Commissioner's Directive 568-10
Interception of Inmate Communications
In Effect: 2021-06-28
To provide direction to staff and define the prescribed circumstances under which the interception of communications between an inmate and a member of the public may be requested, authorized and conducted
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
- The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, has the authority to develop procedures and guidelines related to the interception of inmate communications process.
- The Assistant Commissioner, Corporate Services, will ensure:
- a process is established where only inmate telephone lines are connected to the intercept equipment, and they are connected with the technical configuration required for intercepts
- a list of active Inmate Telephone System and government telephone lines at sites is developed and maintained, and validate that only Inmate Telephone System telephone lines are connected to the intercept equipment
- a process is in place to allow for an annual review of the connections on the intercept equipment at all sites to confirm that only Inmate Telephone System telephone lines are connected to the intercept equipment using the appropriate technical configuration
- a process is in place to prepare and manage contracts for the acquisition, installation, or repair of any systems or devices utilized in the interception process, in accordance with the Service Level Agreement for Facilities Management
- a process is in place to confirm that contractors and suppliers are licensed in accordance with paragraph 191(2)(d) of the Criminal Code
- maintenance standards are developed for all intercept equipment in the institutions.
- The Director General, Preventive Security and Intelligence Branch, will:
- oversee the Interception of Inmate Communications Program at the national level
- ensure processes are in place to assist Institutional Heads, Deputy Wardens and intelligence personnel to authorize and conduct interception of inmate communications pursuant to relevant legislation and policy
- ensure intercept training is made available, as per the National Training Standards, in collaboration with the Director General, Learning and Development
- provide direction on the interception of inmate communications, pursuant to Guidelines (GL) 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- ensure a process is in place with regard to the quality control of intercept authorizations
- ensure any relevant findings arising out of an intercept review are shared with the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Operations
- upon being consulted on the interception of a communication involving a person set out in the Schedule, ensure the legal requirements are met and provide guidance to the Institutional Head.
- The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Correctional Operations, will inform the Director General, Preventive Security and Intelligence Branch, of any regional concerns regarding the interception of inmate communications.
- The Regional Intelligence Coordinator will:
- provide oversight of the interception of inmate communications in their respective region, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- maintain regional records, based on the twice-yearly institutional reviews, of the following:
- common access telephone list
- global suppression lists.
- The Institutional Head will oversee the interception of inmate communications at the local level, and will ensure:
- processes are in place to make sure that related policies and practices are adhered to, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- the Standing Orders and Post Orders related to the interception of inmate communications are in place and include, at a minimum, the criteria outlined in the Interception of Inmate Communications Standing Order tool and the Interception of Inmate Communications Post Order tool. Any changes to these orders will involve consultation with the institutional Security Intelligence Officer(s)
- any documentation related to the interception of inmate communications is completed, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- sufficient human and financial resources are available to execute the administrative and operational tasks associated with the interception of inmate communications, prior to granting an authorization to intercept communications
- only staff members who have a demonstrated need to know will perform the functions related to the interception of an inmate’s communications
- only staff members who have completed all required training will perform tasks associated with intercepting an inmate’s telephone communications
- inmates are provided with the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) and given an opportunity to make representation regarding the interception of their communications, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- the institutional Inmate Handbook includes a provision whereby the use of three-way calling is forbidden and proof of such activity can result in disciplinary charges for disobeying a written rule.
- The Deputy Warden, who also acts as the Institutional Head’s delegate, will:
- support the Interception of Inmate Communications Program at the local level
- ensure the establishment and maintenance of an institutional common access telephone list, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- ensure the establishment and maintenance of an institutional global suppression list, pursuant to the Global Suppression List tool
- ensure signs are displayed in areas where inmates are reasonably expected to communicate with members of the public (e.g., all visiting areas, telephones), stating that communications may be intercepted, as outlined in the section of the policy on Implied Consent - Displaying Signs.
- The Security Intelligence Officer will implement the interception of inmate communications at the local level, and will:
- collect and document information or evidence used to establish the reasonable grounds to believe prior to requesting an authorization to intercept an inmate’s communications pursuant to section 94 of the CCRR
- complete all procedures to enter warrants into the intercept equipment once an authorization has been granted by the Institutional Head
- ensure all communications between inmates and persons set out in the Schedule are identified and are not intercepted, unless the interception is specifically authorized pursuant to subsection 94(2) of the CCRR
- identify 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 or conversation during the course of a visit, once the request has been approved by the Institutional Head
- ensure all information collected through interception of inmate communications is documented, retained and disposed of pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications.
- Visits and Correspondence staff will support the Interception of Inmate Communications Program at the local level, and will:
- ensure the visits pre-booking list is made available to the Security Intelligence Officer in a timely manner (no later than 24 hours prior to the visits occurrence)
- ensure devices used in the Visits and Correspondence area for the purpose of recording or listening to inmate communications are stored in a secure manner
- document details of their involvement during the interception of an inmate’s written correspondence or conversation during the course of a visit utilizing the Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036).
- The inmate will be given an opportunity to:
- acknowledge receipt of the Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035)
- acknowledge receipt of the Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135)
- make representation to the Institutional Head, with respect to the reasons for authorizing the interception of their communications, pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
- access an effective grievance procedure pursuant to CD 081 - Offender Complaints and Grievances.
Implied Consent - Displaying Signs
- Signs will be displayed in all visiting areas, adjacent to all telephones that are used by inmates and in any other area where inmates may engage in oral or telephone communications with persons who are neither inmates nor members of the institutional staff, advising them that their conversations and communications are subject to monitoring and may be recorded.
- Signs must be in both official languages pursuant to the Official Languages Act and CD 087 - Official Languages. The English version must read as follows:
ALL ACTIVITIES IN THIS AREA, INCLUDING CONVERSATIONS AND TELEPHONE COMMUNICATIONS, ARE SUBJECT TO MONITORING AND MAY BE RECORDED.
COMMISSIONER OF THE CORRECTIONAL SERVICE OF CANADA
- Upon admission, inmates will be informed that any of their communications may be intercepted or acquired through unassisted listening at any time, subject to the exceptions set out in the Schedule, as referred to in subsection 94(2) of the CCRR. Inmates must complete and sign the Statement Concerning Private Communications (CSC/SCC 1035), pursuant to GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications.
Express Consent - Interception of Private Conversations
- The Institutional Head or Deputy Warden may obtain an inmate’s express consent, in writing, to intercept a private communication by obtaining a completed Express Consent to Intercept a Private Conversation form (CSC/SCC 1453).
Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications
- Only the Institutional Head may authorize the interception of an inmate’s communications.
- In exceptional circumstances where the Institutional Head is not reasonably available to sign the authorization form or is absent (e.g., attending a CSC business-related event outside of the geographical location of their institution), the Deputy Warden acting as Institutional Head may assume the intercept authorization responsibilities as long as they have completed the required training.
Intercepting Inmate Communications
- Security Intelligence staff members are permitted to carry out the functions related to the interception of inmate communications, as stipulated in GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications.
- Where staff members other than security intelligence staff members are delegated the responsibility to carry out certain functions (e.g., forwarding mail, recording visits) related to the interception of inmate communications, they will document their involvement in accordance with GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications.
Communications with Persons Set Out in the Schedule
- Privileged communications will not be intercepted. The Institutional Head may authorize the interception of communications between inmates and persons set out in the Schedule, if the Institutional Head has reasonable grounds to believe:
- the communications contain, or will contain, evidence of an act that would jeopardize the security of the penitentiary or the safety of any person
- the communications are not or will not be the subject of a privilege
- the interception of the communications is the least restrictive measure available in the circumstances.
- The Institutional Head must consult with the Director General, Preventive Security and Intelligence, prior to authorizing the interception of any communications between an inmate and a person set out in the Schedule.
- In-person communications between inmates and persons set out in the Schedule must not take place in an area where CSC interception devices have been installed. If this condition cannot be met, staff will advise that such a device has been installed, but that it will not be activated. This paragraph does not apply to circumstances where a judicial authorization has been obtained by law enforcement.
- CSC staff will not intercept inmate communications for another agency unless a judicial authorization is in place.
- A Law Enforcement Officer who presents a judicial authorization to any CSC staff member must be immediately directed to the Security Intelligence Officer or the Institutional Head.
- The Institutional Head will:
- ensure that CSC has the judicial authorization, in writing, before conducting an interception of communications on behalf of another agency
- promptly notify the Director General, Preventive Security and Intelligence Branch, of the details of the authorization and a confirmation of notification will follow via email
- support the facilitation of the judicial authorization to ensure that its conditions are met.
- The Security Intelligence Officer will:
- conduct the interception pursuant to the judicial authorization, to the extent necessary, as set-out in the authorization
- ensure that all information collected while effecting the judicial authorization is properly stored and shared only with the appropriate individuals, agencies or organizations, as identified in the judicial authorization
- advise the Institutional Head of any information related to the security of the penitentiary or the safety of any person if that information is released back to CSC from the law enforcement agency requesting interception
- document their involvement in effecting a judicial authorization by completing a Statement/Observation Report or a Security Intelligence Report (CSC/SCC 0232) upon the conclusion of the interception.
- Recordings of communications intercepted pursuant to judicial authorizations will be transferred to the Law Enforcement Officer identified in the judicial authorization, in the manner stipulated by said authorization or at the direction of the Law Enforcement Officer.
- Judicial authorizations are not considered CSC interceptions of inmate communications and none of the other provisions within this policy document and the related guidelines (outside of this section) apply, for instance:
- neither an Authorization to Intercept Inmate Communications (CSC/SCC 1454) nor a Notice of Interception of Communications and Correspondence (CSC/SCC 1135) is required
- timeframes are as per the judicial authorization as is the suppression of any phone numbers
- there is no requirement to submit a Security Intelligence Report (CSC/SCC 0232) at the conclusion of the intercept, or to file a Record of Intercepted Communications (CSC/SCC 1036) or an intercept activity report.
Retention and Disposition of Intercepted Telephone Recordings
- Recordings of intercepted telephone communications or audio recordings of visits are identified as being required by CSC for preventive security and intelligence purposes and are, therefore, classified as information resources of business value.
- All recordings have been assigned a retention period of three years from the last administrative action (including the completion of external processes and business requirements).
- The Security Intelligence Officer must retain the recordings for a period of three years from the date of the last action taken or the conclusion of a proceeding, whichever is later. These recordings must be kept if the information contained in the recording of an intercepted inmate telephone call or audio recording of a visit is used as part of an investigation, an administrative action, or an administrative decision, or if the recording is required for an ongoing proceeding.
- The retention and disposition of copies of recordings of intercepted telephone communications and audio recordings of visits provided to other internal offices of primary interest and external partners will be under the control of the responsible office of primary interest.
Use of Information
- The information acquired through an interception activity is collected for the purpose of preventing acts that would jeopardize the security of the penitentiary or the safety of any person, pursuant to subparagraph 94(1)(a)(i) of the CCRR.
- In the event that other information of a personal nature is intercepted, the person conducting the interception is under an obligation to maintain the confidentiality of the contents of the communication and the information must be used only for the purpose for which it was collected.
- In the event that a site receives a request for intercept recordings from an external organization, including information requests and production orders, the Security Intelligence Officer will inform the Institutional Head and the Regional Intelligence Coordinator of the request.
- If information acquired through an ongoing interception activity is to be acted on (or shared with an inmate) by anyone other than the Security Intelligence Officer, the staff member using the information must consult the Security Intelligence Officer prior to acting on or sharing the information to ensure that the context is understood, that any ongoing investigation is not compromised, and that mitigation strategies can be put in place.
Interception System - Security of Information
- Access to all information related to the development, capabilities and implementation of the systems or devices utilized in the interception is restricted to authorized individuals whose duties require access on a need to know basis.
Original signed by:
Annex A Cross-References and Definitions
CD 081 - Offender Complaints and Grievances
CD 085 - Correspondence and Telephone Communication
CD 087 - Official Languages
CD 228 - Information Management
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
GL 568-10-1 - Interception of Inmate Communications
CD 580 - Discipline of Inmates
CD 701 - Information Sharing
Official Languages Act
Policy on Government Security
Privacy Act, sections 3-8
Interception of Inmate Communications Post Order Tool
Interception of Inmate Communications Standing Order Tool
Global Suppression List Tool
Intercept Report Generation Tool
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.
Express consent : consent that an individual has given in writing.
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).
Implied consent : an indirect indication that one has consented, and a form of consent which is not expressly granted by a person, but rather inferred from a person’s conduct, including inaction or silence, and/or from the circumstances or facts of a particular situation.
Information resources of business value : published and unpublished materials, regardless of medium or form, that are created or acquired because they enable and document decision making with regard to programs, services and ongoing operations, and support departmental reporting, performance and accountability requirements.
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.
Interception : the recording of, reading of, or listening to a private communication between an inmate and a member of the public by any means.
Judicial authorization : a written order by a judge or judicial officer that permits a law enforcement officer to intercept the communications of a specified person.
Need to know : information that is pertinent and necessary to an individual performing their duties.
Privileged communications : communications or correspondence between an inmate and their lawyer or a person set out in the Schedule of the CCRR, that are the subject of a privilege. This includes, but is not limited to, communications protected by solicitor-client privilege.
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.
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