Guidelines 568-10-1
Interception of Inmate Communications

Guidelines

Number: 568-10-1

In Effect: 2021-06-28

Related links

Policy Bulletin 670

Authorities

Purpose

To provide guidelines to staff on the prescribed practices related to the interception of communications between an inmate and a member of the public

Applications

Applies to Institutional Heads, Deputy Wardens, intelligence personnel and Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff members who have a demonstrated need to know, to authorize and implement the interception of inmate communications (telephone conversations, written correspondence or communications in the course of a visit) and related operational activities

Responsibilities and Procedures

Statement Concerning Private Communications

  1. Upon admission, all inmates must be given the Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035), which states that any communications may be intercepted or acquired through unassisted listening, subject to the exceptions set out in the Schedule, as referred to in subsection 94(2) of the CCRR.
  2. The staff member who provides the Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035) to the inmate will ensure they understand what is written, and they acknowledge receipt of the Statement.
  3. Any inmate refusal to acknowledge or sign the Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035) must be indicated on the form.
  4. Failure or refusal to acknowledge or sign the form will in no way limit the use of interception, provided that all other applicable legislative and policy conditions are met.
  5. The completed Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035) will be placed on the inmate’s Visits and Correspondence file.

Access to the Inmate Telephone Interception System

  1. Only Security Intelligence Officers, or other expressly authorized security intelligence staff members who have received the required training will be permitted to have a user account on the inmate telephone interception system.
  2. The inmate telephone interception system will only ever be accessed by approved users utilizing their own user account. Accounts will never be shared.
  3. In the event that an authorized security intelligence staff member requires a user account for the inmate telephone interception system, this will be approved by the Institutional Head or Deputy Warden or Director General, Preventive Security and Intelligence, and implemented by the intercept equipment administrator.

Translation or Other Extraordinary Services

  1. In cases where it is necessary to provide access to phone call or visit recordings to a staff member who is not an approved user of the intercept equipment (e.g., translation or transcription services), those recordings will be transferred to a separate CSC approved media and the staff member will access them through this separate media instead of through the intercept equipment. The Security Intelligence staff member will destroy the recordings transferred to the separate media once they are no longer necessary.
  2. The staff member will document their involvement in a Statement/Observation Report and submit the report to the Security Intelligence Officer.

Common Access Telephone List

  1. The Deputy Warden will ensure:
    1. a common access telephone list is established for the institution
    2. the common access telephone list is updated at least twice per year
    3. the holders of all phone numbers on the common access telephone list are willing to receive calls from inmates.
  2. If a phone number that is related to a person set out in the Schedule is to be added to the common access telephone list, the Deputy Warden will consult the Security Intelligence Officer and ensure that this number is first added to the global suppression list.

Global Suppression List

  1. The Deputy Warden will ensure:
    1. a global suppression list is established for the institution
    2. the global suppression list is updated at least twice per year
    3. the global suppression list includes, at a minimum, the phone numbers set out in the Global Suppression List tool
    4. the global suppression list does not include individual lawyer numbers, which will be covered by warrant-based suppression.

Disciplinary and Administrative Consequences

  1. As part of the notification of interception process, the Institutional Head may lay an institutional disciplinary charge for disobeying a written rule if the use of three-way calling was confirmed during the interception and such activity is expressly forbidden (e.g., in the Inmate Handbook).
  2. As part of the notification of interception process, the Institutional Head may implement administrative consequences where there are reasonable grounds to believe that an inmate has been involved in drug-related activities. Pursuant to CD 585 - National Drug Strategy, administrative consequences will be based on consideration of a person’s safety, institutional security and/or operational requirements. They are intended to manage the risk presented by the inmate and may be applied when there is a clear link to the use of and/or trafficking of drugs. Administrative consequences could include restrictions to the inmate’s use of the inmate telephone system.
  3. As part of the notification of interception process, the Institutional Head may prevent an inmate from communicating with members of the public by telephone when they believe on reasonable grounds that the safety of any person (in the institution or the community) would be jeopardized, pursuant to paragraph 95(1)(a) of the CCRR.

Evidence of Criminal Activity

  1. If evidence of criminal activity is discovered during the course of an authorized interception of inmate communications, this information will be shared with the police force of primary jurisdiction as soon as practicable.

Initial Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications Requests

  1. The Security Intelligence Officer will complete the Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) to request an initial interception, and submit the form to the Institutional Head along with the supporting documentation.
  2. No warrant will be entered into the intercept equipment until the Security Intelligence Officer has received the signed Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) from the Institutional Head.
  3. The Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure reasonable grounds to believe are established, pursuant to subsection 94(1) of the CCRR
    2. ensure the interception of communications is the least restrictive measure available in the circumstances
    3. review the supporting documentation prior to approving/signing the Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) or the Request for Extension on Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454-01).
  4. The initial interception can be approved for a maximum period of 30 consecutive days (inclusive of the start and end date) of the authorization.
  5. A signed copy of the Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) will be placed on the inmate’s Preventive Security file and uploaded to the Secure Intelligence Network (SINet).

Requesting the Extension of an Interception Authorization

  1. Initial interceptions can only be authorized for a maximum of 30 consecutive days (inclusive of the start and end date). If more time is required to obtain the necessary information, the Security Intelligence Officer can request a maximum of two extensions.
  2. Each of the two extensions can be for a period of 15 consecutive days (inclusive of the start and end date), meaning the maximum length of an interception is a total of 60 consecutive days (inclusive of the start and end date). Should there continue to be reasonable grounds to intercept the communications after the 60 consecutive days, a new request must be submitted.
  3. The Security Intelligence Officer will complete the Request for Extension on Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454-01) when requesting an extension to an ongoing authorized interception, and submit the form to the Institutional Head along with the supporting documentation.
  4. The Security Intelligence Officer must establish why an extension is necessary by completing the Request for Extension on Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454-01).
  5. Prior to signing the Request for Extension on Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454-01), the Institutional Head will:
    1. ensure reasonable grounds continue to be established
    2. ensure that the interception of communications continues to be the least restrictive measure available in the circumstances
    3. ensure the extension is necessary and reasonable
    4. verify that the authorization is complete
    5. validate the dates of the extension.
  6. All extensions must be authorized prior to the expiry date of the existing authorization. Should the initial intercept authorization expire prior to the approval of an extension request, the Security Intelligence Officer must submit a new request for authorization.
  7. Security Intelligence Officers are encouraged to submit the extension request at least one week prior to the expiry of the existing authorization, keeping in mind that the request can always be withdrawn if it is determined that it is no longer necessary.

Notification of Interception of Communications

  1. At the conclusion of the interception, the Security Intelligence Officer will complete the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135), and submit it to the Institutional Head.
  2. The Institutional Head will perform a quality control of the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) before signing it.
  3. The Institutional Head will ensure a copy of the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) is provided to the inmate within 10 business days of the conclusion of the interception.
  4. The staff member who provides the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) to the inmate will ensure the inmate:
    1. understands what is written
    2. acknowledges receipt
    3. is informed that they can make written representations to the Institutional Head, as outlined in the Representations section.
  5. Should the inmate refuse to sign the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135), the staff member will indicate the inmate’s refusal on the form and a second staff member will sign it as a witness.
  6. If informing the inmate of the interception would adversely affect an ongoing investigation, the Security Intelligence Officer can delay the notification until the completion of that investigation.
  7. In such cases, the Security Intelligence Officer must document the rationale for withholding notification in a Statement/Observation Report, and do so every 30 days until the notification is issued.
  8. In addition to being placed on the inmate’s Preventive Security file, the Statement/Observation Report will be uploaded to SINet as part of the interception of inmate communications package.
  9. If it is necessary to withhold a notification for more than 90 days after the end of the interception, the Security Intelligence Officer will inform the Regional Intelligence Coordinator of the situation and circumstances.
  10. The Security Intelligence Officer will place a signed copy of the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) on the inmate’s Preventive Security file and upload it to SINet once it has been shared.

Representations

  1. Within five business days of receiving the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135), the inmate may request to make representations to the Institutional Head using the Inmate’s Request (CSC/SCC 1122).
  2. The inmate must indicate if they will make written representations or request to appear in person.
  3. Once the inmate has informed the Institutional Head of their intent to make representations using the Inmate’s Request (CSC/SCC 1122), a written response must be provided to the inmate within five business days of having received the Inmate’s Request (CSC/SCC 1122), and must include a due date for written submissions or a meeting date for in-person representations.
  4. The due date/meeting date will be no less than five business days from receipt of the request and normally no more than 30 business days.
  5. If the inmate chooses to make verbal representations, these must be documented by the Institutional Head in a Statement/Observation Report, in accordance with CD 568‑2 - Recording and Sharing of Security Information and Intelligence.
  6. The Institutional Head will consider any information obtained from the inmate’s representations when making any decisions related to the information gathered from an interception of communications.
  7. Decision documents will demonstrate that the inmate’s representations were considered. In the absence of a decision document, the Institutional Head’s consideration of the inmate’s representations will be documented in a memo to file.
  8. The Security Intelligence Officer will ensure copies of documents or information gathered during the representations are placed on the inmate’s Preventive Security file.

Interception of Telephone Communications

  1. The Security Intelligence Officer will ensure:
    1. the inmate telephone lists identifying contacts who are persons set out in the Schedule are included within the Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454)
    2. the contacts who are persons set out in the Schedule are suppressed from the inmate-specific entry in the intercept equipment, prior to initiating any recording
    3. the warrant is entered for only the dates indicated in the Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) or the Request for Extension on Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454-01).

Interception of Written Correspondence

  1. The Security Intelligence Officer will identify the Visits and Correspondence staff members who have a demonstrated need to know, and advise them of the decision to intercept an inmate’s written correspondence, once the intercept has been authorized by the Institutional Head.
  2. Visits and Correspondence staff will:
    1. forward, unopened and as soon as practicable, all written correspondence of an inmate subject to an authorized interception to the requesting Security Intelligence Officer
    2. maintain a Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) per inmate for each interception
    3. submit the completed Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) to the Security Intelligence Officer at the end of the interception period
    4. document any unusual involvement, beyond forwarding unopened correspondence without delay, using a Statement/Observation Report.

Interception of Communications During the Course of a Visit

  1. The Security Intelligence Officer will seek the support of the Visits and Correspondence staff in intercepting inmate communications during the course of a visit, as necessary.
  2. Visits and Correspondence staff will:
    1. monitor or intercept communications during the course of a visit, but only at the request of the Security Intelligence Officer
    2. maintain a Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) per inmate for each period of interception
    3. submit the completed Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) to the Security Intelligence Officer at the end of the interception period
    4. document any information gathered while monitoring or intercepting an inmate’s communications during the course of a visit using a Statement/Observation Report.

Recording, Reporting and Retention of Information

  1. The Security Intelligence Officer will:
    1. ensure all information gathered through the interception process is documented pursuant to CD 568-2 - Recording and Sharing of Security Information and Intelligence
    2. complete a Security Intelligence Report (CSC/SCC 0232) at the conclusion of the interception of an inmate’s communications summarizing the information gathered. This report must be completed even when no valuable information was obtained
    3. maintain a record of all interception activities and the disposition of information gathered through interception using a Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036), or generate a complete intercept activity report with the intercept equipment upon the conclusion of the interception, using the process described in the Intercept Report Generation tool
    4. place a copy of the Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) or intercept activity report on the inmate’s Preventive Security file and upload it to SINet.
  2. If recordings of intercepted inmate communications are necessary for evidentiary purposes, the Security Intelligence Officer will transfer the recordings to a secondary storage media by taking the following measures:
    1. utilize new/unused media such as CDs/DVDs
    2. ensure that any USB or external hard drive they connect to the system is known to them and not at risk of harming the system
    3. ensure that the entire unedited recording is transferred
    4. ensure, when recordings of intercepted inmate communications are handed over to any external agency, that a Transmittal Note and Receipt (GC 044) is completed and signed by both parties, and that the Regional Intelligence Coordinator is informed by email.
  3. If recordings are (or are likely to be) necessary for any ongoing administrative, criminal or other proceedings or investigatecurity Intelligence Officer to ensure that such recordings are preserved from disposal until thrions, it is incumbent upon the See years after the completion of such proceedings or investigations.
  4. In the case of a breach of personal information, a Privacy Risk Assessment (CSC/SCC 1514) should be completed and submitted to the Access to Information and Privacy Officer, in accordance with CSC’s Guidelines for Privacy Breaches, and any existing tools as they relate specifically to interception of inmate communication activities.

Assistant Commissioner,
Correctional Operations and Programs

Original signed by:

France Gratton

Annex A Cross-References and Definitions

Cross-References

CD 081 - Offender Complaints and Grievances
CD 085 - Correspondence and Telephone Communication
CD 228 - Information Management
CD 559 - Visits
CD 564-2 - Departmental Physical Security
CD 568 - Management of Security Information and Intelligence
CD 568-2 - Recording and Sharing of Security Information and Intelligence
CD 568-4 - Preservation of Crime Scenes and Evidence
CD 568-8 - Authority for Use of Surveillance Equipment
CD 568-10 - Interception of Inmate Communications
CD 580 - Discipline of Inmates
CD 701 - Information Sharing

Privacy Act, sections 3-8
CSC’s Guidelines for Privacy Breaches

Interception of Inmate Communications Post Order Tool
Interception of Inmate Communications Standing Order Tool
Global Suppression List Tool
Intercept Report Generation Tool

Definitions

Call allow list: a list of contacts that an individual inmate is permitted to call and associated information (e.g., phone number and relationship to the inmate).

Common access telephone list: a list of phone numbers that all inmates are permitted to make phone calls to without adding them to their call allow list.

Evidence: anything that tends to prove or disprove an alleged fact.

Global suppression: a function in the intercept equipment that enables users to enter phone numbers in order for all calls made to/from those phone numbers to be automatically suppressed (not recorded).

Intercept authorization: an authorization to intercept inmate communications that is issued by CSC pursuant to the CCRR.

Intercept equipment: the recording equipment used to listen to and record inmate communications. This recording equipment is integrated with the Bell Inmate Telephone System.

Intercept equipment administrator: the authorized administrative user of the intercept equipment.

Interception: the recording of, reading of, or listening to a private communication between an inmate and a member of the public by any means.

Need to know: information that is pertinent and necessary to an individual performing their duties.

Reasonable grounds to believe: the standard of proof required to authorize an intercept request. This standard requires more than a mere suspicion, but can be less than a balance of probabilities. It requires a serious possibility, based on objectively credible and trustworthy evidence.

Warrant: in the context of an intercept activity, an authorization to intercept communications that is entered into the intercept equipment. The warrant enables a user to program the intercept equipment to target and record specific telephone communications for a specific period of time.

Without delay: immediately unless there are compelling circumstances preventing immediate action and in those circumstances, the delay cannot be more than 24 hours.

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