Policy Bulletin 497
Why was the policy changed?
This policy was modified to clarify some of the procedures related to visits, to respond to recommendations brought forward in the Coroner’s Inquest Touching the Death of Ashley Smith, and to be consistent with recent amendments in the Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (CCRR). The policy was also reformatted as a result of the Commissioner’s Directives Standardization Project.
What has changed?
- The responsibilities of the Assistant Warden, Operations/Manager, Operations, have been amended to ensure that information on both victim services and the Restorative Opportunities Program be made available to visitors. To facilitate this task, the Restorative Justice and Victim Services Division at National Headquarters has provided to all institutions copies of the Information Guide for Victims, a document published by Public Safety.
- The title “legal guardian” has been replaced by “accompanying adult.” This wording clarifies the fact that persons accompanying minors during visits are not obligated to be legal guardians.
- The previous paragraph 21, which indicated that in the case of active visitors, a Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) check could be conducted after two years without having the visitor complete a new Visiting Application form (CSC/SCC 0653E and 0653-1E), has been removed. The CD now clarifies that visitors must complete a Visiting Application form every two years. This change ensures consistency with form CSC/SCC 0653E, which makes it clear that a CPIC check on visitors will be completed every two years.
- The “Visitor Security Screening Process” section of the CD was also amended to clarify that an approved Visiting Application form, as well as the Child Safety Waiver form and the related CPIC verification, will remain valid for a visitor for a period of two years, even if the inmate he/she is visiting is transferred to different institutions during the two-year time period. This change was made to address recommendation 70 of the Coroner’s Inquest Touching the Death of Ashley Smith, which states: “That CSC streamline the approval process for visits and contact with families and support persons of young adults. In particular, it will be conducted at a national level such that their families and support persons are not subjected to a repeated approval process at each institution.”
- Paragraph 13 c. of the policy has been revised to reflect the following regulatory amendment: The amendment to the Regulations has replaced the legal test of “believe” with the test of “suspect” on reasonable grounds that the barrier is necessary. Paragraph 90(1)(a) of the Regulations stated that every inmate shall have a reasonable opportunity to meet with a visitor without a physical barrier to personal contact unless the Institutional Head or designated staff member believes a barrier is necessary for the security of the penitentiary or the safety of any person. The legal test that the Institutional Head was required to use to determine whether there are security concerns was “believes” on reasonable grounds that the barrier is necessary.
- As well, paragraph 22 of the policy has been revised to reflect the following regulatory amendment: subsection 91(1) of the Regulations which deals with the suspension or refusal of a visit has also been modified to replace the legal test of believes on reasonable grounds with suspects on reasonable grounds. The Institutional Head may now authorize the refusal or suspension of a visit to an inmate if the Institutional Head or designated staff member suspects on reasonable grounds that during the course of the visit the inmate or visitor would jeopardize the security of the penitentiary or the safety of any person, or plan or commit a criminal offence.
- Cross-references have been updated in Annex A of the CD.
- In Annex B, the Newfoundland and Labrador jurisdiction has been added as part of the provinces where CSC has institutions, including Community Correctional Centres.
How was it developed?
The Preventive Security and Intelligence Division at National Headquarters has revised the CD in cooperation with the Strategic Policy Division and the Restorative Justice and Victim Services Division.
The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, is accountable for this CD. Responsibilities for the various staff members are outlined in the policy.
Who will be affected by the policy?
All individuals involved in the inmate visiting process.
- Guy Campeau
- Director, Intelligence Operations
- Preventive Security and Intelligence
For more information
- Government-wide Forward Regulatory Plans
- The Cabinet Directive on Regulatory
- The Federal regulatory management
- The Canada–United States Regulatory Cooperation Council
To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.
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