Policy Bulletin 692

Policy Bulletin

Policy numbers and titles:

Commissioner’s Directive (CD) 541 – Interjurisdictional Exchange of Service Agreements

Guidelines (GL) 541-1 – Interjurisdictional Exchange of Service Agreements

CD 543 – CCRA Section 81 Agreements

Why were these policies changed?

In 2015, the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) of Canada spoke specifically to section 81 agreements and called on the Government of Canada to “eliminate barriers to the creation of additional [Indigenous] healing lodges within the federal correctional system” (TRC call to action 35). In the fall of 2018, the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness issued a mandate letter to the Commissioner encouraging CSC to work with Indigenous partners to increase the number of community-run healing lodges established under section 81 of the CCRA to ensure that Indigenous offenders have timely access to effective, culturally-appropriate interventions.

Therefore, CSC is restructuring its section 81 agreement framework to focus on building relationships and renewing partnerships with Indigenous communities and organizations, and to align with CSC’s focus on Indigenous corrections and section 81 agreements as a key corporate priority.

What has changed?

The CD 541 – Interjurisdictional and CCRA Section 81 Agreements has been divided into two separate CDs: CD 541 – Interjurisdictional Exchange of Service Agreements and CD 543 – CCRA Section 81 Agreements.

CD 543 – CCRA Section 81 Agreements now provides direction for reaching mutually developed formal proposals with interested Indigenous communities and organizations. Responsibilities are redefined, allowing CSC to be better positioned to support Indigenous communities interested in section 81 agreements, including those with existing section 81 agreements.

Similar revisions have been made to the negotiation process, by refining both the role of the negotiating team and the negotiating framework. In addition, timeframe requirements were added in order to streamline the activities occurring at each stage, specifically application, negotiation, and the establishment of a section 81 agreement.

Updates have also been made to CD 541 –Interjurisdictional Exchange of Service Agreements, as well as to GL 541-1 – Interjurisdictional Exchange of Service Agreements, including strengthening the data management and reporting processes, as well as adding relevant tools, such as the generic ESA template.

How were they developed?

These policies were amended and updated by the Indigenous Initiatives Directorate and the Intergovernmental Relations Division, in collaboration with the Strategic Policy Division. Consultations with internal and external stakeholders were also undertaken.

Who will be affected by the policies?

All staff working with Indigenous offenders and Indigenous governing bodies, or any Indigenous organizations, wishing to enter into a section 81 agreement, and all staff working on interjurisdictional exchange of service agreements are affected by the policy changes.

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