to enhance communication with the local community, and generally contribute and encourage public participation in the correctional process.


CAC Organizational Structure

Local Committees

Local committees and their contribution to the facilities they serve are a fundamental element of an effective, voluntary network of citizens. The local committees are typically composed of no fewer than five members appointed by the Regions' Deputy Commissioner (RDC). Wardens and District Directors are responsible for the existence and effectiveness of CACs. Local committees meet about once a month. Committees are strongly urged to hold these meetings in the facility they represent to help members become familiar with the institution or parole office and to raise their visibility among staff and offenders.

Regional Committees

The local CACs are represented regionally by Regional Executive Committees (RECs). These committees comprise either CAC members elected from amongst the local CACs (as is the case in the Quebec, Ontario and Pacific regions) or all elected local CAC chairs (as is the case in the Atlantic and Prairie regions). Each REC elects a Regional Chair, who is automatically a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC).

RDCs are responsible for ensuring that CACs in their regions are active and well supported with the assistance of their CAC RECs and Regional Coordinators. The RECs advise CSC RDCs and their staff on the development and implementation of CSC policies and programs at the regional level.

National Executive Committee (NEC)

The NEC serves as a coordinating body for regional and local committees across the country, with particular emphasis on ensuring that CACs fulfill their roles and responsibilities. In concert with the Citizen Engagement Branch at CSC's National Headquarters, the NEC is responsible for the national coordination of all CACs across Canada.

The NEC Chair position is filled on a two year rotational basis by Regional Chairs. The NEC meets four to five times annually. Through an annual report and ongoing contact, the NEC presents recommendations to the CSC Commissioner on CSC policies and programs that have been made by local and regional CACs.


History

Since their inception in 1965, CACs have reflected citizens' interest in contributing to the quality of federal correctional services and programs.

Citizens first became involved in the correctional process in the early 1960s, when some federal institutions established citizen committees to deal with specific problems. At the same time, under Commissioner Allan McLeod (1960–70), a Commissioner's Directive (CD) called for greater citizen involvement in the form of CACs. The first institutions to establish committees were Beaver Creek Correctional Camp in Ontario, Saskatchewan Penitentiary, and Matsqui Institution in British Columbia.

CACs began to function as a national organization with the release of the Report to Parliament by the Sub-Committee on the Penitentiary System in Canada (the MacGuigan Report) in 1977. The report, which was released following several serious prison disturbances, indicated the need for community representatives who could monitor and evaluate correctional policies and procedures.

Recommendation #49 sought the establishment of CACs in all penal institutions, noting that correctional agencies traditionally operated in isolation and that the public had never been well informed about corrections or the criminal justice system. The report outlined ways in which CACs could be of value to the correctional system:

Citizens' Advisory Committees, if properly structured, can provide a real service to the Canadian Penitentiary Service [now the Correctional Service of Canada] in terms of informing the public about the realities of prison life and informing the Service itself as to its shortcomings. [...] Briefly, the Citizens' Advisory Committee is to assist the director of each institution in planning programs inside and outside the penitentiary. The Committee is to consult with senior staff and inmate committees to help the director with respect to the extent and the nature of the activities needed.
—MacGuigan Report, 1977, p. 124, 126

The first national CAC conference was held in Ottawa in 1978. The first National Executive was formed in 1979 in response to the need for a national plan that would have a strong impact at all levels of CSC. At the third national conference in 1980, representatives from the five CSC regions set up a national organization and constitution containing the first statement of principles and clear objectives for CACs. Since the introduction of the Mission of the Correctional Service of Canada in 1989, CACs and CSC have been strengthening their partnership. This affiliation was further enhanced through the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (1992), which refers to the "… involvement of members of the public in matters relating to the operation of the Correctional Service." In October 2000 the federal government accepted the recommendation of the Sub-Committee on the Corrections and Conditional Release Act that each institution and parole office be supported by a CAC from the local community.

CACs have been identified as an international "best practice" when the program was honoured with the American Correctional Association's (ACA) Chapter Award in the Public Information Category for Best Practices and Excellence in Corrections. The Chapter Award is the highest of the ACA award categories. In addition, the International Association for Public Participation awarded CSC the Organization of the Year Award in the area of public participation, due in large measure to its CAC program. On a national level, the Privy Council Office recognized CACs as a Canadian Public Service Best Practice.

Over the years, CACs have contributed significantly to the quality of the correctional system, in addition to enabling CSC to operate openly and effectively. At present, there are approximately 500 citizens who are now active in its ranks, with close to 100 CACs across Canada. The role and importance of CACs in the Canadian correctional system continues to grow and expand. With the support of citizens and the Service, CACs will continue to make a valuable contribution to the safety of Canadians.


CAC National Objectives

Observation – Impartiality – Communication

The NEC believes that priority should be given to the chosen objectives, which should direct the choice of the regional and local objectives of CACs.

These objectives will be met, we hope, in cooperation with the regional and operational CAC units.

Objectives

  1. Act as an independent, impartial and autonomous observer
  2. Fulfill an advisory role by expressing opinions on CSC policies and programs and on how they are implemented
  3. Ensure communication between CSC, offenders and the public
  4. Liaise with community partners

Strategic Objectives

S-A- MISSION AND ROLE
SA-1 Specify CAC mandates and responsibilities
SA-2 Evaluate use and relevance of the CAC Resource Manual

S-B- CONSULTATION
SB-1 Be involved in national, regional and local consultations
SB-2 Control the quality of consultations
SB-3 Evaluate consultation principles and methods

S-C- MEMBER TRAINING
SC-1 Implement an orientation and training plan focusing on the role, legislation
and policies, and human rights
SC-2 Evaluate the training organization and orientation plan

S-D- CAC COMMITMENT AND VISIBILITY
SD-1 Implement a communications/engagement plan
SD-2 Evaluate achievements and their impact

Operational Objectives

OP-1 Regularly review the CAC guides
      2 Regularly distribute relevant documentation
      3 Take part in developing consultation procedures
      4 Periodically review consultation procedures
      5 Regularly organize training sessions
      6 Ensure effective recruitment that is representative of the community
      7 Inform and educate local communities
      8 Achieve and publicize CAC actions
      9 Participate and collaborate on the employability program

Adopted by the NEC, November 24, 2005


A Word From the A/Director General, Citizen

Engagement

Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) are a vital part of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). By observing our operations, they provide us with insight into the way we do business and inform the community of important elements in the correctional process.

CSC currently benefits from the commitment and determination of over 500 CAC members involved in close to 100 communities throughout Canada. It is my pleasure to contribute to this report to acknowledge the CACs' initiatives and achievements over the last two years.

The past couple of years have been very busy for CAC members. It has been a productive time, filled with opportunities and challenges, which were met with enthusiasm and a will to work together in an effort to contribute to public safety.

In 2008–2009 several regions hosted regional CAC conferences. In 2008 and again in 2009, National Executive Committee (NEC) chairs were invited to partake in the Service's Executive Development Symposium and Partners Day, where they were able to participate in discussions with CSC managers. The opportunities to provide input to the Service were many and diverse in scope.

In November 2009, in an effort to build bridges, the Service had the opportunity to bring together CAC members, volunteers, LifeLine stakeholders and employees from across the country for the inaugural National Community Relations Conference. Under the theme "Creating Better Relations," members of the three groups had a chance to meet and discuss issues of common interest. It was overwhelmingly clear from the conference evaluations that the event was a success. The year 2010 will provide an opportunity for these community relations conferences to be held at a regional level.

Over the last two years, the Community Relations Directorate has worked closely with the NEC in an effort to help achieve its communications, consistency and compliance goals by setting new directives to facilitate contributions from CAC members, by encouraging more involvement at the local level and in policy review, and by strengthening the CAC Conflict of Interest Guidelines.

In closing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all CAC and NEC members for the time, dedication and energy they devoted to involvement in their respective communities and to achieving the CAC Mission. I would also like to acknowledge the work and professionalism of all CSC staff working with CACs. Finally, I wish to thank the Citizen Engagement team at National Headquarters and their regional counterparts, as their support is the cornerstone of the CACs' achievements.

Mark Nafekh
A/Director General, Citizen Engagement


Annual Report 2008–09

Chair's Remarks 2008–09

If I were asked to use one word to describe 2008–09, I would have to pick the word "change." A new Commissioner was appointed, a new group was seated around the National Executive Committee (NEC) table, and the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) was moving forward with its Transformation Agenda.

Change can be intimidating, challenging, energizing and filled with opportunity. We, the members of the NEC as well as Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) across the country, have picked up the challenges, the energy and the opportunities resulting from this positive change.

Change has demanded that we look at ourselves and at what it is we do. We have had to ask: Are we fulfilling our mandate? Are there areas where we have to change the way we carry out our mandate? Do we, CACs, have to change also?

I believe that the NEC has been honest in assessing the ways in which we can improve, but we also acknowledged the many locations across the country where the CACs' mandate is being adequately fulfilled. There are many committees that are actively observing and providing advice and recommendations on their observations. Many committees have closely observed the changes made during this period of transformation and have provided feedback to their sites.

Some of the gaps we observed relate to the need for consistency in specific areas. We came to realize that we needed a functional communication strategy. Additionally, and almost without exception, we found that committees were having difficulty recruiting new members.

The one area of our mandate that was consistently neglected was that of community liaison. There are good examples of how this can be done, but in many cases, committees are failing to fulfill this part of our role.

The CSC employees at National Headquarters (NHQ) who work with us are committed and knowledgeable, as are our regional coordinators. Together, we have been able to work diligently to take advantage of individual strengths, with the result that the NEC has evolved into a strong and cohesive working group, with each regional chair representing the needs and concerns of their region and gaining an understanding of the needs in other regions. Out of this has emerged a willingness to make decisions based on the best interests of CACs as a whole.

Over the past year, we have had unprecedented support from CSC, beginning with the Commissioner's Office and extending through to the correctional managers. Commissioner Head recently made the following remarks in a message to all CSC staff: "Given that we are in a 'people' business, building and maintaining relationships are critical to the achievement of our plans and priorities and ultimately to our contribution to public safety. Consequently, the relationship between the Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) and the Service is of such significance to our overall agenda, and it is extremely important that we take time to listen to and support our CAC members."

This type of confidence, and the many other signs of support, tells me that we are valued by CSC, and confers on us the responsibility to be the resource we are credited with being.

I trust that every single one of us is up to the challenge.

Ursula Morris
Chair, National Executive Committee


Report From the National Executive Committee 2008–09

In the early days of this year, Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) members were struggling with understanding what was expected of them and whether or not they really had a valuable role within the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). There was general confusion about how CACs fit into CSC operations. In November of the previous year, a national conference had been cancelled without consultation or notice, leaving many CAC members from coast to coast feeling disheartened.

At the rescheduled National Conference in March 2008, I, as the very recently proclaimed Chair of the National Executive Committee (NEC), welcomed CAC members from across the country to Ottawa, Ontario. My message at that time was that during my time as National Chair, we would work towards establishing good working relationships with our CSC partners and we would concentrate on ensuring that Committees had an understanding of how our role aligned with CSC's day-to-day operations. I said that the framework for accomplishing these goals would center on what I called the three "C"s: Communication, Consistency and Compliance. Within those themes we, the NEC, would work toward building a sense of security and an understanding of the role and functions with which we are mandated.

At that time, we were assured by CSC management that the CAC movement was indeed valued and depended upon to be the voice of the communities where CSC operations exist. This was a message that people needed to hear, and it provided a strong impetus for the work that lay ahead.

Every year, CSC holds an Executive Development Symposium (EDS) where senior executives meet to discuss the organization's successes and ongoing challenges. It is also a time to look at direction and plan for the future. The Commissioner extended an invitation to the National Chair and the Vice-chair to attend the 2008–09 EDS. This was the first time that CAC members had been invited to attend and participate. There was no doubt that we were full participants at the meetings and were in fact often told how valued our participation was. In addition to the opportunity to meet managers and be involved in the workshops, the highlight for us was a meeting with all the Regional Deputy Commissioners. This meeting, organized by Assistant Commissioner Lori MacDonald, provided an opportunity to have an open and frank discussion about not only our needs, but theirs as well. Both Ron Joiner and I left the meeting with a clear understanding of the support we could expect at that management level and of some of the challenges that lay ahead of us.

At the beginning of 2008–09 the NEC team was composed of experienced CAC members who, with the exception of myself, had less than six months of NEC experience. We had an opportunity to meet on one occasion prior to the National Conference.

A report that reviewed CSC's operational priorities, strategies and business plans was completed and submitted to the federal government. We knew this was going to impact the work we do, but had no information about how it would affect us. At the conference, we were encouraged by CSC to participate in the Transformation Agenda by continuing to observe, liaise and advise. The Blue Ribbon Report became a very large part of our focus during the next year. NEC saw the need and was determined to provide strong leadership on our part so that all CAC members across Canada would feel that they have been invited to participate and that their opinion was heard and deemed valuable when they made a contribution.

The NEC examined areas where it would be important to attain consistency nationwide. We were very aware of the diversity and wide scope of challenges faced by local committees, but were also certain that our cause would be best served by consistency in some areas. We would discuss with CSC to express our frustration and impeded progress when staffing changes occurred very frequently. The biggest challenge within our organization was the Conflict of Interest Guidelines; not only must the same guidelines be used, but they must also be interpreted the same way. This has always been a challenge, one we must continue to work through.

Communication, another goal set for the Committee, was seen to be of utmost importance. The challenge involved ways of communicating as well as the key messages we needed to convey. Early this year we began distributing a communiqué after every NEC meeting. This meant that local committees received information about the topics covered at a meeting long before the minutes were available. It gave local committees an opportunity to hold discussions with the Regional Chair very soon after the meeting.

The NEC saw a need to evaluate the work we did and how we functioned. With the assistance and guidance of facilitator Paul Borne, we developed a strategic plan that would give us direction and assist us in developing themes for upcoming NEC meetings. The plan is a document that provides us with a framework and that may continue to develop as direction and priorities change.

One of the most important roles of the NEC is to ensure that all committees from coast to coast to coast have the support and tools required to be strong and effective in their roles as observers and advisors. Over the past year, NEC members have reviewed and revised the Orientation Manual to reflect changes in policy and to provide the tools to ensure that new members across the country are trained with the same information available to them.

The NEC met with Lisa Watson, Director, Strategic Policy, to begin the consultation process for the review of Commissioner's Directive 023 - Citizen Advisory Committees. Both CSC and CACs see this CD as one that requires a great deal of thought and vision. Work will continue on this document for some time.

During this fiscal year, the Atlantic, Ontario and Prairie regions held regional conferences. As National Chair, I was privileged to attend all of them and it was both interesting and helpful to observe firsthand the similarities and the differences between the regions. It was very encouraging to see that from coast to coast CACs struggle with similar issues, and even more so to observe the energy and willingness to meet challenges within every committee. As I traveled to the various regional conferences, I also attended local CAC meetings whenever possible. Communication at that level, with members focusing on local issues, helped me understand then, more than ever, the commitment and enthusiasm that CAC members bring to the table. Interacting with members in their own regions and their own communities reinforced the need to continue our work toward strengthening the three "C"s: Communication, Consistency and Compliance.

National Executive Committee 2008–09

Ursula Morris, National Chair

Ron Joiner, Atlantic Regional Chair

Bernard Tremblay, Quebec Regional Chair

Sharon Mitchell, Ontario Regional Chair

Gary MacDonald, Prairie Regional Chair

Robert Marshall, Pacific Regional Chair

What a joy it has been to work with a group that has so willingly given of their time and energy to meet the NEC's mandate. As we developed into a strong and committed team, the NEC members showed a high level of commitment in their efforts to move forward in working to maintain strong committees within their regions. Each and every member consistently advocated the needs of their individual region, but was always cognizant of and willing to reach solutions that would provide the best outcomes for all regions.

With the initialization of a rotation system for National Chair, the position will be filled by the Atlantic Region's representative, Ron Joiner, in 2010 and 2011. We are also seeing a change in Chairs in the Prairie Region after Gary MacDonald announced that he would be stepping down; elections will be held at the Prairie Annual General Meeting.

CSC Support Team

Jim Murphy, Co-chair, National Executive Commitee

Carole Diotte, Senior Project Officer

Claudine Bérubé, Project Officer

Paulette Gaudet, CAC Coordinator, Atlantic Region

Jean-Francois Cusson, CAC Coordinator, Quebec Region

Dianne Anthony, CAC Coordinator, Ontario Region

Nell Hales, CAC Coordinator, Prairie Region

Mary Lou Siemens, CAC Coordinator, Pacific Region

The NEC could not possibly function without the support of this team.

Without exception, this hard working group of CSC employees carries much of the workload between official NEC meetings. In the regions, the coordinators provide support and share their knowledge with the regional chairs; they also work with local committees to ensure that CAC mandates are carried out.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Commissioner Don Head, to Lori MacDonald, Assistant Commissioner, Public Affairs and Parliamentary Relations, and to Scott Harris, Director General, Citizen Engagement. Commissioner Head rarely missed the opportunity to attend some part of the NEC meetings. He shared with us CSC's challenges and successes, and was always willing to engage in the more difficult conversations. By his attendance and candid conversations, we were assured that CACs were valued and respected by CSC. Lori MacDonald and Scott Harris were also regular attendees at NEC meetings, and both took the time to meet with me to discuss concerns and ideas. I believe this type of support from the top level of CSC management is unprecedented.

Respectfully submitted,

Ursula Morris
Chair, National Executive Commitee


Atlantic Region Annual Report 2008–09

Preamble

This has been a most interesting year. Following the release of the Review Panel Report in 2007, implementation of the Transformation Agenda in the Atlantic Region has been clear. Focus has been placed on eliminating drugs in institutions, employment and employability, offender accountability, human resource renewal and strengthening community partnerships. Many of our members see the new initiatives as a very positive step, and judging from the work of the Transformation Team, there is clear evidence that the changes will have a very positive effect. We strongly support this very crucial initiative. As far as our committees are concerned, we have seen older members leave and new members take their place. Enthusiasm and new-found energy continue to abound, although there are certainly some challenges in the Region. Those challenges center on rejuvenating older committees and sustaining newly built ones. As the Region goes through its transformation, perhaps the time is right for a regional renewal process. I thank the members of the Regional Executive for their diligent work and applaud the tireless efforts of the Regional Coordinator in bringing us to where we are today.

Ron Joiner,
Regional Chair

Regional Executive Committee

Ron Joiner, Regional Chair

Doug Barrett, Regional Vice-chair

Louise Leonardi, Chair, Westmorland Institution

Bob Hallihan, Chair, Atlantic Institution

John Read, Chair, Dorchester Institution

James Morris, Chair Springhill Institution

Anne Malick, Chair, Nova Institution

Naren Srivastava, Chair, Moncton Parole Office

Corrine Chappel, Chair, Prince Edward Island District Parole Office

Vacant (see report), Chair, Fredericton Area Parole District

Dan Robichaud, Chair, St. John Area Parole District/Parrtown CCC

Ben Bishop, Co-chair, Halifax/Dartmouth Parole Office/Carleton CCC

Vacant (see report), Chair, Truro Area Parole Office

Donna Gardiner, Chair, St. John's Area Parole Office/Community Correctional Centre

CSC Liaison

Paulette Gaudet, Regional Coordinator, Citizen Engagement

Mission and Role

The Atlantic Region has 12 active CACs with approximately 110 members. Each committee meets monthly, or more frequently as special situations arise. Meetings are held from September to June. Commissioner's Directive (CD) 023 describes the three principal functions of CACs, which are to advise, observe and liaise. During this writer's visits with the committees in the Region, it became apparent that at times members tended to be somewhat unclear as to how their roles translate into their daily activities as committee members. One of the issues is the question of advocacy; it is difficult for members to see their role as assisting offenders in a general manner in recommending or suggesting that new programs or initiatives be developed, rather than advocating for individual offenders, which is clearly not the role of CACs. It is vital for committees to take time in the year so they can step back and review their roles and function from time to time to eliminate any real or perceived conflict. Healthy committees are able to do this very effectively and can address issues with certainty and clarity when they arise. Significant emphasis has also been placed on the Action Plan this year as a way to assist committees in determining what activities they would like to focus on, and the costing that is associated with their plan.

In addition to local meetings, an annual general meeting was held in April. There was one teleconference in late December 2008 to discuss the Regional Conference, which was held in February 2009.

To further enhance the role of CACs, the Region focused on the following in the past year:

  • Strengthening communication among CAC membership through:
    • timely dissemination of information from CSC;
    • prompt replies by telephone and email;
    • feedback on monthly minutes; and
    • site visits by the Regional Chair.
  • Building ongoing capacity through:
    • orientation sessions held at Memramcook;
    • discussing best practices in recruitment; and
    • discussing best practices that will benefit all committees.

During the year, the committees sought to enhance their capacity to fulfill their goals and objectives by meeting with Wardens and Deputy Wardens, Area and District Directors, CSC staff, management, CAC members from other committees, partner agencies, mental health representatives, and offender groups. Topics included recruiting new members, providing orientation and training, developing pamphlets, discussing information provided by guest speakers from Community-Based Residential Facilities (CBRFs), Community Correctional Centre (CCCs) and the National Parole Board (NPB), mental health issues, the Salvation Army, K-9 search dogs, drugs in prison, the Correctional Investigator, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, and presentations from the African–Canadian Inmate Committee, NFLD–Labrador Inmate Committee, Lifers and Francophone Inmate committees, and complex-needs offenders.

Consultation

In late 2007 the Review Panel Report was released. CACs had a unique opportunity to respond to the report's 109 recommendations.

The Regional Executive applauds the work of the Transformation Team thus far and appreciates being kept abreast through presentations and emails.

A member of the Transformation Team gave a presentation at the CAC Regional Conference in February 2009, informing attendees of the various items that are either underway or planned in the near future.

Individual CACs are often asked to consult on national and local issues. Further in this report, you will find how CACs in the Atlantic Region respond to local issues and the type and manner of advice they provide to local managers.

Regional representatives from the national subcommittees have also been asked to provide feedback on issues within their respective terms of reference. The committees are the Maximum Committee, Community Reintegration, Federally Sentenced Women and Restorative Justice.

Member Training

Orientation and Recruitment

The Region recruited approximately eight new members this past year. Of those recruited, five were invited to the CAC orientation program at Memramcook in June 2009. Both the Regional Chair and the Regional Coordinator deliver the orientation package. Feedback from previous sessions indicated that members walked away with a much clearer understanding of the CAC structure and the very specific role we play within CSC.

Conflict of Interest Guidelines are now firmly in place and each new member is asked to make a declaration. Potential or real conflict situations can now be identified at an early stage. This, we feel, has been a progressive step, though the process has had its challenges.

There are 12 active CACs ranging in size from three members at Charlottetown Parole to 11 with Moncton Parole, for a total of about 110 members. Membership has remained relatively static in the past year. Discussions are underway to review the structure of the defunct committees and to explore ways that CACs can more effectively represent the interests of the rural areas within the Atlantic Region committees.

On average, there are seven members per CAC. Most committees rely on word of mouth to attract new members, though one committee recruited new members through an ad in the local paper. In general, CACs have voiced significant challenges insofar as recruitment is concerned, as older members (many of whom are original to the CAC site) are retiring and newer, especially younger members are becoming more difficult to attract. Another major challenge lies in attracting a diverse membership that reflects the local community. That being said, there are committees that are representative of the diversity within their local community, as fishermen, farmers, Aboriginal people and immigrants are now among the active members.

The Newfoundland CAC is our only Regional CAC (serving Newfoundland and Labrador) and is uniquely challenged in attracting new members. Half of the committee members meet face-to-face, while the other half attends the monthly meetings through teleconferencing. In spite of these challenges, the committee was able maintain its membership at a healthy level.

CAC Commitment and Visibility

CACs in the Atlantic Region continue to demonstrate their enthusiasm and participation within their local communities. These are highlighted by many best practices, achievements and efforts to engage the community at large. CACs are always exploring ways to increase visibility through involvement in specific projects, and it is a credit to the members' imagination and energy that they produce interesting and informative activities.

Highlights and Best Practices

Springhill Institution CAC

The CAC at Springhill has maintained great stability over many years. Attendance at meetings has been consistent and many members have sat on the committee for several years. The CAC is consulted by Springhill Institution's senior managers on a monthly basis during regular meetings concerning ongoing issues at the institution. Comments and suggestions are always welcome and followed up as necessary. For example, specific consultations were held regarding the smoking ban. CAC members were thanked by a member of the National Parole Board (NPB) for the role they played in the Institution and especially for their important involvement during the lockdown after the smoking ban was implemented.

Budget information was reviewed by the Warden throughout the year. Deployment was an issue reviewed with the Committee. With increased funding for the Institution, more staff members were hired.

Over the past year the membership has remained at eight. One of the great strengths of the Springhill CAC is that it represents the surrounding communities well, with eight individuals (two women and six men) with culturally diverse backgrounds and life experiences.

The members of the Springhill Institution's CAC were invited to several events at the Institution throughout the year. These included socials, a BBQ supper and a staff Christmas dinner. The Warden has extended an open invitation to CAC members to attend any function held at the Institution. Several CAC members attended a tour of Atlantic Institution during a lockdown.

Charlottetown Parole CAC

The Charlottetown Committee held regular meetings and discussed topics such as recruiting new members, providing orientation/training for new members, touring Atlantic Institution, developing a CAC PEI pamphlet to increase visibility in the community, and meeting with CORCAN.

The Charlottetown CAC held an informational workshop on Aboriginal issues and the law with the Aboriginal community in PEI. At the workshop, CORCAN gave presentations to several non-profit organizations to assist with future paroled men/women from PEI. The activity was well attended and, most importantly, served to increase CAC presence in the PEI communities.

The CAC Chair and members attended conferences and conducted two workshops. During the year, the CAC Chair and a CSC senior parole officer provided two new members with information about their role as CAC members. The Charlottetown CAC is planning to be more visible to the public by sending a guest speaker to a law class at a local high school, visiting Atlantic Institution, planning a recruitment blitz at two malls, and attending conferences/workshops when the opportunity arises.

Fredericton Parole CAC

The Fredericton CAC has had a difficult year. About mid-way through the year, longtime CAC Chair Janice Clarke resigned due to outside commitments. Unfortunately, no one was able to fill her shoes and, at present, the Committee is reorganizing as it makes plans to rejuvenate its membership. The Fredericton CAC has for many years been very active in organizing and promoting the CAC mission through its excellent workshops and information sessions in the Fredericton area. It has also been instrumental in furthering the methadone program for offenders in the surrounding region.

Westmorland Institution CAC

As a minimum-security institution, the Westmorland CAC puts a great deal of energy into the liaison portion of our mission, trying to work with our community on work release ideas, security issues and giving back to the community. It is common for the Committee to look within itself to make certain its events and actions are consistent with its mission and role.

The challenge this year was to further the agenda, as the Warden left in September 2008. Although the acting Wardens have done an excellent job, there is no permanent replacement yet.

In the last year, the Westmorland CAC members have been consulted extensively on dangerous offenders being moved from minimum security, the escape of an inmate during a community outing to a local church, the smoking ban and farm closures, as well as the Transformation Agenda, which was discussed at each meeting.

The Committee also attended the "Hands Up Expo!" in Moncton this year as a recruitment opportunity, and wrote a letter to the Mayor of Dorchester to extend an invitation to a representative from their City Council. The Committee has recruited three new members.

This year, the Committee continued its partnership with a local nursery. The agreement we made last year for packages of vegetable seeds from MacArthur's Nursery in Moncton to be given to inmates was renewed by the Institution. MacArthur's donated $100 worth of seeds, which were grown in the Westmorland garden by five or six inmates. CSC provided the fertilizer and CORCAN offered advice. When the nearly 12,000 pounds of vegetables were harvested, they were donated to local food banks as well as Mountain Top House. This partnership is something the Committee hopes will continue year after year to highlight the positive contribution inmates are making by giving back to the community.

In February 2008 the Committee invited the Salvation Army to give a presentation on the "OK Kids" and "OK Families" programs, delivered both in the institution and in the community. In April 2008 the Committee furthered its commitment to this project by assisting in the roll-out of an institutional survey to gather information on family visits, namely how to make the Visits and Communication Centre more welcoming for families. The information was compiled and in June 2008 the Committee presented a number of ideas to the Warden. Ideas included having more board games, cards and books in the Visits and Communication Centre for families to spend time together, enlarging the outside playground and offering extra visits for families during the week.

Moncton Parole CAC

The Moncton Parole CAC held six very interesting presentations during the year for CAC members. These presentations included the Elizabeth Fry Society's offender employment initiatives; organized crime groups; improving communication; the John Howard Society's role in the community; methadone treatment in the community; and the Atlantic Region Transformation Action Plan. In early February 2009, Committee members attended a forum in Moncton organized by the Public Safety Advisory Committee, with public participation. The discussion was good and CAC members participated actively.

Plans for the future include meetings at different locations, such as the Cannell halfway house, and a joint meeting at Westmorland Institution. Members have also expressed great interest in attending some parole hearings. Plans are also being made, with the help of CSC staff and other CACs, to prepare a public awareness kit for CAC members so that they all have the same information and all convey the same messages when speaking to the public.

Dorchester Penitentiary/Shepody Healing Centre CAC

The Dorchester/Shepody CAC was consulted on a number of internal issues this past year. Discussion or advice including the following: bilingualism, inmate employment and job shortages, the smoking ban, the Findmyway.ca website, literacy, the number of inmates in segregation and the general condition of the facility, double bunking (including segregation), the high number of complaints to the Correctional Investigator, the low number of parole officers and the constant turnover, the penitentiary budget and subsequent cuts, the lack of programs, especially for inmates to gain parole, the lack of programs for Francophone inmates, the lack of violent offender programs, the plan to close the farm at Westmorland, the decision to move dangerous offenders to higher security levels, the possibility of a new facility for the Shepody Healing Centre, inmate mental health, and the Integrated Correctional Program Model.

The Committee has met with many staff members and other people involved with corrections, including inmate committees and groups. The Committee increased awareness of its presence within the Institution this year by spending an afternoon meeting separately with five different inmate groups. The Committee has toured all parts of Dorchester Penitentiary and the Shepody Healing Center. The Committee has also attended family social days. CAC members have visited Westmorland, Springhill and Hilltop House.

Newfoundland and Labrador CAC

The NL CAC currently has nine active members, four of whom are located outside St. John's. They attend meetings via teleconference which continues to present a challenge at every meeting.

This past year the Committee attended the Crime Prevention Conference in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. The Committee took advantage of this event to have a booth set up in the main area. This was a wonderful opportunity for public education and awareness about the CAC. Two of the members gave a presentation on what it is that CACs do across the country and on the NL Committee, specifically its goals and accomplishments. The Committee had two meetings during the conference, one as our regular meeting and another with our Regional Chair. This was a chance to express our concern about the importance of having more face-to-face meetings. While in the area, the Committee toured the West Coast Correctional Institution and Stephenville's Community Residential Facility (CRF).

Two of the CAC members are on different CBRF/CCC selection committees. The Committee continues to distribute CAC pamphlets throughout NL. One member is on the National Volunteer Association (NVA) board.

This past year the NL CAC had very informative presentations. Some of the topics included drug awareness in the province, methadone challenges, a recovering addict on methadone, the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI), and a presentation by a social worker from the local CCC.

Next year the Committee hopes to be more visible in the communities throughout NL and continue to follow five main objectives: to continue to fulfill the advisory role by expressing opinions on CSC policies, programs and their implementation; to engage in meaningful dialogue with CSC regarding mental health, Aboriginal people, women and Long Term Supervision Order offenders; to continue to be involved with CSC regarding the CCC's challenges of offenders with multiple and complex needs; to provide members with orientation, information sessions and ongoing education; and to liaise and advise on select issues pertaining to crime prevention and the safe return of our offenders to the community.

Halifax Parole/Carleton CCC CAC

The Halifax CAC continues to maintain its presence and communicate effectively with CSC, parole office staff and management. The CAC Chair was invited to participate in planned visits by political representatives, such as the Halifax visit in November 2008 by the federal Minister of Public Safety, and gave a brief presentation to the Honourable Peter Van Loan, highlighting the partnerships, roles and activities of the Halifax CAC.

The Committee set a goal for 2008 to enhance member education and create community awareness. The Committee strove to enhance its presence by identifying issues and inviting guest speakers and/or presenters representing community service providers at several meetings. The Committee had representatives from the John Howard Society, Church Prison Ministries, "The Ray of Hope," and CSC's Ethnocultural Services Officer. There was also a presentation by a consultant about the effectiveness and need for a "Mentorship" initiative for offenders and parolees.

The Committee's overall objective in the past year focused on an initiative designed to educate Committee members on becoming a team that would effect change in the attitudes and behaviours of the offender population. The strategy is to learn as much as possible and become aware of the services that are currently offered in the community and the gaps that exist as well as to address those gaps through meaningful consultation. More work on this very subject continues to be a focus for the CAC.

The Halifax CAC has effectively maintained a presence that ensured participation in providing impartial advice to CSC management during sensitive investigations of incidents in the Halifax region. Incidents that took place at the CCC required the services of the Chair and another member of our CAC. Offering impartial advice and recommendations on the investigation process gave the CAC the assurance that its role was important, and its presence was crucial in preventing a perception of insensitivity by individuals not involved in the incident.

Atlantic Institution CAC

The Committee meets regularly at the Institution, and while there, meets with the inmate committee, inmates within the general population including African–Canadian and Aboriginal inmates.

In March the Committee held an information session to acquaint the local community with the CAC's work. Members of the local community, including the MLA, were invited. The group was taken on a tour of the facility and expressed satisfaction with the thoroughness of tour itself as well as the staff and management of the facility.

The Acting Chair of the Atlantic CAC is also a member of the Maximum Committee, a subcommittee of the National Executive. Issues the Committee was asked to consult on included drugs in institutions, the effects of the smoking ban, more drug dogs for institutions in general, and mental health issues at Atlantic Institution and other institutions.

Nova Institution CAC

The Committee meets monthly with maximum and segregation inmates. The women are provided with a copy of minutes of the previous month's issues, which are discussed with the Committee. The Committee meets with the house representatives from the general population and with the inmate chair. The minutes from the previous meeting as well as the response received from the Warden form the core of our discussions. Any new concerns or representations are brought up by the women.

CSC continues to provide very valuable support staff services to keep minutes, provide notices and, overall, keep information flowing between meetings.

In the past year, the Chair has been invited to attend a meeting of the Truro Area Parole Office CAC to discuss the possibility of a merger or some form of cooperative effort by the two bodies. Regional CSC personnel and members of the Truro Area Parole Office attended a Nova CAC meeting to discuss the pros and cons of such a merger. The Chair and members of the Truro Parole CAC and a CSC representative attended a number of meetings at Nova. No decision in relation to a full merger has been made, and the matter warrants further discussion. There are certainly common concerns and issues and information sharing is a positive benefit.

The meetings continue to be held in the evening because of the convenience for Committee members, but the Committee still sees this as a possible barrier to having staff meet with us. The Committee is grateful that the Warden is always accommodating outside regular hours.

In the past, Nova's CAC was considerably involved in national issues affecting corrections generally, and women's corrections specifically. Having fought long and hard for the CAC Sub-Committee on Women Offenders (WO) and having developed and fully participated in quarterly teleconferences, our CAC used these means to "make a difference" and have an effect on the direction of women's corrections.

The Committee Chair has been a regular contributor, as a member of the CAC Sub-Committee on WO. A copy of the Terms of Reference for the CAC Sub-Committee on WO, confirmed by the NEC in January 2009, is attached to the Nova CAC annual report and is available upon request. The reality is that this national consultative process has all but disappeared. Teleconferences have not taken place and it is seldom that grassroots consultation is sought by the Women Offender Sector on a national level. As in past years, the Nova CAC is of the view that national consultation is critical to ensuring the goals of Creating Choices are promoted and the role of CACs is enshrined in legislation. Perhaps there should be more focus on this level of consultation.

The Nova Committee continues to receive notice of policies adopted nationwide by CSC. The Transformation Initiative has dominated the information stream. A consultative role process has not been readily provided, in particular in relation to women corrections.

At Nova Institution, the CAC continues to be consulted and informed, and it is at this level that the Committee experiences its most useful work. At the local level, Nova administrative staff have kept CAC in the loop and spoke frankly about the impact of the overarching transformation implementation.

On a local level, the committee continues to feel that we are making a difference, as the Warden continues to seek our contribution on issues arising within the Institution and continues to respect our advice. Some of the consultative and/or informational topics have been the following:

  • New health care accreditation;
  • Integrated program management model;
  • "Keeping drugs out" information pamphlet and the effect on day-to-day operations;
  • Cross-gender monitoring program evaluation;
  • Consultation on the ongoing issue of inadequate food purchasing power by the houses;
  • Mental health pilot initiative;
  • Resolution of the operational issues regarding the new inmate phone system; and
  • Implementation of the Anti-Bullying Strategy.

Staff and inmates from Nova have continued their support for the Watoto Orphanage project in Uganda and are involved in a major fundraiser for Watoto and for the Ryan's Well Foundation; the goal is to raise $17,000.00. The Nova CAC has been involved in offering financial support and hands-on work and facilitating speaking engagements to support the women and staff. The Watoto Choir performed at Nova in April, an event attended by Nova CAC members and a host of community members. The women were engaged in fundraising and created craft gifts for the children and the public who attended. While this project obviously directly benefits the children and villages of Uganda, there is no underestimating the great value added to corrections through the joint effort of staff and inmates and the positive attitude it inspires within the community.

Saint John/Parrtown Parole CAC

The Saint John CAC is rebuilding its membership after some people retired and has recruited two new members in the past year as a result of an ad campaign. The Committee meets regularly and has had a number of guest speakers in the past year as it renews relationship with community agencies in the Saint John area.

The Committee is in the process of organizing a mental health forum for the coming year in partnership with the John Howard Society of New Brunswick. Two JHS members are working with the Committee to organize guests and arrange a venue for the forum.

Truro Parole CAC

The principal focus of the Truro Parole CAC this past year has been ongoing discussions with Nova Institution about a possible merger. Truro Parole CAC members have been attending meetings at Nova on a regular basis. Since the two sites are located close together, it is a natural fit and the benefit to both CACs will be immeasurable. The remaining details center on membership and logistics: if the CAC expands to include more members, where will meetings be held, who will chair, how will Truro Parole issues be addressed with those of Nova CAC and so on. A decision to either join or remain as two separate CACs should be made by the fall.

Conclusion

It was a challenging year once again in terms of communication within all levels of the CAC and CSC. Priorities in the past year have been the orientation of new members and improving communication among the membership. The Region will continue to concentrate on recruitment, retention and orientation in the 2009–10 year as it begins to focus on improving visibility. A priority for next year is to explore new structures to enhance the capacity of CACs in the rural areas of our region.

On behalf of all members in the Region, special thanks go to our CSC Regional Coordinator. She has been an integral part of our team and we could not have accomplished so much this year without her assistance and direction. She has been a strong force in bringing stability to the CAC portfolio and it is our wish that she continue to maintain her role as coordinator for some time to come.

I have been very honoured to have had the opportunity to serve as the Regional Chair. It has been a great year and I sincerely thank all of members for your time, your unselfish dedication, your keen interest in making a contribution to CSC as a community member, and your unbound enthusiasm in the midst of our many challenges, present and future.

Ron Joiner
Regional Chair, Atlantic Region


Quebec Region Annual Report 2008–09

Preamble

As in 2007–08, this annual report was produced by the Quebec Regional Coordinator, Community Outreach, rather than by the Quebec Regional Chair, as the Quebec Regional Executive Committee (REC) had not yet resumed its work. Consequently, this report pertains solely to CSC, which strives to report on the achievements made and work accomplished as part of the Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) program, and therefore does not follow the prescribed format.

Quebec Region Profile

The Quebec Region has 24 CACs (12 community-based and 12 institutional), of which 22 are active. In light of the possible revision of Commissioner's Directive (CD) 023, the districts undertook a review of the organizational needs and current status of community-based CACs, which explains the inactivity of two of those committees. (The results of the review should be available in the fall.)

As of March 2009, the Quebec Region had 103 CAC members who offer their time, expertise, knowledge and advice to CSC. Despite a drop in CAC membership over the past year, we feel confident that our recruiting efforts in 2009–10 will attract a significant number of new members.

The majority of local committees held meetings every two months on average, with CSC representatives and, at times, union and/or inmate representatives in attendance. In addition to current issues in each unit, the CACs were briefed more specifically on offenders' mental health problems and related reintegration problems, Aboriginal affairs, street gangs, and employability. CSC's Transformation Agenda was also a regular topic of discussion.

At the end of 2008, the CAC REC suspended operations pending a review of the Committee's structure and function. The review culminated in a consultation session attended by the chairs of the various CACs, who expressed their expectations at the regional level. The group recommended that the structure and function of the REC be reviewed, and that the responsibilities of local units be more clearly defined. They also stressed the importance of recognizing the distinction between community-based and institutional CACs. On a final note, nine new CAC members received basic training.

At the October 2008 annual meeting, the membership elected a regional representative (Bernard Tremblay, Cowansville CAC) to represent the Quebec Region at the national level. Also, an ad hoc committee was tasked with reviewing the structure of the REC. The elected members of the REC are Jean-Guy Lévesque (Port-Cartier CAC), Hélène Martin (Chicoutimi CAC), and Bernard Tremblay (Cowansville CAC).

Finally, the Cowansville and Drummond Institution CACs received appreciation awards for their exceptional handling of recent inmate demonstrations. The two CAC chairs were exemplary in their role as advisors, impartial observers, and liaison officers between the case management team and the inmate committees.

In January 2009 Jean François Cusson was appointed Regional Coordinator, Community Outreach. Mr. Cusson, a criminologist, worked for ten years with the Association des services de réhabilitation sociale du Québec, a network of community support organizations for adult offenders. At this time we would like to thank Sophie Lemire, the former regional coordinator, for her work with the CAC.

Between January and March 2009, the CAC chairs of all units were sent four "Info Chair" e-bulletins, short newsletters intended to keep them informed about issues of interest to CSC and its partners. The content included regional and national reports as well as information about regional and national programs and policies, the Office of the Correctional Investigator, and activities.

In addition to their responsibilities under CD 717 Community Assessments, CAC members in the Quebec Region were consulted about the proposed revision of the structure and function of the REC.

The REC is expected to resume normal operations in May 2009, at which time the members will vote on the composition and elect the REC members.

Conclusion

In closing, we would like to thank everyone who has helped get the REC up and running again. In particular we would like to acknowledge the outstanding work of the members of the ad hoc committee—Jean-Guy Lévesque (Port-Cartier CAC), Hélène Martin, (Chicoutimi CAC), and Bernard Tremblay (Cowansville CAC)—and everyone who participated in the review and consultation sessions on the structure and function of the REC. Special thanks to our regional representative, Bernard Tremblay, who quickly and effectively assumed his duties on the CAC NEC. Finally, we extend our thanks to the local CAC chairs and members for their dedicated contribution to CSC and to their communities.

Highlights and Best Practices

Archambault Institution

The CAC focused on the following issues: member recruitment and training, regional restructuring, CAC departure rates, familiarity with various committees (inmates, staff, volunteers) and CAC credibility.

CAC members also participated in the following activities:

  • Christmas supper at the Regional Mental Health Centre
  • Information day at Place Rosemère
  • Press release
  • Management resourcing day
  • Retirement parties
  • National Black History Day
  • Restorative justice
  • Presentation of employee appreciation awards
  • Visit to Archambault Institution

Cowansville Institution

The emphasis this year was on recruiting new members, meeting with the inmate committee, and improving the visibility of the CAC.

The CAC attended and/or participated in the following activities:

  • Inmate appeal hearing
  • Intensive AA workshop (in English and French)
  • Presentation of an appreciation award to a CAC member
  • Volunteer Appreciation Day
  • Presentation of employee medals
  • Community visit by members of the institution's Club Vie (lifers' group)
  • Community visit by the general inmate population
  • Staff Christmas luncheon
  • Community visit as part of Kwanzaa celebrations (traditional ethnic holiday)

Donnacona Institution

The CAC participated in the following activities:

  • Presentation of the Taylor Award
  • Anti-smoking committee
  • National Public Service Week dinner
  • Meeting with the Correctional Investigator
  • Meeting with an inmate and his parole officer (PO)
  • One-day study session on CSC transformation
  • Presentation of service awards to three CAC members (5 years and 20 years)
  • Staff Christmas dinner and appreciation ceremony
  • Parole hearings
  • Toy collection campaign for children visiting the Institution
  • Meeting with the national Complaints and Grievances Review Board and participation on the Complaints and Grievances Committee
  • Activities Planning Committee

Drummond Institution

In addition to their regular committee meetings, CAC members attended several events at the Institution: presentation of staff medals, retirement ceremonies, and various activities marking key dates on the institutional calendar. One member sits on a committee that monitors employee satisfaction. The year 2008 was marked by several inmate demonstrations in response to the smoking ban in federal correctional institutions; consequently, a CAC member met with the inmate committee and successfully helped diffuse the situation.

Federal Training Centre (FTC)

The CAC concentrated on developing labour-market-based training programs as sanctioned by the Quebec Ministry of Education.

The CAC also participated in the following activities:

  • CSC Longueuil open house
  • Christmas awards dinner
  • Presentation of employee medals
  • Meeting with inmate committee and management

Joliette Institution

The main focus this year was employability. The CAC also addressed recruiting new members, training, replacing the outgoing CAC chair, public safety, and institutional operations. The CAC participated in a consultation about Community Correctional Centre standards and guidelines.

La Macaza Institution

The CAC's focus this year was mega institutions. Members also participated in several activities, including:

  • Christmas baskets
  • Christmas midnight mass and Easter mass
  • Community visit
  • Change of Season ceremony
  • Safety awareness
  • Disciplinary Court session
  • Programming meeting
  • CSC review committee
  • Information meeting on street gangs
  • Visit by students from Mont-Laurier CEGEP
  • Presentation of the Taylor Award

Port-Cartier Institution

Main concerns this year included familiarizing staff with the CAC, employee retention at the institution, and mental health issues. CAC members organized an information session at the Knights of Columbus and a dinner meeting with Hom'asculin Port-Cartier, a men's social service organization.

Members also participated in several activities:

  • Religious services in the Institution
  • Meetings with the Correctional Investigator
  • Presentation of medals of appreciation
  • Launch of Centraide-Duplessis fundraising campaign
  • External review committees

Regional Reception Centre (RRC)

Members participated in the following events:

  • Presentation of appreciation awards to employees who made an exceptional contribution to helping the CAC carry out its mandate
  • Establishment of a working group for the three institutions at the Ste-Anne-des-Plaines complex
  • Support of the St-Anne-des-Plaines CAC Chair
  • Two information sessions organized by RRC staff about the Special Handling Unit (SHU)
  • Meeting with inmate committees
  • Meeting with SHU inmates
  • Observation of Disciplinary Commission proceedings
  • Observation of Management Accountability Framework (MAF) debriefing

Community-Based CAC: Chicoutimi

The CAC focused on Aboriginal issues and CSC's community partners.

Members participated in the following activities:

  • Public Service Day (booth)
  • Annual food drive
  • Three members received certificates of appreciation for extended involvement (5 years)

Community-Based CAC: Estrie

The emphasis this year was on educating the public about the successful reintegration of former offenders into the community (a related project is currently underway). The CAC was also involved in setting up committees of the crime prevention support service, Service d'aide en prévention de la criminalité (SAPC), as well as a mental health seminar and an appreciation night for retiring members. With the assistance of members from the Sherbrooke office, the Committee is putting the final touches on an audiovisual presentation about CSC and parole to be used at public information meetings. One of the CAC members is also coordinating a public awareness campaign (to appear in a local periodical and on a local TV station) to destigmatize mental illness.

Community-Based CAC: Laval

The CAC continued its efforts to recruit new members. Areas of interest this year included incidents occurring in the community and statistical case profiles of parolees. Members also participated in a community outreach activity on employability and attended a National Parole Board (NPB) hearing. Member training is an important concern, as the CAC aims to double its membership: with this in mind, the Committee is looking into producing a flyer to be distributed locally to increase public awareness of the CAC's role in the community.

Community based CAC: Maisonneuve

Central issues for this CAC were sex offenders, the CSC Transformation Agenda, the intensive supervision program, the Integrity project, ethnocultural communities, and a number of national investigations. Members also met with an inmate and various stakeholders, including police officers.

Community-Based CAC: Quebec

Recruitment and training were the main topics at Committee meetings this year, especially as the CAC had only two members. Although they participated in a few consultations (including the one on the smoking ban), the Committee laments the fact that most requests for input are received too late for them to be able to contribute to the discussion. The members are updated regularly on current issues, such as offenders under supervision in the community, CSC's Transformation Agenda and the eventual relocation of the head office, and CSC media clippings. One member is active on a restorative justice committee. Finally, the CAC is concerned about the policy on members' travel expenses.

Community-Based CAC: Rimouski

The focus this year was on getting the newly formed Committee up and running. Key issues were CAC visibility and offender employability.

Members participated in the following activities:

  • Conference about the impact of a criminal record
  • Visit to an addiction treatment centre in the Lower St. Lawrence region
  • Meeting with the coordinator of the Arc-en-soi Community Residential Facility (CRF)

Community-Based CAC: Trois-Rivières

The CAC had to suspend its activities from September 2008 to February 2009, and is now in the process of resuming normal operations. Top of the agenda is increasing membership.

CAC members participated in the following activities:

  • Providing financial assistance to parolees' children as they go back to school (joint project with the Cap-de-la-Madeleine Rotary Club)
  • Conference about street gangs organized by the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières' Groupe de recherche et d'intervention sur l'adaptation psychosociale et scolaire (research and advocacy group on psychosocial and academic adjustment) and the International Centre for Comparative Criminology

Ontario Region Annual Report 2008–09

Preamble

This has been a great year for the Ontario Region CAC with several new initiatives and a growth in membership.

We have had tremendous support from our Regional Deputy Commissioner, the Regional Director, Communications and Executive Services, and our Regional Coordinator.

Our Regional Executive has been most supportive and taken on many tasks in different areas to strengthen communication with our members and promote involvement by all CAC sites. Following our mandate and complying with the different roles of a member has been the focus this year.

Our recruitment numbers are up—nine new members so far in 2008–09—and we continue to move forward in this area. We are twinning some sites that share services where the membership numbers are low. This is also educating our members in a broader area of different security levels, and we hope to help parole offices combine to become a stronger voice in their communities.

Our annual general meeting was to be held at Pittsburgh Institution but had to be moved at a moment's notice to the Staff College due to a bomb scare. Quick action by CSC proved how we can adapt and work together in a crisis and make the AGM a success.

Regional Executive Committee

Sharon Mitchell, Ontario Regional Chair
Member, Kingston Penitentiary

Rick Blasko, Regional Vice-chair
Greater Ontario/Nunavut District Rep
Member, Portsmouth CCC Kingston Parole

Grant Mitchell, Maximum Institution Rep
Chair, Kingston Penitentiary

Nancy Werthman, Medium Institution Rep
Chair, Bath Institution

Lyle Cathcart, Minimum Institution Rep
Member, Beaver Creek Institution

George King, Federally Sentenced Women Rep
Member, Grand Valley Institution

Murray Lincoln, Offender/Mental Health Rep
Chair, Peterborough Parole Office

Daniel Cho, Central Ontario District
Chair, Greater Toronto Area West Parole

CSC Liaison

Dianne Anthony, Citizen Engagement Project Officer

Mission and Role

During the year we had 12 institutions and 11 parole offices with active CACs.

We will work on improving the renewal process between CSC and CAC members to maintain an accurate number of members in the Region. To date, 40 institutional and 29 parole members have been renewed.

Most members observe the day–to-day operations of many areas at their respective sites. Advice or questions are brought forward in their monthly meetings. Many members liaise with the community through public speaking engagements with service clubs and students, and through public presentations at forums and fairs.

Members have been following up on the progress of the recommendations made by the Blue Ribbon Report.

The regional Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in August 2009 was well received. We had an excellent representation from the institutions (11) and parole offices (7) in attendance. Of the 27 members who attended, nine were new to the CAC.

Presentations at the AGM were on the following topics: electronic monitoring pilot, mental health, palliative care and victims' services. Members were brought up to date on the gang initiative put forward by the Ontario Region. Everyone found these subjects very educational and interesting.

Establishing yearly objectives, setting site by-laws and developing action plans for the year also formed part of our activities.

Role of Impartial Observer

There has been improvement in the notification of CAC members concerning incidents, and the guidelines set out in the CAC mandate are being followed.

Consultation

Many changes made to the Commissioner's Directives (CDs) were reviewed at most CAC sites and input was provided. Discussions were also held monthly on the implementation of new policies and strategies resulting from the recommendations of the CSC Review Panel.

Member Training

Recruitment

A recruitment session was given to the Regional Executive by Colin Thacker to address both recruitment strategies and member retention. The results were shared with the membership as a tool to work with. Members of visible minorities and ethnocultural groups are still a challenge to recruit, and we will continue to work in this area.

Orientation and Training

A "Train-the-Trainer" session was held for the Ontario chairs who will be taking over training of new members at their sites, in conjunction with CSC staff, using the orientation manuals. The Regional CAC Chair and Regional CSC Coordinator will be responsible for training new members at a newly established CAC.

Twenty-eight members attended our first regional conference, which focused on compassionate parole, mental health, gangs, and earned parole. Our national chair attended, as did the RDC. This was a huge success and allowed for close networking among members. It is hoped that the practice of holding regional conferences every other year will be adopted, as this is an excellent opportunity to focus on strictly Ontario-related issues and concerns.

CAC Commitment and Visibility

  • Community outreach and visibility
  • Speaking engagements in schools, universities, colleges, and service clubs
  • Cleaning a park across from a parole office
  • Visiting possible new parole office sites with CSC and talking to area residents
  • Participating in community forums and fairs

Annual reports were not received from Joyceville Institution, Grand Valley Institution, Windsor Parole, Keele CCC, Toronto North & East Parole, Niagara Parole, Sudbury Parole, Downtown Toronto Parole and Hamilton Parole. We will work with the chairs to compile annual reports in the future.

Highlights and Best Practices

Collins Bay Institution

  • Members are involved in the Exceptional Olympiad
  • Weekly visits are made to several departments and meetings are held

Kingston Penitentiary

  • Added an educational element to monthly meetings
  • Developed a relationship with the local police department and many CSC department heads with regard to our mandate

Guelph Parole Office

  • Prepared a PowerPoint presentation on CSC for use in the community
  • Visited a Community Residential Facility under contract, specializing in drug treatment

Fenbrook / Beaver Creek Institution

  • A CAC educational coordinator uses the "From Sentencing to Release" framework to arrange for staff to speak on different topics at monthly meetings
  • The CAC held a potluck luncheon for the administrative staff as a thank you for working with them and sharing their expertise
  • Attend staff team-building workshops

Peterborough Parole Office

  • A member designed a game called "Run for Your Life," with community opportunities to play it and discuss the issues that victims of crime and offenders face in the community post-conviction

Pittsburgh Institution

  • CAC members attend the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner each year
  • This is a new CAC and has many plans for the coming year

Bath Institution

  • A new CAC with only one member, who is keeping an active logbook of her activities

Frontenac Institution

  • Participated in the Frontenac job fair

Nunavut Parole Office

  • This group was not active and we will look at the future of this site with the RDC. Members did not renew

Greater Toronto Area West Parole

  • The Chair has been the community representative on a collaborative panel led by the Toronto Police Sex Crimes Unit to foster improved communications and cooperation among several agencies as concerns public safety
  • Chair is a member of REAC

Ottawa Parole

  • Developed an Earned Parole project and a glossary of conditional release terms to help members in this endeavour
  • A quiz question about CACs is asked at each meeting

Millhaven Institution

  • Met with all new staff when possible to explain the CAC's role
  • Members discuss all changes to Commissioner's Directives and the initiatives of the Transformation Team

Regional Treatment Centre

  • Due to health issues and the fact that there is only one member, it was difficult to action many items
  • Several meetings with management were attended by another site CAC

Warkworth Institution

  • Worked with the community to partner with CORCAN whenever possible

Portsmouth CCC / Kingston Parole

  • Working on a palliative care presentation for the Region

Conclusion

I would like to thank all those who sent in their annual reports to help me provide an overview of our region in my report to National Headquarters.

We lost some members due to illness or death, but also recruited many new ones. All of them are enthusiastic and following our mandate to the best of their ability.

The longstanding issue of reimbursement is a concern for several members and we need answers in this direction soon.

The renewal process has to be adhered to by everyone in order for us to be better informed about membership statistics and in order to help those sites that make the request.

Our members have given many volunteer hours in their appointed role and are to be commended. I know CSC appreciates your commitment.

Dianne Anthony has been appointed Project Officer, Citizen Engagement, permanently. We welcome her and know she will give us the direction and support we need for the future.

We will continue to make communication a priority for both the CAC and CSC. While still striving to accomplish the national objectives, we have highlighted several regional objectives to guide us in our work in the following year:

  • Try to partner with CSC and Public Safety groups to develop an interactive gang website;
  • Hold community seminars to make the public aware of the CAC and how to communicate with its members;
  • Continue to attend as many meetings as possible;
  • Partner consultations, education and representation to the public;
  • Oversee community corrections in three areas: case management, best practices, and policy review;
  • Recruitment and retention;
  • Maintain regular meetings;
  • Re-publish a CAC address book and calendar;
  • Apply for Community Forum Program funding to support a public workshop;
  • Continue educating CAC members about CSC programs and activities; and
  • Follow up on recommendations from investigations at sites.

Thank you all for a job well done.

Sharon Mitchell
Regional Chair, Ontario Region



Prairie Region Annual Report 2008–09

Preamble

This year has been both a challenging and interesting one. Recruitment is always a key issue, with each committee working to provide strong representation of the population in their community. Some sites are having great success recruiting members, while others are experiencing difficulties. The dedication and commitment of our members has made the Region one to be very proud of. The CAC chairs deserve our thanks for their dedication and their hard work as volunteers and for continuing to show leadership on the local, regional and national levels. A special thanks to Nell Hales as Regional Coordinator as well as Mary Stephenson, who has filled in for the Chair at various times in this past year. Nell Hales was there to make sure our regional meetings were held and ran smoothly.

Regional Executive Committee

Gary MacDonald, Regional Chair

Mary Stephenson, Regional Vice-chair and CAC Chair, Grande Cache Institution

Lauren Davies, CAC Chair, Bowden Institution/Red Deer Parole

Nicole Fontaine, CAC Chair, Brandon Area Parole

Myra Korman, CAC Chair, South Alberta District Parole

George Kallay, CAC Chair, Drumheller Institution

Gordon Stead, CAC Chair, Edmonton Institution

Rebecca Bernard, CAC Co-chair, Edmonton Parole/Grierson

Amanda Anderson, CAC Co-chair, Edmonton Parole/Grierson

Suzanne Anselmo, CAC Chair, Edmonton Institution for Women

Ronald Ratte, CAC Chair, LaRonge Parole Sub-Office

Gordon Leigh, CAC Chair, Lethbridge Parole Sub-Office

Isabelle Adams-Modien, CAC Chair, Medicine Hat Parole Sub-Office

William Reid, CAC Chair, Yellowknife Area Parole Office

Barry Rudd, CAC Chair, Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge

Gawney Hinkley, CAC Chair, Pé Sâkâstéw Centre

Marge Nainaar, CAC Chair, Saskatchewan Penitentiary/Riverbend Institution/
Prince Albert Parole Office

Dawn Gaetz, CAC Chair, Regina Parole/Oskana Centre

Ron Pennycuick, CAC Co-chair, Rockwood Institution

Jeannette DeWitt, CAC Co-chair, Rockwood Institution

Karen Wright, CAC Chair, Regional Psychiatric Centre
Saskatoon Parole

Vacant, CAC Chair, Stony Mountain

Linda Buchanan, CAC Chair, The Pas Area Parole Office

Moffat Makuto, CAC Chair, Thunder Bay Area Parole Office

Raymond Blanchard, CAC Co-Chair, Willow Cree Healing Lodge

Patricia Holbrow, CAC Chair, Manitoba/NW Ontario
District Parole/Winnipeg Parole Office/
Osborne Centre

CSC Liaison

Nell Hales, Regional Community Engagement Project Officer, CSC

Mission and Role

The Prairie Region has 9 institutions, 16 parole offices, 3 Healing Lodges and 1 Regional Psychiatric Center, with all operational sites having a CAC attached to them. In this region, there are 23 CACs with 129 members. The number of members per committee ranges from one to nine. The number of meetings varies from two to ten per year, as some sites have bi-monthly meetings and special meetings are held as required. Membership within the Region is diverse and includes longstanding and new members as well as members from a variety of cultural groups.

The regional committees face challenges in recruiting new CAC members, although 20 have been recruited this year. Five members have retired during the past year. The CACs continue to encourage First Nations to join and participate in our committees. This continues to be a challenge in some areas. Recruitment has been successful through the media, such as ads in the local newspaper or on the radio. The most effective recruitment strategy has been through personal contact with citizens in home communities.

CAC meetings have been held monthly or bi-monthly in some areas, usually at the site office or institution, with Wardens, Deputy Wardens and the Executive Director or designate. Various sites also have CSC members in attendance, since various programs are presented to their CACs. In the parole offices, the director or assistant is usually present. Some of the topics discussed during these meetings included:

  • Aboriginal culture camps
  • Increased public awareness of public safety
  • Strategic plan review
  • Various site programs
  • Mental health and health issues
  • Recruitment
  • Clarification of role of CACs
  • Regional and national meetings and reports
  • Psychology
  • Intake processing
  • Drugs/alcohol/tobacco
  • Operational and program delivery
  • Overcrowding and double-bunking
  • Aboriginal offenders and their over representation in the correctional system
  • Aboriginal recruitment
  • Resource development
  • Investigations and review boards
  • Aging offenders
  • The inmate telephone system and its problems
  • Communications between agencies and the general public
  • Gangs
  • Crime trends
  • Employment and CORCAN
  • Women-centered programs
  • Women's supervision initiatives
  • Enhanced security

This past year, local chairs attended two regional meetings held in Saskatoon and Edmonton. In March 2009 a regional conference was held in Leduc and the Pé Sâkâstéw Healing Lodge for CAC members. There were tours of institutions in various areas of the Region with Members of Parliament, Members of the Legislative Assembly, Mayors, Reeves and other local politicians invited to attend these tours. Open houses in community malls and trade shows provided opportunities for community members to talk to local people about the roles of CAC in their communities.

There appear to be many sites throughout the Region that review their objectives and have certain goals to accomplish. Some of the goals include recruiting various ethnic groups in their community, becoming more familiar with CSC policies, providing necessary training to their members, becoming more involved in the National CAC Awareness Week, becoming more visible within their site and community, sharing more ideas with other agencies, such as the RCMP and the John Howard Society, and listening to offenders' issues and staff concerns.

With regard to strategic plans in the Region, most sites have an annual day for this planning. They also often review their plan during their monthly meeting to determine whether they are accomplishing what they had planned.

Consultation

There was a wide range of matters that CAC members were consulted on by citizens from their communities, CSC staff and management, and inmates. The main topics noted were as follows: smoking ban, telephone system, major incident at a sweat lodge, pet therapy, parole, drug throw-overs, gangs and Aboriginal gangs, and health/mental health issues. At one site, our CAC was consulted on Muslim concerns, such as dietary needs and management visits. In addition, there were other matters such as market gardens, the horse program, more Elders and water quality.

These consultations resulted in more input and recommendations for incidents as they occur, rather than some time later. Where community consultations were held, the communities wanted to know when offenders were being released. The matter of better water quality was addressed; new water lines were installed and better quality was achieved. The horse program is being implemented, and more Elders were found. With regard to the Muslim diet and Muslim group, resolutions were reached with the involvement of all parties. More educational sessions on gangs were given.

Member Training

Orientation and recruitment

In the Prairie Region, all CACs have been very busy recruiting new members. Some have been very successful, while others are finding it extremely difficult due to small populations. About 27 new members in all have been recruited in the region. In some areas where there was only one member, two or three new members were successfully recruited. Recruitment was done through newspaper ads, talk shows and mostly by personal invitation.

One orientation training session was held by the Prairie Region in Edmonton on June 21 and 22, 2008, and was attended by 20 people. Some committees also organize their own orientation sessions for new members.

CAC Commitment and Visibility

In the Prairie Region, all our CAC members are very committed to their communities and CSC staff, and are working very hard on increasing visibility. This past year, some of those visibility-raising activities included:

  • Holding community awareness fairs
  • Involving inmates in making quilts
  • Organizing a meet and greet at a halfway house luncheon
  • Arranging ride-alongs with parole officers
  • Attending a Justice Networking conference
  • Attending pow-wows
  • Participating with inmates and staff in a Canada Day parade
  • Co-hosting a staff barbeque
  • Participating in public forums
  • Taking part in inmate orientations
  • Organizing open houses in local shopping malls
  • Assisting CSC staff with traditional culture camps
  • Meeting with local community leaders and stakeholders
  • Attending staff functions and inmate functions
  • Hosting the Chamber of Commerce at the new maximum-security unit
  • Conducting workshops on multiculturalism between the community and institutions
  • Holding a public forum on mental health issues
  • Adopting a highway for clean ups

CAC members attended many public forums and other public functions throughout the Region in this past year. The chairs of these CACs have attended two Regional Executive meetings and sent representatives to our first regional conference, of which we are very proud as it was held at the Pé Sâkâstéw Healing Center. The opening ceremonies began with an Elder giving a prayer in Cree, followed by a smudging and later, during the luncheon, traditional Native dancing and drumming. Four important workshops were held during this regional conference: Medicine Wheel Teachings, The Prairie Region Transformation Agenda, Section 84 Releases, and Aboriginal Employability. All CAC members who attended were very impressed with the vent and came away with a better understanding of our Native culture.

Highlights and Best Practices

The following is a sample of CAC activities. As CAC members, we can make a difference in the correctional process.

Regina Parole/Oskana Centre CAC

The Regina Parole/Oskana Centre CAC hosts an annual open house barbeque for community residents. Invitations are sent to community agencies, businesses and residences. Guests (about 150 in 2007 and 100 in 2008) are given information about the Oskana Centre and have the opportunity to meet the staff and residents.

Prince Albert/Saskatchewan Penitentiary CAC

The Prince Albert/Saskatchewan Penitentiary CAC invited the local Chamber of Commerce to hold a meeting in the new maximum-security wing at Saskatchewan Penitentiary before it was opened to offenders. The Chamber of Commerce members were given a tour of the unit and a presentation by the Wardens of Saskatchewan Penitentiary and Riverbend Institution, and received information about the role and importance of the CAC.

Northwest Territories CAC

The Northwest Territories CAC works closely with the territorial correctional centre in Yellowknife, where federal offenders are housed under an Exchange of Services Agreement with CSC. Meetings are rotated between the community parole office and the North Slave Correctional Centre. Each year, CAC members attend the Christmas celebrations held at the Centre and distribute candy canes to the residents and their families.

LaRonge Parole Office CAC

The LaRonge Parole Office CAC Chair provides basic information about CSC, offender supervision, and pardons in Cree and English via the local MBC Radio. He consults with the local newspaper, The Northerner Press, on public announcements and information relevant to correctional processes and traditional Aboriginal gatherings in the area.

RPC/Saskatoon Parole

The RPC/Saskatoon Parole hosted a public forum entitled "Mental health, offenders & community engagement: Myths, realities and dialogue for action." The purpose of the forum was to raise awareness about CSC's efforts to address the mental health concerns of offenders and facilitate dialogue, exchanges and networking. A presentation was given by the Director of Research from the RPC and a panel discussion was held with panel members from CSC as well as the Chief of the Saskatoon Police Service. Forum members who participated in the discussion had been invited from a cross-section of agencies and partners including the Prince Albert Correctional Centre, Pinegrove Correctional Centre, Saskatoon Correctional Centre, Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Program, Meewasinota CRF, Elizabeth Fry Society, Saskatoon Tribal Council, National Parole Board, SIAST, Saskatoon Health Region, Prince Albert Police Service, Saskatoon City Police, Public Prosecutors Officer, Salvation Army, Saskatoon Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, Métis Additions Council of Saskatchewan, and the YWCA.

Conclusion

In closing, I must mention that as Regional Chair I attended two Regional Executive meetings, one Regional Conference, four National Executive meetings in Ottawa and one meeting with the Justice Committee of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in Jasper, Alberta. I would like to thank the volunteers of our CACs in the Region for their dedication, as they are very strong and committed to their roles and responsibilities. This dedication and commitment is very much appreciated by the Regional Chair and CSC staff.

Gary MacDonald
Regional Chair, Prairie Region


Pacific Region Annual Report 2008–09

Preamble

This past year has presented some challenges, but also some opportunities for the Pacific Region. We have had some changes in chairs, some sites are struggling to hold on to existing members, and almost all sites have indicated that recruitment has been a significant challenge for them in the past and will be a major challenge for them in the coming months. However, with the new chairs in position, we see the enthusiasm to tackle this ongoing problem. It is important to note that the CACs attached to parole offices have contributed significantly to connecting CSC to the communities, enhancing visibility and understanding within their respective communities. The CACs attached to institutions are very visible within the institution and among inmates, while at the same time maintaining a connection between the community, themselves, the staff and the institution. We have a strong base to work with and, in the coming years, we will strive to further our efforts for community involvement in CACs, thereby increasing awareness in the community around CSC.

Regional Executive Committee

Vacant, Ferndale Institution

Sharon Hollingsworth, Fraser Valley Institution

Peter Hayes, Fraser Valley Parole Office

Jan Loos, Kelowna/Vernon Parole Office

Vacant, Kamloops Parole Office

John Veldman, Kent Institution

Boyd Peters, Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village

Brian Frankish, Matsqui Institution

Glen Kask, Mission Institution

John Davis, Mountain Institution

Bruce Avis, Nanaimo Parole Office

Bruce Clark, New Westminster Parole Office

Vacant, Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre

Karl Eberle, Prince George Parole Office

John Houck, Vancouver Parole Office

John Braithwaite, Victoria Parole Office

Norman Younie, William Head Institution

Mary Lou Siemens, Regional Coordinator

Mission and Role

The Pacific Region has 17 sites, 15 of which are active and 2, inactive. We are working at this time to transform the inactive ones to active. The committees meet up to nine times during the year or more often if additional meetings are required to address special circumstances.

To help understand their role, new and sometimes existing members attend orientation sessions. In addition, senior CSC employees regularly attend the monthly CAC meetings to brief the Committee on current events and issues, and to stress the roles each one must play with the other. CAC members are also increasingly interacting with CSC staff as a means of understanding one another's role. Attending community events such as open houses, forums, workshops and seminars is a way for CAC members to enhance understanding of their roles. This also provides the members with a chance to meet and talk to the community and the various stakeholders associated with CSC.

Each site has prepared an action plan for 2009–10. We will be monitoring the activities of the sites to ensure the sites stay on course as they strive to meet or exceed those goals and activities.

The sites have indicated that the recruitment of new members, the assignment of specific activities to individual committee members, and increased contact and consultation with stakeholders and the community are the foremost goals for the coming year.

Consultation

The implementation of the many recommendations made in the Review Panel Report will be at, or near, the top of the agenda for CSC staff as well as CAC members. After this report was released, our CAC sites carried out individual studies. As a result, some sites presented their written submissions to the Transformation Team for consideration through their chairs, who attended the CAC National Conference in March 2008. We will continue to diligently follow the progress of the implementation as information becomes available to us. This will be done through the inclusion of the Transformation Agenda in CAC monthly meetings.

During the year, the CAC membership is in frequent consultation with the senior management of their site as concerns new and revised initiatives. This resulted in an informed CAC as it continues to fulfill its mandate to observe, advise and liaise.

Member Training

Orientation and Recruitment

Some of our CAC sites are actively looking for new members, which can be a daunting task at times. However, they are trying various ways to get the message out about the need for new members, such as advertising, information tables at events, through staff and by word of mouth. They are also striving to recruit members of different ages, diversity and interests. We are seeing some success in these areas.

In response to the need for orientation and training for our CAC members, the Regional CAC Chair and Regional Coordinator conducted a session in February 2009, with another session planned for July 2009. Most of our 90 or so members have now received their training. Our next step is to have sessions for the remaining few and hold appropriate sessions for the new chairs. We will make this a priority, since a well trained membership will communicate effectively with CSC, offenders, other stakeholders and the community. We have recently updated the training, orientation and resource manual.

CAC Commitment and Visibility

As evidenced by the sample of highlights and best practices that follow in this report, the individual CACs in the Region continue to find and develop new and meaningful ways to communicate with their communities and various stakeholders therein. The local CAC is the backbone of the CAC movement and as such we strive to be visible in our communities. We also liaise with the various community stakeholders on a continuous basis. Our commitment to the goals of both the CAC and CSC is unwavering as we seek to strengthen and enhance our relationship and mutual respect.

CAC members from the Pacific Region participated in the activities of various national committees. These committees are the Regional Ethno-Cultural Advisory Committee, the National Maximum Committee and the Federally-Sentenced Women Committee. These committees have experienced various degrees of success. With that in mind, the National Executive Committee is reviewing the committees' structure and processes in order to strengthen, alter or eliminate one or more of them. New committees might also be added as a result of the review.

Highlights and Best Practices

Victoria Parole

This committee continues to plan, promote and finance the Art Trono Memorial Essay Contest, which is open to post-secondary students and offenders. The most recent winner was an Aboriginal offender at Pacific Institution, who wrote about his earlier disdain for an uncle who had been convicted, but who is now respected and envied because he is now a responsible, productive citizen and mentor.

New Westminster

The Committee sits with CSC and community partners on the Community Corrections Intervention Board (CCIB). The CCIB meets weekly to review the cases of offenders awaiting their release on parole into the community. The Board considers which community programs and which residential facilities are best suited to assist with the offender's reintegration. CSC is mandated to include community input and/or consultation in the CCIB process.

Vancouver Parole

The CAC members along with CSC staff attended four community events to promote CSC and CAC awareness.

In addition, they participated in a public education event at a mosque in North Vancouver to educate the Persian community. This event was well attended and well received.

Fraser Valley Institution

Fraser Valley Institution CAC members and administrators jointly hosted a booth at the weekend-long West Coast Women's Show in October 2008. A substantial number of pamphlets and booklets were handed out to attendees, and follow-up was done with people expressing an interest in CAC or CSC.

Mission/Ferndale Institutions

The Mission and Ferndale CACs partnered at Mission's Annual Celebration of Community to staff an information booth.

Kent Institution

In order to provide a better understanding of Kent Institution and the respective roles of management and staff, various managers and staff members are invited to the monthly meetings to provide an overview of their responsibilities and challenges within the Institution. CAC members also participate in some of the weekly warden rounds and in the discussion of inmate complaints and concerns. The National Investigation Team has listed the meetings with the respective inmate committees as a best practice.

Fraser Valley Parole

The Fraser Valley Parole CAC continues to be an active participant in the "Feed the Children Program," which provides a free lunch to approximately 350 targeted Chilliwack elementary school children every school day of every year. A substantial variety of stakeholders are involved, including selected offenders.

William Head Institution

The CAC has assisted in starting an outreach program with the Chaplain to coordinate presentations to inmates from local agencies and employers who have not come to the Institution previously.

Matsqui Institution

The CAC members manned a week-long information booth at the largest indoor shopping mall in Abbotsford. The goal was to educate the community about both the CAC and CSC. The booth was also staffed by other nearby CACs and employees from Regional Headquarters and Matsqui Institution.

Mountain Institution

The CAC has an excellent relationship with the staff and offenders, which was enhanced when the CAC acted as a constant observer during and after a major incident, including the long period of lockdown and restoration of the institution.

Conclusion

In the past year, the local CACs have continued to develop solid relationships with CSC. They have also interacted with their communities through various means, such as public awareness forums, open houses, barbeques for staff and the public, information booths at local activities, interviews with the press, and speaking engagements in local colleges during CAC Awareness Week.

I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the contribution the Project Officer, Community Engagement, at Regional Headquarters made to the success of the CACs in the Pacific Region. Her experience and commitment are invaluable. Also, the Regional Deputy Commissioner enthusiastically embraces the CACs in the Pacific Region as she makes numerous visits to our meetings and community events.

We have a solid base to build on. We will meet the challenges presented to us with enthusiasm and integrity.

Bob Marshall
Regional Chair, Pacific Region


Annual Report 2009–10

Chair's Remarks 2009–10

One of the important things I have learned through my work on the National Executive Committee (NEC) and with Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) in general these past eight years is that working together towards a common goal produces constructive results. My predecessor, Ursula Morris, shaped her tenure around three key concepts in the form of what she termed as the 3Cs: Communication, Consistency and Compliance. These important concepts underpin CACs and serve to ensure that each CAC promotes the success of the organization and shares its experiences with others in order to encourage continued growth.

The NEC, along with the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), has created stronger linkages within the organization through the CAC portal on the national CSC web page. The portal is an important source for Canadian citizens who wish to read about and review the progress of CACs. The portal enables each member to read about the experiences of others and provides them with an opportunity to share successes and best practices. It is our task, in partnership with CSC, to ensure that volunteers are encouraged and supported in every way possible to achieve the mission and mandate of CACs, and the portal is a key part of this success. Although the portal is an important step, communication is a complex and convoluted process involving many different levels and, as we move further into the future, we may find that there are additional methods we can use to interface with both members and the general public.

Structure, process and governance must be consistent at all levels. Though each site remains accountable when determining the focus of its activities and its relationship to the CAC mission and mandate, consistency must prevail. The NEC has been tasked with ensuring the development of a strategic plan, and updating the administrative guide for the NEC and the training manuals for CACs. These activities have been completed through the diligent work of the NEC members. Initiatives such as these are vital to any organization, since they ensure that procedures and guidelines are followed within the organization, affirming the legitimacy of the organization itself. Consistency also takes the form of governance through the implementation of a rotating system to ensure that the position of National Chair is represented by every region over a ten-year period.

Strategic planning—setting specific objectives with annual analysis and review—will strengthen the ability of CACs and CSC to sustain current resource levels. As a committee, we have placed considerable emphasis on strategic planning, enabling us to develop realistic themes throughout the coming year. The themes will enhance the vitality of CACs and will allow the organization to develop a purposeful and concerted approach to defining our objectives. This type of approach lends credibility and accountability to the organization. Effective accounting of CAC activities and its attendant impact on the community, staff and offenders will only strengthen CSC's ability to sustain current levels of resources to support and enhance CAC activity at all levels.

I encourage every member of the organization to periodically review the laws, policy and guidelines that have an impact on us as an organization. Familiarity with the policies and guidelines that govern us will only serve to strengthen us as an organization in enhancing our relationship with the public. We must constantly remind ourselves that our mission is to observe, liaise and advise, and we must always check ourselves when we find that we are beginning to stray from our mission. It is this self-regulating vigilance that will maintain the integrity of CACs in the eyes of the community, staff and offender population.

In the coming year, I would like to continue the work of Ursula Morris, but also promote further objectives in what I call the 3 Rs: Renew, Re-organize and Re-energize. Internal maintenance is vital for any organization and an introspective look at how we do business will only strengthen us in the long run. We must analyze the way we do business in order to provide a better service to CSC and the general public.

I encourage you to seek out new opportunities to help the organization gain exposure so as to heighten the community's role in the reintegration process. The community is the most important element in the corrections process and, without the support of the community, the job of corrections is unnecessarily compounded.

I would like to acknowledge all CSC staff who have committed their time and energy to the success of Citizen Engagement, as well as Commissioner Head for his encouragement and his continued support. As Commissioner Head once said, CACs perform a valuable function, "They are an independent set of eyes and ears."

I would also like to extend thanks to all current and past NEC members for all their efforts and the time they spent away from home and family to contribute to the success of the NEC and to their respective regions. I would like to thank the membership for volunteering their time to develop and enhance the role of CACs at the local and regional levels. Your time and effort is reflected in the organization's achievements.

As we move into the future, let us recall the words contained in the MacGuigan Report (1977): "Citizen Advisory Committees, if properly structured, can provide a real service to the Canadian Penitentiary Service (now the Correctional Service of Canada) in terms of informing the public about the realities of prison life and informing the Service itself as to its shortcomings."

Thank you.

Ron Joiner
Chair, National Executive Committee


Report From the National Executive Committee 2009–10

The primary responsibility of the CAC National Executive Committee (NEC) is to develop and implement the national objectives of the Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs). These priorities were developed in consultation with the CACs at the regional and local levels.

It is our responsibility to communicate the progress on these objectives and to report back on their implementation at all levels of the organization and in the community. It is also the NEC's responsibility to promote these objectives with our external partners, the Canadian public and throughout the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).

The NEC remains committed to assisting regional and local committees in pursuing initiatives that reflect the current mandate and objectives. In November 2009 CACs joined together with Lifeline and the volunteer sector in a Community Relations National Conference held in Ottawa. The conference was entitled "Working Together For a Better Future." Key presentations were updates concerning the Transformation Agenda, a new inclusive program for offenders called the Integrated Correctional Program Model, and the continuing challenges around mental health, among others. However, the fundamental purpose of the conference was to promote the interaction and collaboration of three principle groups under the CSC umbrella: Lifeline, the volunteer sector and CACs.

The NEC is tasked with ensuring that resource materials are made available to all its members. Following its initiative to update manuals and guidelines, the NEC focused its attention on providing material for every local committee so that they would have the tools they needed to attract new members. Our overriding objective is to ensure that a strong communication link is established and that consistency is maintained at all levels of the organization; this can only be achieved through the provision of appropriate resource materials to promote membership, hence the Membership Toolkit. In the next year, the toolkit will be delivered to all members across Canada.

The reimbursement of expenses for CAC members was clarified this year and a policy directive was issued, allowing members to claim expenses within prescribed limits. This permitted CSC to address inconsistent local reimbursement practices across Canada.

As we fine-tune internal policy, 2009–10 marked many discussions and refinements around the Conflict of Interest Guidelines. The guidelines, once approved, will be incorporated into our procedures. I am sure that all CACs will be pleased to have a more robust front-door policy when recruiting new members and will have better guidelines for managing existing membership.

Chair Ursula Morris and I were invited to the first annual Partner's Day in Cornwall, Ontario, in mid-November 2009. This was the first year that the Executive Development Symposium for senior managers set aside one day for an opportunity to spend time with over 60 partners, representing agencies across Canada. The partners, who are private and public agencies, have unique and special relationships with CSC by providing either a direct service or advice. Throughout the one-day session, all partners were invited to participate in open and constructive discussions with CSC managers, and it was clear that the marriage of public and private agencies working together and engaged in discussion was both refreshing and productive.

There was some significant subcommittee activity during the year. In September 2009 a decision was made with respect to the Reintegration Committee. CSC had determined that the Committee was duplicating the work of the district CACs and, as such, decided not to re-establish this committee. The Women Offender Sub-Committee was reformed under new terms of reference and continues its work with a dedicated and enthusiastic membership. The Maximum Subcommittee is being reviewed and a decision will be made in 2010–11 whether or not to continue this subcommittee.

Consultation remains a challenge for CACs. One of our roles is to provide advice. CACs provide objective, impartial and timely advice on issues related to the federal correctional process and its impact on the community. This is our principal instrument of influence within the correctional system and in our communities. While we are able to effectively provide timely and constructive advice at the local and regional levels, there are many challenges in providing advice to CSC in matters of policy. Although we are presented with numerous opportunities to provide advice to CSC around policy review, we continue to be frustrated because we do not yet have a process to respond in an organized fashion when asked to consult. The NEC reviewed this issue and decided to explore some options in the coming year.

I assumed the position of National Chair in February 2010 and as a result have not had an opportunity to visit the regions, other than my local CAC, in 2009–10. In the coming months, I will be visiting the five regions to share my thoughts with members and learn about the many activities of various CACs across Canada.


Atlantic Region Annual Report 2009-10

Preamble

This year has been one of change throughout CAC. At the National level we have seen a changing of the guard with Ron Joiner assuming the Chair's position at the National Executive Committee taking over from Ursula Morris and along with that a new mission, so to speak. Ron assumed the role of NEC Chair at the end of January 2009 and Doug Barrett, the Regional Vice-Chair taking control of the Atlantic Region. It has been a year of continued successes and struggles with the various CAC's throughout the region with issues around the conflict of interest guidelines, recruitment and retention, and volunteer activities. Through all the issues, the CACs still report having eventful years, and continue to fulfill their respective mandates.

Regional Executive Committee

Ron Joiner, Regional Chair (April –Jan)

Doug Barrett, Vice-Chair (A/Chair Feb-Mar)

Louise Leonardi, Chair, Westmorland Institution

Bob Hallihan, Chair, Atlantic Institution

John Read, Chair, Dorchester Penitentiary/Shepody Healing Centre

Kathy Redmond, Chair, Springhill Institution

Anne Mallick, Chair, Nova Institution

Narendra Srivastava, Chair, Moncton Parole Office

Corinne Chappell, Chair, Prince Edward Island District Parole Office

Scott Russell, Chair, Saint John Area District Parole/ Parrtown CCC

Ben Bishop, Chair, Halifax Area Parole/ Carleton CCC

Donna Gardiner, Chair, Newfoundland & Labrador Area Parole/CCC

Vacant, Fredericton Parole Office

Vacant, Truro Parole Office

Vacant, Kentville Parole Office

Vacant, Sydney Parole Office

Paulette Gaudet, Regional Coordinator, Citizen Engagement, CSC

Mission and Role

The Atlantic Region has 11 active Citizen Advisory Committees with approximately 80 members. Each committee meets monthly, or more frequently as special situations arise. Meetings are held from September to June. CD 023 states that the three principal functions of CACs are to advise, to observe and to liaise. These roles vary from institutional to community CAC's. For the last several years, emphasis has been placed on the Action Plan to assist committees in defining their activities for the year.

In addition to local meetings, there was one annual general meeting and one regional conference. The first held in September and the second held in February 2009. These two meetings were very successful and provided members with networking opportunities, training and information sharing.

For the last several years, the Region focused on two principal objectives:

  • Strengthening communication among the CAC membership through
    • timely dissemination of information from CSC
    • prompt replies by telephone and email
    • feedback on monthly minutes
    • site visits by the Regional Chair

  • Building ongoing capacity through
    • orientation sessions held at Memramcook
    • discussions on best practices around the issue of recruitment

Again, throughout this past fiscal year, the committees have sought to enhance their capacity to carry out their goals and objectives by meeting with Wardens and Deputy Wardens, Area and District Directors, CSC staff, management, CAC members from other committees, partnering agencies, mental health representatives and offender groups. Topics have ranged from new member recruitment; orientation and training; pamphlet development; information provided by guest speakers from CBRFs, CCCs and the NPB; mental health issues; the Salvation Army; and presentations from the African-Canadian Inmate Committee, the Newfoundland-Labrador Inmate Committee, Lifers, Francophone inmate committees and complex-needs offenders. Several CACs partnered up with other community organizations to host forums.

Consultation

Throughout this fiscal year, the Citizen Advisory Committees continued to provide feedback to CSC on the implementation of some of the recommendations from the Review Panel Report. As this report provided 109 recommendations, the CACs will continue to provide feedback for the coming years.

Of importance this past fiscal year was the closure of the CSC farms throughout the country. Several of our committees provided consistent feedback to CSC on the decision and, most importantly, the impact of this decision. This Region presented their concerns to the National Executive Committee who then in turn, provided the Commissioner with the feedback.

Member Training

Orientation and Recruitment

An Orientation session took place on November 6-7, 2009. Six new members completed the training which took place in Moncton, NB.

Recruitment still seems to be an issue for most CACs. We currently have two CACs, Kentville and Sydney, which have essentially become defunct. The Fredericton CAC is still officially operating with three members listed. And as other CACs, the remaining members expressed frustration with recruitment difficulties.

Our Truro Parole Office CAC has also been struggling to maintain their status. However, they are considering amalgamating with the Nova Institution CAC. To date no decision has been forwarded to the CAC Chair or CSC Regional Coordinator.

It appears the Community CACs have more difficulty finding their focus and maintaining their membership. It is important to note that our community CACs were implemented in 2001, therefore have been active for close to 10 years now. It may be a natural process for the members to be moving on to other endeavours. However, as most volunteer organizations, recruitment is clearly an issue. Most of committees have had several members resign and are looking at developing recruitment strategies.

Commitment and Visibility

CAC's in the Atlantic Region continue to demonstrate a high level of commitment to their roles. The committees diligently provide advice to the operational sites on their activities. They continue to liaise with the community by participating in events addressing the correctional agenda but also by partnering with other organizations to share ideas, address stigma and work on informing the community of the mission of the Correctional Service of Canada and its role in public safety.

Highlights and Best Practices

Springhill Institution

Springhill CAC meets monthly and attendees consist of the CAC volunteers, the Warden, Deputy Warden, Assistant Warden of Management Services, and the Assistant Warden of Operations. The committee reports having a good working relationship with open dialogue and good information being exchanged. The Committee drafted and passed their first set of bylaws. The Committee reports having had good stability over the years with meetings well attended. They had one new member attend an Orientation session at Memramcook this year. They reported that throughout the year, they have been active in visiting the various parts of the Institution as well as touring Nova Institute and Lavers House in Truro. They report that they have posted pictures of the Committee members in the entrance area of the Institution so that staff at the Institution can become familiar with them. The Committee reports continuing to be active throughout the community in promoting public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC staff, and the public.

Atlantic Institution

Atlantic Institution CAC meets on a monthly basis during the day. They report meeting with the various inmate committees and also with the Institution management during each meeting. Atlantic CAC continues to be an excellent example of a good working institutional CAC. They have participated in numerous community functions as CAC members and have promoted and participated in numerous Institutional tours with various visitors and dignitaries. During March of this year, I had the opportunity to visit and tour Atlantic institution along with the Chair of the CAC. It was an impressive operation, and great to see how well the interaction was between the Chair and the CSC staff at the institution.

Dorchester Penitentiary/Shepody Healing Centre

The Dorchester/Shepody CAC report that they meet on a monthly basis. They discuss a number of varied and challenging topics relating to the Institutions. They report having toured not only Dorchester/Shepody but also Atlantic and Nova Institutions during the year. Members meet regularly with various other committees both within and outside the Institution.

Saint John Parole/CCC

Saint John reports having a significant year in 2009-2010 in that they were able to add four new members to complement their two veteran members. The committee formulated a good work plan with which to guide their future activities. This plan was broken into two basic categories:

  • an inward mission (within the criminal justice community)
  • an outward mission (to the local community)
  • In keeping with the first category, the Committee focused its activities within the system. It made numerous visits to CSC sites, met with various levels of CSC management, and had presentations in relation to various CSC programs. In keeping with the second category, they met with various agencies in the community involved in different aspects including provision of a mental health forum, briefing from the Greater Saint John Community Forum, briefing from Saint John Police Chief on Community Led Policing and the production of a community slide presentation on CSC and CAC.

    Moncton Parole Office

    Moncton Parole reports having held eight meetings through the year. They report that most of these were held at the local parole office while they held two meetings outside the office at sites that are affiliated with agencies providing services to offenders (halfway houses). They report having had various presentations during the year as well as participating in various forums and CSC/CAC conferences during the year and attending Parole Board of Canada hearings as observers.

    Westmorland Institution

    Westmorland Institution CAC reports having had a busy year as always. The group holds regular monthly meetings and have valued discussion with the Warden and staff of the Institution. Regular attendees include CAC membership, along with the Warden, Assistant Warden, and various CSC staff. Typical invited guests include the inmate chairperson, various inmates, and various guests and presenters. The CAC held a Work Skills Awareness Forum with five participants from various companies hosting a panel discussion with about 50 inmates in attendance. The purpose of the event was to discuss what employers look for in future employees, hiring issues, and the impact of incarceration on the hiring process. The CAC reported having participated on various consultation topics including farm closures, regional transformation plans, Turner Creek Fish Habitat incident at Westmorland Institution, Inmate Health Care and work placement issues, CD 41 and CD 234. The CAC had one new member attend orientation training and they had various training sessions during their regular meetings, so that all committee members could avail themselves of the training.

    Newfoundland Parole/CCC

    The Newfoundland CAC remains a unique entity in the realm of CACs in the Atlantic Region. There is one parole office and the CCC located in St. John's while there are three other parole offices located across the island in Grand Falls, Corner Brook, and Goose Bay. Six of the committee members and the Area Manager, who regularly attends meetings, are based in St. John's, while there are members of the committee who participate via teleconference monthly and reside in Grand Falls, Corner Brook, Stephenville, and Goose Bay. Once a year the committee hosts a face to face meeting, which they usually hold in conjunction with another major conference in a related field. During the year, the CAC had information sessions on various topics including substance abuse, issues of incarcerated women, issues of offender reintegration, and even attended the local Native Friendship Centre participating in a smudging, and had a presentation on Aboriginal customs, sentencing circles, and the different First Nations groups in the province. The Committee continues to maintain contact with various governmental and non governmental agencies including John Howard, Westbridge House (halfway house), area parole offices and town councils, Service Canada, crime prevention committees etc.

    Nova Institution

    Nova Institution CAC meets monthly with committee members and the Warden or designate. The Committee meets with the chair of the inmate committee along with representatives from each inmate house. At this time, Nova Institute CAC still holds joint monthly meetings with Truro CAC members. This is an issue which is still under review as to whether the two committees will merge completely. The CAC continues to work diligently in promoting issues relating to women offenders. The members speak to various groups outside the institution to which they are affiliated highlighting these issues, as well as participating in interviews and presentations.

    Halifax Parole/CCC

    Halifax CAC has had some success with recruiting new members but hopes to continue recruiting. They indicate that they had two members attend the orientation training in the past year, which they found beneficial. The CAC has participated in various community forums and events throughout the year and quite often engages in joint activities with other community interest groups such as John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society, Black Cultural Society, Mik'Maw Friendship Centre, to name a few, and has presented to community forums sponsored by the Multicultural Society of NS, the NS Justice Society and the NS Association of Black Social Workers. The group has visited the local CCC and other halfway houses in the area.

    Respectfully submitted,

    Doug Barrett,
    Regional Chair, Atlantic Region


    Quebec Region Annual Report 2009–10

    Preamble

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the Regional Executive Committee (REC). Without their contribution, it would have been impossible for the REC to resume its work as smoothly as it did. The REC is to be commended for the care taken to represent its members effectively, and for the quality of its discussions. In addition, I would like to thank all of the chairs, who, through their unflagging cooperation, made things so much easier for their new REC. Lastly, I would like to tip my hat to all of the dedicated members who are helping to raise the profile of the Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) and who, through their actions, are illustrating the role that the community can play in corrections.

    Furthermore, I would be remiss if I did not mention the very considerable support we receive from Johanne Vallée, Regional Deputy Commissioner, and her entire team. I would like to draw attention to the fact that Ms. Vallée attended most of the REC meetings.

    Lastly, I should also like to mention the tremendous work done by Jean François Cusson, Regional Coordinator, Community Outreach, without whom it would be virtually impossible to function in such a professional manner.

    The year 2009–10 was marked by the resumption of the REC's work and the strengthening of contact with the members and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) employees. I have identified two major priorities for next year (2010–11). The first is to continue consolidating our efforts in the ongoing process to enhance the service and support the REC has to provide to the local CACs and to all the members. The second, equally important priority is to raise the CACs' profile both within CSC and in the community.

    Regional Executive Committee

    Bernard Tremblay, (Chair) – member of the Cowansville CAC

    Jean-Guy Lévesque, (Vice-chair) – member of the Port-Cartier CAC

    Robert Perrier, Member of the Federal Training Centre CAC

    Michèle Ligondé, Member of the East-West Quebec District CAC

    Kathy Van Bronswyk*, Member of the Regional Reception Centre CAC

    *Of the REC that was active when work was suspended, Ms. Van Bronswyk is the only member whose term did not end on May 30, 2009, or who did not resign. She chose to serve until the end of her term on September 22, 2009.

    Jean-François Cusson, Coordinator, Community Outreach, CSC

    Mission and Role

    The Quebec Region has 21 active CACs (12 community-based and 9 institutional). There are 94 members, 14 of whom were recruited in the last year.

    The CACs have an average of four members each, with membership ranging from one to seven.

    At the beginning of 2009, the committee in charge of reviewing the operating model for the Regional Executive Committee (REC) held a series of working meetings that resulted in three proposed models for the next REC. In April 2009 three consultation sessions were held with the CAC representatives, providing an opportunity to discuss the proposals and address questions and concerns. Following the sessions, a number of changes and enhancements were decided on by the committee, which then released a final proposal, approved at a special meeting held on May 30, 2009.

    At the election of REC members, a community representative position remained vacant. There will be an opportunity to elect a new representative at the next regional meeting in May 2010.

    Resumption of the REC's work

    With a new REC elected, the group was able to resume operations. It first had to develop a work plan and set up committees to clarify the specific needs of the CACs based on their location (community/institution). In conjunction with these activities, Regional Headquarters and the local sites were asked to reflect on the contribution of their respective CACs.

    The REC held four meetings during this period (teleconference and videoconference). The main topics on the agenda were as follows: ad hoc committees responsible for identifying the needs of community-based and institutional CACs; the annual regional meeting; the National Executive Committee (NEC) strategic plan; funding allocated to the sites for regular meetings; communication between REC members and committee members; the regional constitution; and participation in regional and national committees.

    It should be noted that the Regional Deputy Commissioner attended most of the meetings held this year.

    Postponement of the regional meeting

    In view of budget cuts, it was agreed that the annual general meeting of the members scheduled for the fall would be postponed. From now on, it will be held in the spring instead, and the Chairs' meeting, which usually takes place in the spring, will now be held in the fall. However, the regular REC activities continued as scheduled.

    Ad hoc committees

    A first committee tasked with examining the needs of institutional CACs began its work. For the year covered by this report, the committee responsible for examining the needs of community-based CACs could not be set up because only one person expressed an interest in taking part. However, we will be able to rectify this situation at the next general meeting.

    The REC asked the committees to submit their input and recommendations for the annual regional meeting, to be held in May 2011.

    Implementation of a code of ethics

    A proposed code of ethics was presented to the members, who, generally speaking expressed, approval of such a tool. The code of ethics will be adopted at the next member regional meeting in May 2010.

    Communication with members

    Newsletter:
    After each REC meeting, a newsletter is sent to the Chairs, summarizing the important points that were discussed. The newsletter is modelled after the Communiqué, which is sent out following NEC meetings. Four newsletters were sent during this reporting period.

    Info-Chairs:
    "Info-Chairs," signed by the Chair and the Regional Coordinator, are emailed to the Chairs. The site directors also receive this publication. A total of 14 "Info-Chairs" were sent out during this reporting period.

    Consultation

    The main consultations this year pertained to the restructuring of the CACs in the regions. The discussions led to the adoption of a new regional constitution and a decrease in the number of REC members.

    The REC also took part in national consultations: Volunteer Program and Citizen Advisory Committee, Communications Plan and CD 041 Incident Investigations. The REC would like to thank those members who provided feedback.

    Nationally, nominations were forthcoming for the Women Offender Subcommittee and the Reintegration Committee. The REC and the coordinator will support the involvement of these persons on these committees.

    Member Training

    Orientation and recruitment

    It seems that all CACs can count on management's presence at their meetings. In addition, the CAC members (particularly in the institutions) are taking part in various site events and activities (celebrations, medal presentations, etc.). Lastly, many of the institutional CACs are meeting with inmate committees. The community-based CACs, on the other hand, are concerned about clarifying their role. Furthermore, many of them have expressed an interest in enhancing public awareness of community integration and CSC's mission.

    Word of mouth is generally the preferred method for recruiting new members. However, a few sites are having notices published in local newspapers.

    This year, two training sessions for new members were held (October–March), with a total of 16 participants. A training session had to be cancelled a little earlier because there was not enough interest. The training is provided by Raynald Martel (Donnacona CAC) and Rolande Bilodeau (CSC, Staff College). The calibre of the new members was evident at each training session. The participants were very keen on understanding the CACs' role and on turning their personal and professional experience to good account.

    It was found that there should be more emphasis on the community where both training and various activities are concerned. During regional activities, the community-based CACs are left with the impression that the topics discussed have more to do with the needs of the institutional CACs.

    Lastly, CAC operations and the quality of contact between members and management were found to vary from site to site, which can affect the members' ability to play their role effectively.

    CAC Commitment and Visibility

    Regionally, the Chair attended two local CAC meetings with the Regional Coordinator. In addition, he took part in the new employee graduation ceremony and in an activity organized by the Regional Ethnocultural Committee. The Chair also participated in regular NEC activities (meetings and committees). Under the pre-established rotation system in place, the Chair assumed the duties of National Vice-chair at the end of January.

    Locally, dissemination of the annual reports of local CACs continues to provide an excellent opportunity for illustrating their role and presenting their main concerns. Everyone's participation in that regard should be highlighted.

    Highlights and Best Practices

    Local Activities

    Institutional CACs

    Archambault Institution (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Offenders' obligations
    • Efforts to get rid of drugs
    • Offender employment and employability
    • Correctional officers and training
    • Penitentiary infrastructure and condition
    • Abolition of statutory release
    • Archambault Institution's operating budget
    • Volunteers' annual general meeting
    • Liaison with the Mental Health Unit

    Main activities:

    • Participation in the Mental Health Unit's Ethics Committee
    • Meeting with AA Committee
    • Visit following the death of an Regional Mental Health Centre resident and meeting with staff
    • Participation in medal presentation ceremony for retirees
    • Recruitment at the shopping mall in Rosemère
    • Monthly meetings with Residents' Committee

    Federal Training Centre (8 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Appreciation and promotion of vocational training
    • Implementation of new employability initiatives
    • Inmate–management communication

    Main activities:

    • Visit to the institution by the Ville-Marie CAC
    • Participation in the ceremony to award certificates to inmates who completed the specialized masonry/bricklaying course
    • Laval CAC visit
    • Visit to a community residential centre and meeting with two inmates
    • Observation of a criminal trial at the courthouse
    • Participation in a change of command ceremony
    • Participation in a meeting on the local vocational training strategy
    • Observation of a National Parole Board hearing
    • Participation in the staff Christmas luncheon

    Cowansville Institution (5 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Recruitment
    • Transformation Agenda
    • Follow-up on issues raised by inmate committees
    • Incidents at the Institution

    Main activities:

    • Presence during community visits
    • Attendance at medal presentation ceremony
    • Attendance at the public service luncheon

    Regional Reception Centre (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Enabling the committee to raise its profile in the community and, especially, publicize its role
    • Developing a kit for new and prospective CAC members, explaining in clear and simple terms their role as CAC members

    Main activities:

    • Booth at a shopping mall
    • Participation in a training session
    • Meeting with the Office of the Correctional Investigator
    • Attendance at Disciplinary Court
    • Attendance at National Parole Board hearings
    • Examination of applications for external review
    • Attendance at the institution's supper for volunteers

    Donnacona Institution (9 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Raising the CAC's profile
    • Recruiting new volunteers
    • Broadening members' expertise

    Main activities:

    • Meeting with inmates' representatives
    • Opinions given in the external review of 13 grievances
    • Preparation and distribution of Christmas packages
    • Participation in Cardinal Ouellet's visit
    • Meeting with representatives of the Office of the Correctional Investigator
    • Attendance at a meeting on the topic of accreditation of health services in prisons
    • Participation in "A Year in Haiti" lecture
    • Pairing members with employees
    • Participation in the Health and Safety Committee
    • Training on taking part in investigations

    Drummond Institution (4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Maintaining presence in the community

    Main activities:

    • Participation in a number of events marking institutional activities (presentation of medals to staff, retirement ceremonies, celebrations marking prison life)
    • Involvement in the committee responsible for monitoring employee satisfaction (committee consists mostly of union representatives)
    • Participation in an administrative investigation committee concerning an employee

    Joliette Institution (5 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Inmate employability
    • Recruitment of new members and broadening of their experience
    • Involvement inside the institution (participation in committees, meetings with inmates, etc.)

    Main activities:

    • Participation in a presentation by the Institution to members of the Greater Joliette Chamber of Commerce
    • Community outreach in order to recruit organizations for external placements

    La Macaza Institution (10 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Construction of health centre at the Institution
    • Aboriginal services
    • Keeping membership high, showing public's interest in management of the prison system
    • Recruiting a new member to keep our membership at seven
    • Playing our role as advisors, liaison officers and impartial observers
    • Broadening members' expertise
    • Following up on the construction projects and lending a hand where necessary
    • Following up on our role by holding a meeting once a year on this point alone

    Main activities:

    • Member participation in other committees in specific situations, e.g., external reviews of grievances and access to drinking water for the Institution
    • Meeting with all Regional County Municipality mayors
    • Meeting with reeve and deputy reeve of Rivière-Rouge
    • Meeting with group of students at Mont-Laurier Cégep
    • Visit to La Macaza, in which a few members participated
    • Change of seasons
    • Christmas packages
    • Community visits
    • Participation in several other meetings in the Institution
    • Medal presentation ceremony and graduation of students from the Technique d'intervention en délinquance program at Mont-Laurier Cégep on May 8, 2009, at the Vallée de la Rouge sport and cultural centre
    • Visit to the Regional Reception Centre on March 24, 2010 (two members)

    Leclerc Institution (10 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Smoking policy and its impact on the lives of some inmates
    • Entry of drugs and consequences for the inmate population as a whole
    • Lack of interest by some inmate committee members and/or difficulty sparking interest among inmate subcommittees in the CAC and its role

    Main activities:

    • Social activities (Christmas season, corn boil, SOS party, etc.)
    • Participation in activities put on by the Ethnocultural Committee
    • Visit by federal MP Justin Trudeau
    • Meeting with representatives of the Office of the Correctional Investigator on three occasions

    Montée St-François Institution (2 meetings)

    Main activities:

    • Participation in ceremony to award medals and pins
    • Participation in an annual luncheon to mark the start of summer
    • Participation in a community ethnocultural forum
    • Participation in a volunteer appreciation event
    • Meeting with a representative of the Office of the Correctional Investigator

    Port-Cartier (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Recruitment of new members for the CAC (including an Aboriginal representative)
    • Staff turnover
    • Bilingualism-related problems
    • Mental health
    • Special diets
    • Visits
    • Better understanding of CACs' role among staff

    Main activities:

    • Meeting with Inmate Committee
    • Information session at the Knights of Columbus on the CAC's role, the Transformation Agenda and chaplaincy
    • Working lunch at Hom'asculin Port-Cartier
    • Celebrations at the institutional chapel
    • Meeting with the Mayor of Port-Cartier
    • Luncheon to mark the Port-Cartier-Duplessis fundraising campaign
    • Participation in a symposium on mental health
    • Participation in an appreciation day
    • Participation in 19 external review committees
    • Participation in the Segregation Committee and the Administrative Tribunal
    • Meeting with a representative of the Office of the Correctional Investigator

    Saint-Anne-des Plaines: (no meetings)

    The CAC should be resuming its activities shortly.

    Community-based CAC: Chicoutimi (5 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Future of CACs in satellite offices
    • Maintenance and consolidation of CAC's ties with the area parole office
    • Information for the public about how CSC manages offenders who are released, from the perspective of supervision, control and significant involvement in monitoring with a view towards community reintegration

    Main activities:

    • Annual food drives during the Christmas season

    Community-based CAC: Estrie (4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Information for Sherbrooke residents about CSC activities and a project to publicize the community reintegration successes of former inmates
    • Recurrent problem of resource allocation at the Estrie office
    Main activities:
    • Series of televised interviews held on the topic of Sherbrooke-based organizations involved in mental health
    • Kitchen meetings organized to inform Sherbrooke residents about what CSC is doing as regards parole
    • Project developed to publicize community reintegration success stories in the Sherbrooke area

    Community-based CAC: Laval (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Training for members so they develop a better understanding of CSC obligations
    • Updating of CAC's advisory role

    Main activities:

    • Meeting at the Carpe Diem CRC, with testimonials from a counsellor and two residents

    Community-based CAC: Longueuil (4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Community reintegration of sex offender
    • Mother-Child program adopted by CSC
    • Greater visibility and recruitment sources

    Main activities:

    • Visit to Regional Reception Centre

    Community-based CAC: Maisonneuve(4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Finding members
    • Updating role
    • Budget cuts
    • Stricter parole conditions

    Main activities:

    • Parole hearing

    Community-based CAC: Quebec City (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Recruitment
    • Search for new activities to publicize the local CAC and its role
    • Future move of parole office

    Main activities:

    • Workshop at the community chaplaincy forum, Forum de l'Aumônerie communautaire
    • Meeting with local politicians and the Deputy Chief of Police
    • Participation by a member in the meeting of the Comité des intervenants du réseau correctionnel de Québec (CIRCQ)

    Community-based CAC: Rimouski (4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Pairing new members with CSC employees
    • Visit to Donnacona Institution
    • Training for new member

    Main activities:

    • Steps to publish material aimed at enhancing community awareness of the CAC, the different rehabilitation programs and success stories
    • Search for committee members and a partner to present a CSC booth

    Community-based CAC: Trois-Rivieres (4 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Stability of CAC membership
    • The CAC's future in the district

    Main activities:

    No particular activities

    Community-based CAC: Ville-Marie (7 meetings)

    Main concerns:

    • Better understanding of the CAC's role and reflection on the issue of how CACs can act more effectively
    • Possibility of merging the two committees from the Island of Montreal, to reflect our desire to be more active and dynamic

    Main activities:

    • Visit to a halfway house (Essor CRC)
    • Visit to the FTC
    • Participation in a forum on employability organized by the Ville-Marie office

    Conclusion

    Last year was very busy, and the REC resumed its operations. Support for local sites to clarify their role appears to be an important issue. In addition, recruitment activities will have to be consolidated, and steps will have to be taken to reinstate CACs at sites where they are currently absent.

    Bernard Tremblay
    Regional Chair, Quebec Region


    Ontario Region Annual Report 2009–10

    Preamble

    This has been a good year for the Ontario Region CACs with new initiatives that have helped members understand the correctional system better and have led to growth in membership.

    We have had continued support from our Regional Deputy Commissioner, the Regional Director of Communications and Executive Services, and our Regional Coordinator, which is critical to a great partnership.

    Our Regional Executive has been most supportive and taken on many tasks in different areas to strengthen communications with members and promote involvement by all CAC sites. Our recruitment numbers are up and we continue to move forward in this area—ten new members so far in 2010. For meetings, we are twinning sites that share services where membership numbers are low so that members have a better understanding of the different levels of CSC. This is also educating our members in a broader area of different security levels, and we hope to help parole offices come together for a stronger voice in their communities. The Regional Coordinator and Regional Chair have attended the combined meetings at some of the sites. Most twinned sites plan to hold joint meetings quarterly.

    Twenty-five members attended the National Conference in Ottawa in November and found it a success. Sharing with other volunteer members within the Service was rewarding and educational.

    Our annual general meeting will be held in Kingston in August.

    Regional Executive Committee

    Sharon Mitchell, Ontario Regional Chair (Member, Kingston Penitentiary)

    Rick Blasko, Regional Vice-chair, Greater Ontario, Nunavut District Rep
    (Member, Portsmouth CCC/ Kingston Parole)

    Grant Mitchell, Maximum Institution Rep (Chair, Kingston Penitentiary)

    Nancy Werthman, Medium Institution Rep (Chair, Bath Institution)

    Lyle Cathcart, Minimum Institution Rep (Member, Beaver Creek Institution)

    George King, Federally Sentenced Women Rep (Member, Grand Valley Institution)

    Murray Lincoln, Offender/Mental Health Rep (Chair, Peterborough Parole)

    Dianne Anthony, CSC Liaison, Citizen Engagement Project Officer

    Mission and Role

    During the year, we had 12 active institutional CACs and 11 active parole CACs, with a total of 84 members.

    We continue to work on improving the renewal process between CSC and CAC members to maintain an accurate number of members in the Region. To date, 38 institutional and 37 parole members have been renewed, with several waiting to be processed.

    We lost a member due to the reimbursement policy that came into effect, and three due to health issues. We have been successful in recruiting younger CAC members.

    Most members observe day-to-day operations in many areas at their respective sites. Advice or questions are brought forward in their monthly meetings, attended by members and site management. Many members liaise with the community through public speaking engagements with service clubs and students and through public presentations at forums and fairs. Some sites do not meet during the summer months.

    There has been improvement in the notification of CAC members concerning incidents, and the guidelines set out in the CAC mandate are being followed.

    Consultation

    • Changes to many Commissioner's Directives
    • Implementation of Transformation Agenda recommendations

    Member Training

    Recruitment

    Members of visible minorities and ethnocultural groups are a challenge to recruit, and we will continue to work in this area at all sites. The CSC website has been a great asset to the public, which has shown interest in joining the CAC after viewing the website.

    Orientation and Training

    Several training sessions were held for new members at the Staff College and at sites. We have delegated a member to provide on-site institutional training to at least two members at a time. Eight to ten on-site orientation training sessions, plus a speaking engagement, are part of the training. We feel sites need two or more members, and this is proving to be very beneficial.

    Most chairs have had the "Train-the-Trainer" session and do their own orientation training; new guidelines are being prepared to address areas to be covered and will be shared with new members. We have also had refresher training for longtime members who were not trained when they joined.

    A joint RMC/CAC chairs' meeting was held at Pittsburgh Institution on February 16, 2010, and was a huge success for all. The RDC has said he will hold another meeting this year and was pleased with the results from the first meeting. It gave CACs an opportunity to share their ideas and concerns with management about bringing their members more into focus. The RDC also made a commitment to those present that he and his two senior staff members would visit every CAC in the Ontario Region.

    Kingston does not have a highly diverse minority population, which is an issue when trying to recruit new members from minority groups; however, we strive to fulfill this requirement.

    Other orientation and training opportunities were as follows:

    • Speaking engagements in schools, universities, colleges, service clubs and community forums
    • Visiting possible new parole office sites with CSC for relocation
    • Shadowing parole officers on visits
    • Attending parole hearings
    • Touring institutions, halfway houses and parole sites

    CAC Commitment and Visibility

    Annual reports were not received from Millhaven Institution, Joyceville Institution, Ottawa Parole, and Toronto West Parole in spite of many requests. Nunavut Parole and Windsor Parole did not have active CACs this year. Management at Windsor Parole hopes to have its CAC up and running again. We will, however, revisit Nunavut.

    Highlights and Best Practices

    Collins Bay Institution

    • Members support the Exceptional Olympiad
    • Weekly visits are made to several departments and meetings are held. Members attend assemblies and other workshops, such as a presentation on gangs.

    Kingston Penitentiary

    • New members from other sites have attended our monthly meetings as observers. The Chair has helped train new members at another site that did not have any members and set up an in-house training outline for institutions. Members are encouraged to follow up on the daily events and keep in touch with departmental staff about occurrences and new procedures and policies.
    • Speaking engagements were arranged for substance abuse and social mental health students as well as law and justice students at an Ottawa college.
    • Developed a relationship with the local police department and many CSC department heads with regard to our mandate.

    Guelph Parole Office

    • An outreach activity on community corrections was held in Guelph. They have added an educational component to each of their meetings.

    Fenbrook Institution/Beaver Creek Institution

    • A DVD was produced to be shown at various events, such as forums, local events and Probus Rotary.
    • Booths were set up at the Restorative Justice Forum in October and the Pre-release Fair in November to raise awareness of the CAC.
    • In December the members presented both institutions with homemade cookies to show their appreciation to staff and management.

    Peterborough Parole Office

    • The CAC members are re-printing and updating their parole office calendar as well as a list of addresses for parolees so they know where to turn to when they go back to the community.
    • They continue to build strong partnerships with other community partners.
    Pittsburgh Institution
    • An outreach project was organized to help with employment and employability growth and renewal. Many potential local employers were invited to a luncheon prepared by the offenders in the culinary course. This was extremely well received by all who attended, and the CAC will follow up on results for work placements and job availability.
    • The CAC attend all orientation meetings and explained the CAC's role in the Institution.

    Bath Institution

    • The only CAC member kept an active log of daily events and attended many group meetings in the evening to observe. One meeting was held with management and several others with the inmate committee.

    Frontenac Institution

    • Celebrated with all volunteers during Volunteer Appreciation Week.
    • Attended management and inmate committee meetings.

    Grand Valley Institution

    • The Committee meets twice a year with the Guelph Parole CAC to share information. The Chair is on a National Committee for Federally Sentenced Women. Management works closely with the members to recruit new members for CAC.

    Keele CCC Toronto Parole (Enhanced Services Unit)

    • CAC hosted an open house at the Keele Community Correctional Centre. It was well attended by members of the public. A tour was offered and was co-sponsored by the Community Police Liaison Committee. A Crime Stoppers booth was set up at this event. Many positive comments were given by the local community residents.

    Nunavut Parole Office

    • This group was not active and we will look at the site's future with the RDC.

    Sudbury Parole Office

    • This site is in the process of recruiting and in need of members in Sudbury; this is a large parole area to service with the CAC. The Sudbury member resigned due to health reasons.

    Greater Toronto Area West Parole Office

    • The Chair is a CAC member of Regional Ethnocultural Advisory Committee.

    Toronto East and North Parole Office

    • The group works closely with the Community Outreach Coordinator and has continuing education activities for the membership.

    Millhaven Institution

    • One member has resigned due to the reimbursement policy. Two new members are being trained.

    Regional Treatment Centre

    • A new chair has taken over RTC and is actively meeting with staff and management. The RTC is working on recruitment for the coming year. The newly appointed chair is the sole member as we lost one due to a military move.

    Warkworth Institution

    • The CAC meets with local government officials, sits on local committees and provides an objective understanding and perspective on CSC from a CAC member's point of view. It attends meetings with management and union representatives and with the inmate committee, and talks with individual staff members. Educational activities are ongoing at the monthly meetings.

    Portsmouth CCC/Kingston Parole Office

    • Working on a palliative care presentation for the Region.
    • Attended community assessment team meetings, staff meetings and community consultations for relocation of Portsmouth CCC.
    • Encouraged new partnerships (YMCA Mentor Program).

    Ontario Region Goals For Next Year

    • Establish yearly objectives
    • Set up site by-laws
    • Set an action plan and goals for the year
    • Try to partner with CSC and Public Safety groups to develop an interactive gang website
    • Hold community seminars to make the public aware of the CAC and how to communicate with its members. Select CAC members from each CAC to attend media training
    • Continue to attend all meetings possible
    • Partner consultations, education and representation to the public
    • Oversee community corrections in three areas: case management, best practices, and policy review
    • Recruitment and retention
    • Maintain regular meetings
    • Apply for Community Engagement funds to support a public workshop
    • Continue education for CACs with CSC programs and activities
    • Follow up on recommendations from site investigations
    • Follow up on site visits by RDC and senior management, and obtain feedback

    Conclusion

    I would like to thank all those who sent in their annual reports to help me provide an overview of our region in my report to National Headquarters.

    We lost some members due to illness or death, but recruited many new ones. All of them are enthusiastic and are following our mandate to the best of their ability.

    Everyone must adhere to the renewal process so that we know our member numbers and so that we can help those sites that request assistance with recruitment.

    Our members have given many volunteer hours in their appointed role and are to be commended. I know CSC appreciates your commitment.

    Dianne Anthony has been an exceptional Project Officer for Citizen Engagement and has given great support and input to the Region. Her guidance is appreciated by all.

    We will continue to make communication a priority for both the CAC and CSC in order to share information and best practices among our sites.

    Thank you all for a job well done.

    Sharon Mitchell
    Regional Chair, Ontario Region


    Prairie Region Annual Report 2009–10

    Preamble

    This year has been both a challenging and interesting one. Recruitment is always a key issue, with each committee working to provide strong representation of the population in their community. Some sites are having great success recruiting members, while others are experiencing difficulties. The dedication and commitment of our members has made the Region one to be very proud of. The CAC Chairs deserve our thanks for their dedication and hard work as volunteers, and for continuing to show leadership on the local, regional and national levels.

    Regional Executive Committee

    Gary MacDonald, Regional Chair

    Lauren Davies, CAC Chair, Bowden Institution/Red Deer Parole

    Nicole Fontaine, CAC Chair, Brandon Area Parole and 2nd Vice-chair

    Myra Korman, CAC Chair, South Alberta District Parole

    George Kallay, CAC Chair, Drumheller Institution

    Gordon Stead, CAC Chair, Edmonton Institution

    Ken Knutson, CAC Co-chair, Edmonton Parole/ Grierson

    Colleen LaPerle, CAC Chair, Edmonton Institution for Women

    Mary Stephenson, CAC Chair, Grande Cache Institution

    Ronald Ratte, CAC Chair, LaRonge Parole Sub-Office

    Gordon Leigh, CAC Chair, Lethbridge Parole Sub-Office

    Isabelle Adams-Modien, CAC Chair, Medicine Hat Parole Sub-Office

    William Reid, CAC Chair, Yellowknife Area Parole Office

    Barry Rudd, CAC Chair, Okimaw Ochi Healing Lodge

    Gawney Hinkley, CAC Chair, Pé Sâkâstéw Centre

    Lee Atkinson, CAC Chair, Saskatchewan Penitentiary/ Riverbend Institution/Prince Albert Parole Office

    Dawn Gaetz, CAC Chair, Regina Parole/Oskana Centre

    Ron Pennycuick, CAC Co-chair, Rockwood Institution

    Jeannette DeWitt, CAC Co-chair, Rockwood Institution

    Karen Wright, CAC Chair, Regional Psychiatric Centre Saskatoon Parole and 1st
    Vice-chair for Region

    Brenda Hollier, CAC Chair, Stony Mountain

    Linda Buchanan, CAC Chair, The Pas Area Parole Office

    Moffat Makuto, CAC Chair, Thunder Bay Area Parole Office

    Raymond Blanchard, CAC Co-chair, Willow Cree Healing Lodge

    Patricia Holbrow, CAC Chair, Manitoba/NW OntarioDistrict Parole/
    Winnipeg Parole Office/Osborne Centre

    Nell Hales, Regional Community Engagement Project Officer, CSC

    Mission and Role

    The Prairie Region has 9 institutions, 16 parole offices, 3 Healing Lodges and 1 Regional Psychiatric Center, with all operational sites having a CAC attached to them. In this region, there are 23 CACs with 116 members. The number of members per committee ranges from one to nine. The number of meetings varies from two to ten per year, as some sites have bimonthly meetings and special meetings are held as required. Membership within the Region is diverse and includes longstanding and new members as well as individuals from a variety of cultural groups.

    Meetings

    CAC meetings have been held monthly or bi-monthly in some areas, usually at the site office or institution, with the Wardens, Deputy Wardens, and/or Executive Director or designate. Various sites also have CSC members in attendance, since various programs are presented to their CACs. In the parole offices, the Area Director or Parole Supervisor is usually present. Some of the topics discussed during these meetings were as follows:

    • Aboriginal issues
    • Strategic plan overview
    • Various site programs
    • Mental health and health issues
    • Recruitment
    • Clarification of CAC role
    • Regional and national meetings and reports
    • Intake processing
    • Offender education
    • Operational and program delivery
    • Overcrowding and double-bunking
    • Resource development
    • Investigations and review boards
    • Aging offenders
    • Work release program
    • Drugs and gang presentations
    • Segregation
    • Employment and CORCAN
    • Women-centered programs
    • Women's security
    • Enhanced security
    • Role of elders
    • Crisis management

    Objectives, Goals and Strategic Plans

    There appear to be many sites throughout the Region that review their objectives and have certain goals to accomplish. Some of the goals include recruiting various ethnic groups in their community, becoming more familiar with CSC policies, providing necessary training to their members, and becoming more involved in the National CAC Awareness Week.

    With regards to the strategic plans in the Region, most sites have an annual day for this planning. They also often review their plan during their monthly meeting to determine whether they are accomplishing what they had planned.

    Consultation

    The CAC were asked to participate in joint discussions with the Warden and inmates regarding an incident during which the inmates refused to lock up. The participation can be broken down as follows:

    • Three meetings with inmates – two to three CAC members present
    • Participation in Warden's weekly debriefing meetings
    • Participation in three external reviews of inmates' grievances

    The CACs were consulted on the parole process and reintegration, and on what is being done to address the over-representation of Northern Aboriginal offenders in the correctional system, and the following specific topics:

    • Substance abuse and the correlation with criminal activity and incarceration
    • Violence towards women, children and the elderly
    • Trafficking crack cocaine, a growing problem in the North
    • Dangerous offenders and Long-Term Supervision Orders – What does it mean?
    • The role of Victim Services
    • Mental health – How CSC is dealing with offenders who have special problems, such as Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder and other psychological disorders, and the approach used following their release into their communities

    The CAC Chair and our CAC members work in the human services field and attend several workshops and traditional Aboriginal gatherings during the year. We are therefore in consultation with community members mostly every day, if not every week.

    The regional CAC provided input for a NEC exercise held in June 2009 examining the structure of community CACs and their successes and/or challenges.

    During our meetings, CAC members receive a monthly update on institutional and parole activities, issues, investigations and so on by the Executive Director or Acting Executive Director and the Area Director, Parole.

    CAC members receive the weekly "Routine Orders" put out to internal stakeholders, notifying us of scheduled meetings, facility events and policy changes.

    Consultation was held on a National Conference on Mental Health, which one of the chairs, Karen Wright, attended and for which she provided valuable information on the subject.

    Outcome of these Consultations

    The CACs are well informed of salient and timely issues and able to offer suggestions on investigation review recommendations and their subsequent implementation.

    Recommendations and suggestions are always considered and reviewed by Administration, Investigations (CSC and Parole).

    One CAC member, Karen Wright, is part of the Regional Offender Health Working Group, which has submitted a proposal to CSC regarding a possible role for the region's CACs in offender health within CSC.

    One of our CAC members connected Saskatoon Area Parole with the Saskatoon Regional Intersectoral Committee (SRIC) to foster parole partnerships and opportunities so as to contribute to the SRIC priority for "healthy and safe communities."

    The CACs were represented at accreditation team meetings from November 16 to 18, 2009 and at the value and ethics consultations with National Headquarters.

    The CACs felt they provided input and recommendations to incident review teams, as required.

    Key points at monthly meetings were reviewed regularly and follow-up on issues was planned or requested, where necessary. All issues were resolved.

    The CACs listened and provided unbiased input on a weekly and monthly basis.

    Member Training

    Orientation and Recruitment

    In the Prairie Region, all CACs have been very busy recruiting new members. Some have been very successful, while others are finding it extremely difficult due to small populations. About 12 new members in all have been recruited in the region. In some areas where there was only one member, two or three new members were successfully recruited. Recruitment was done through newspaper ads, talk shows and mostly by personal invitation.

    One orientation training session was held by the Region on May 23 and 24, 2009 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and was attended by 21 people. Some local CACs also organize their own orientation session for new members.

    CAC Commitment and Visibility

    In the Prairie Region, all our CAC members are very committed to their communities and CSC staff, and are working very hard on increasing visibility. This past year, some of those visibility-raising activities included:

    • Holding community awareness fairs
    • Involving inmates in making quilts
    • Organizing a meet and greet at a halfway house luncheon
    • Arranging ride-alongs with parole officers
    • Attending a Justice Networking conference
    • Attending pow-wows
    • Participating with inmates and staff in a Canada Day parade
    • Co-hosting a staff barbeque
    • Participating in public forums on section 84
    • Taking part in inmate orientations
    • Conducting open houses in local shopping malls
    • Assisting CSC staff with traditional culture camps
    • Meeting with local community leaders and stakeholders
    • Attending staff functions and inmate functions
    • Conducting workshops on multiculturalism between the community and institutions
    • Holding a public forum on mental health issues

    CAC members have attended many public forums and other public functions throughout the region this past year. The chairs of these CACs attended two regional executive meetings and sent representatives to our national conference.

    Highlights and Best Practices

    The Pas Parole Office

    The CAC from The Pas (Manito-aski) invited a parolee to a "share-a-meal" activity (potluck). The offender spent over an hour telling the CAC his story and about his challenges both in the system and in the community. He had been in the community for seven months, had enrolled in a college program and has good family support. This proved to be a very positive experience for the offender and Committee members.

    Winnipeg Area Parole/Osborne CCC

    Two CAC members from the Winnipeg Area Parole/Osborne CCC provided a response to the Financial Literacy Task Force commissioned by the federal Minister of Finance. The task force was seeking input/feedback from Canadians and non-profit groups. The written response focused on challenges faced by offenders with low levels of financial literacy, employment opportunities, and basic forms of asset protection. The submission was very well done, supported by research and in line with the goal of successful offender reintegration.

    Conclusion

    In closing, I must mention that as Regional Chair I attended two Regional Executive meetings, one Regional Conference, and four National Executive meetings in Ottawa. I would like to thank the volunteers of our CACs in this region for their dedication, as they are very strong and committed to their roles and responsibilities. The CAC members throughout the region give countless volunteer hours to serve their communities and CSC. This dedication and commitment is very much appreciated by the Regional Chair and CSC staff. I would like to give a special thanks to our Regional Coordinator, Nell Hales, for the excellent liaison between our Regional Executive and CSC as well as the support from all CSC staff.

    Gary MacDonald
    Regional Chair, Prairie Region


    Pacific Region Annual Report 2009–10

    Preamble

    This past year has presented some challenges, but also some opportunities for the Pacific Region. We have had some changes in chairs, some sites are struggling to hold on to existing members, and almost all sites have indicated that recruitment has been a significant challenge for them. However, with the new chairs in position and with some aggressive recruitment efforts, we have seen a substantial increase in new members, adding to the complement of existing ones. It is important to note that the CACs attached to parole offices have made a significant contribution in connecting CSC to the communities, enhancing visibility and understanding within their respective communities. The CACs attached to institutions are very visible within the institution and among the inmates. We have a strong base to work with and, in the coming years, we will strive to further our efforts for community involvement in CACs, thereby increasing

    Regional Executive Committee

    Chantal Paquette, Ferndale Institution

    Sharon Hollingsworth, Fraser Valley Institution

    Peter Hayes, Fraser Valley Parole Office

    Jan Loos, Kelowna/Vernon Parole Office

    Vacant, Kamloops Parole Office

    John Veldman, Kent Institution

    Boyd Peters, Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village

    Brian Frankish, Matsqui Institution

    Glen Kask, Mission Institution

    Karin Spindler, Mountain Institution

    Bruce Avis, Nanaimo Parole Office

    Bruce Clark, New Westminster Parole Office

    Ivor Day, Pacific Institution/Regional Treatment Centre

    Karl Eberle, Prince George Parole Office

    John Houck, Vancouver Parole Office

    Bill DiGuistini, Victoria Parole Office

    Norman Younie, William Head Institution

    Mary Lou Siemens, CSC Regional Coordinator

    Mission and Role

    The Pacific Region has 17 sites, 15 of which are active and 2, in transition. These two sites have since been re-activated and will, during the following year, have a decent complement of CAC members to fulfill the CAC mandate. To help understand their role, new and sometimes existing members attend orientation sessions. In addition, senior CSC employees regularly attend the monthly CAC meetings to brief the Committee on current events and issues, and to stress the roles each one must play with the other. CAC members are also increasingly interacting with CSC staff as a means of understanding one another's role. Attending community events such as open houses, forums, workshops and seminars is a way for CAC members to enhance understanding of their roles. This also provides the members with a chance to meet and talk to the community and the various stakeholders associated with CSC.

    Consultation

    The implementation of the many recommendations made in the Review Panel Report has been at, or near, the top of the agenda for CSC staff as well as CAC members. This has been achieved through the inclusion of CSC's Transformation Agenda in CAC monthly meetings.

    During the year, the CAC membership is in frequent consultation with the senior management of their site as concerns new and revised initiatives. This results in an informed CAC as it continues to fulfill its mandate to observe, advise and liaise.

    Member Training

    Orientation and Recruitment

    Some of our CAC sites are actively looking for new members, which can be a daunting task at times. However, they are trying various ways to get the message out about the need for new members, such as advertising, information tables at events, through staff and by word of mouth. They are also striving to recruit members of different ages, diversity and interests. We are seeing some success in these areas.

    In response to the need for orientation and training for our CAC members, our Regional CAC Chair and Regional Coordinator conducted orientation sessions in July, September and December 2009. These sessions were attended by 42 participants. Most of our 93 or so members have now received their training. Our next step is to have sessions for the remaining few and hold appropriate sessions for the new chairs. We will make this a priority, since a well trained membership will communicate effectively with CSC, offenders, other stakeholders and the community.

    CAC Commitment and Visibility

    Each site has prepared an action plan for 2010–11. We will be monitoring site activities to ensure the sites stay on course as they strive to meet or exceed those goals and activities.

    The sites have indicated that the recruitment of new members, the assignment of specific activities to individual committee members, and increased contact and consultation with stakeholders and the community are the foremost goals for the coming year.

    As evidenced by the sample of highlights and best practices that follow in this report, the individual CACs in the region continue to find and develop new and meaningful ways to communicate with their communities and various stakeholders therein. The local CAC is the backbone of the CAC movement and as such we strive to be visible in our communities. We also liaise with the various community stakeholders on a continuous basis. Our commitment to the goals of both the CAC and CSC is unwavering as we seek to strengthen and enhance our relationship and mutual respect.

    Highlights and Best Practices

    Victoria Parole Office

    In July 2009 the CAC held an open house at the parole office in conjunction with CSC, which was attended by representatives from community residential facilities, local police and other community stakeholders.

    Members visited the institutions located in the Fraser Valley to increase their knowledge of that aspect of corrections.

    New Westminster Parole Office

    The New Westminster CAC partnered with the New Westminster Parole Office, Simon Fraser University School of Criminology and Douglas College Department of Criminology to present a series of four public community forums on topics relating to Canadian justice and correctional systems. One forum was presented in Surrey, with the other three in New Westminster. The forums featured nationally and internationally recognized authorities and panellists. The topics covered included:

    • community-based corrections for sex offenders
    • restorative justice practices in parole
    • community corrections for offenders with mental disorders
    • public perspectives on the Canadian justice system

    Invitees included elected representatives from the three levels of government, community leaders and stakeholders. Notices were posted in local libraries.

    Vancouver Parole Office

    CAC members along with CSC staff attended two community events to promote an awareness of CSC and CAC. CAC members attended three community forums dealing with community crime issues and participated in ethnocultural meetings dealing with crime.

    Fraser Valley Institution

    Fraser Valley Institution CAC members and administrators jointly hosted a booth at the weekend long West Coast Women's Show in October 2009. A substantial number of pamphlets and booklets were handed out to attendees, and follow-up was done with people expressing an interest in CAC or CSC.

    The CAC gathered information on the Private Home Placement Program and prepared a draft document that describes the program's organization as well as the experiences of program participants and administrators. The document, when finalized, will be passed on to other CACs and the CSC administrators at FVI.

    Mission Institution

    The Mission CAC acted as a liaison with two community groups to facilitate an escorted temporary absence work program at a local wetland rehabilitation project.

    Ferndale Institution

    Ferndale Institution held a community day, at which various speakers, including the CAC Chair, spoke about the institution, its programs and its connection to the community. This is an annual event at the Institution.

    Kent Institution

    In order to provide a better understanding of Kent Institution and the respective roles of management and staff, various managers and staff members are invited to the monthly meetings to provide an overview of their responsibilities and challenges within the Institution. CAC members also participate in some of the weekly warden rounds and in the discussion of inmate complaints and concerns. The National Investigation Team has listed the meetings with the respective inmate committees as a best practice.

    A new 96-men unit was opened during the year, for which a very well attended open house was held.

    William Head Institution

    CAC members now meet with the inmate committee every month prior to the regular CAC meeting. The meeting provides a forum for the inmates to outline their overall concerns. CAC members conduct regular outreach activities with local politicians, local stakeholders and community groups, such as Rotary.

    Nanaimo Parole Office

    The CAC and CSC created a PowerPoint presentation on CD, outlining the goals and practices of each. They then showed the CD to the local municipal council, to other non-profit organizations and to criminology students at a local university.

    Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village

    The CAC planned and co-hosted a Community Justice Forum with Community Corrections. Many BC First Nations leaders attended and gave presentations that emphasized the need for partnerships. They heard many other CSC initiatives that will assist them in learning more about best practices in various institutions.

    Prince George Parole Office

    In partnership with CSC, the CAC established a "buddy system" wherein each CAC member was assigned to work with a parole officer. On occasion, the CAC member would shadow the parole officer in their day-to-day work, especially pre- and post-interviews with offenders, consultations and home visits. The parole officer would invite feedback from the CAC member on how the process was going and would ask for suggestions for improvements.

    Conclusion

    In the past year, the local CACs have continued to develop solid relationships with CSC. They have also interacted with their communities through various means, such as public awareness forums, open houses, barbeques for staff and the public, information booths at local activities, interviews with the press, and speaking engagements in local colleges during CAC Awareness Week.

    I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the contribution the Project Officer, Community Engagement, at Regional Headquarters made to the success of the CACs in the Pacific Region. Her experience and commitment are invaluable. Also, the Regional Deputy Commissioner enthusiastically embraces the CACs in the Pacific Region as she makes numerous visits to our meetings and community events.

    We have a solid base to build on. We will meet the challenges presented to us with enthusiasm and integrity.

    Bob Marshall
    Regional Chair, Pacific Region