Policy Bulletin 685
In Effect: 2022-05-09
Policy numbers and titles:
Commissioner’s Directive (CD) 100 – Gender Diverse Offenders
Why was the policy created?
Further to issuing Interim Policy Bulletin (IPB) 584 – Bill C-16 (Gender Identity or Expression) in December 2017, CSC is implementing this new CD in order to provide overarching policy direction in accordance with amendments to:
- section 2 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, which added “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination; and
- paragraph 4(g) of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, which reiterates CSC’s guiding principles to ensure the protection of society by, amongst other means, ensuring that “correctional policies, programs and practices respect gender, ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic differences, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and are responsive to the special needs of women, Indigenous persons, visible minorities, persons requiring mental health care and other groups”.
The new CD 100 – Gender Diverse Offenders replaces IPB 584, which is now revoked, and overrides any direction found in other CDs, Guidelines (GLs) or associated tools, pending their update.
This policy assists staff in meeting the needs of gender diverse offenders, and reiterates CSC’s duty to accommodate their needs, regardless of their anatomy (i.e., sex) or the gender marker on their identification documents, unless there are overriding health or safety concerns that cannot be resolved.
Requests for accommodation are offender driven. Offenders will be involved in the assessment process for penitentiary placements and voluntary transfer requests, as well as in the development and review of their accommodation measures (i.e., individualized protocols).
What’s new in this policy?
While the overarching direction in IPB 584 is retained in this new policy, CD 100 elaborates on several key elements, namely:
- it outlines new staff responsibilities in the institutions and the community, as well as at the regional and national levels;
- it introduces enhancements that were made to the Offender Management System: the Gender Identity and Expression flag; the Gender Considerations Need; and the Immediate Needs – Gender Considerations screen, which captures a gender diverse offender's individualized protocol;
- it outlines the process for determining the type of intake site (men’s or women’s) where gender diverse offenders will be admitted upon their arrival at CSC;
- it describes the specific procedures related to the intake assessment process (penitentiary placement) and the voluntary transfer process for gender diverse offenders;
- it defines a case conference framework in Annex B, which reiterates the importance of comprehensive assessments, and highlights key elements in assessing overriding health or safety concerns for decision-makers.
How was it developed?
The CD was developed by the Gender Considerations Secretariat in collaboration with the Strategic Policy Division and in consultation with internal and external stakeholders.
Consultations included formal and ongoing engagement with external stakeholders and experts with specific areas of expertise in gender identity, human rights, criminology and health care, as well members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community.
Roles and responsibilities are detailed in the policy document.
Who will be affected by the policy?
All staff working directly or indirectly with gender diverse offenders. Accordingly, the implementation of this policy is accompanied by information and awareness sessions across the organisation.
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