Memorandum of Understanding Between the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy (IFC)
I. Preamble and Purpose
This Memorandum of Understanding is an agreement between the CSC and the IFC concerning a renewal of their relationship. Hereinafter, the document will be referred to as the MOU.
The MOU reflects a mutual goal of ensuring the delivery and ongoing improvement of effective spiritual care and religious services to offenders. The CSC and the IFC affirm these services may assist the offenders during their incarceration and in reintegrating into society as law-abiding citizens following the completion of their incarceration.
The provision of effective spiritual care and religious services within a correctional environment is an integral part of the continuum of care of offenders that incorporates the principles of restorative justice.
II. Canadian and International Mandate
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees everyone the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion. The importance of the spiritual dimension of life is also incorporated in the Corrections and Conditional Release Act and its related Regulations. The Mission Statement of the Correctional Service of Canada commits CSC to accommodate the religious needs of individuals and to respect the religious differences of individual offenders, pursuant to the Rule of Law and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) states that everyone has the right to freedom of religion, including the freedom to change one's religion or belief and the freedom to live out one's religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. The United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners also expands the principles set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
III. Relationship between the IFC and the CSC
CSC commits to consult proactively with the IFC on matters related to the spiritual care and religious services provided to offenders.
The IFC is an advisory committee to the Commissioner of Corrections and Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations & Programs and will collaborate through a number of regular meetings, including but not limited to:
- An Annual Meeting of the IFC membership and Senior Management of CSC;
- Meetings of members of the IFC executive, which could also include other IFC members chosen by the executive, with the CSC Commissioner of Corrections and Assistant Commissioner at least twice a year;
- Ongoing communication between the IFC and the Director General of Chaplaincy;
- An annual engagement in each region between IFC members at the regional level which would include Regional Deputy Commissioners;
- As part of its consultative role, the IFC remains in dialogue with their faith communities and numerous partners and stakeholders invested in ministering to the incarcerated. To that end, experts and guests in various organizations and disciplines may be invited to IFC Board meetings.
IV. Scope of Engagement
In order to fulfill the purpose, CSC will engage the IFC in three major areas:
- Providing Advice on:
- CSC policy documents pertaining to chaplaincy (i.e., Commissioners' Directives, Work plans, Facility Guidelines, Resource Indicators, etc.);
- the development of assessment tools/approaches for identifying appropriate delivery of spiritual services for offenders;
- matters of spiritual and religious policies and practices within CSC as part of the correctional continuum of care;
- the provision of adequate and appropriate Sacred Space in each correctional institution and on the appropriate use of these Sacred Spaces;
- the development of new initiatives and implementation strategies to respond to offender's religious and spiritual needs and reintegration plans;
- the development of an orientation program for new faith service providers;
- the development of ongoing support for faith service providers;
- the development of strategies for effectively situating spiritual care and religious services within the overall case management and correctional continuum;
- the development of a framework for evaluating the effectiveness of the provision of spiritual care and religious services as part of a correctional continuum of care;
- inmate complaints or grievances related to the provision of spiritual care and religious services.
- Contributing to evaluation through:
- assisting in defining service provision standards based on the level and intensity of support an offender requires;
- the development of a performance measurement framework, and ongoing monitoring of same, for the provision of spiritual care and religious services in institutions as well as in the community;
- participation in management reviews of activities consistent with provision of spiritual care and religious services;
- participation on selection boards for Regional Chaplains and NHQ Chaplaincy Services positions;
- contributing areas for examination as part of CSC's annual research plan;
- assisting in the development of tools for assessing the initial and ongoing suitability of faith service providers in a correctional environment.
- Facilitating the engagement of Canada's faith communities by:
- maintaining effective relationships with a diverse range of faith community partners;
- providing information about the opportunities for involvement in the delivery of spiritual care and religious services within CSC;
- encouraging the establishment of ongoing community based relationships that support the reintegration of federal offenders;
- increasing community awareness regarding the continuum of care model and reintegration process for offenders.
In addition, CSC and the IFC will engage in any other activities as deemed appropriate by mutual consent of the IFC and Commissioner of Corrections for CSC and in CSC workplan components regarding effectively meeting the religious and spiritual needs of offenders.
V. Annual Report and Workplan
CSC and the IFC will produce an annual report on the overall quality of services provided, notable practices, and areas of improvement.
CSC and the IFC will develop an annual workplan based on joint interests that will be monitored and adjusted during the bi-annual meetings between members of the IFC executive, which could also include other IFC members chosen by the executive, and CSC.
VI. Effective and Completion Dates
This MOU will come into force upon signature and will be reviewed every five years.
Amendments and changes can only be undertaken upon written invitation by either party to consultation and agreement by both parties.
It may be terminated by either one of the parties by consultation and mutual consent or six months written notification to the other party.
This 4th day of December, 2013 in the English and French languages, each text being equally authentic.
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