Commissioner's Directive 726
In Effect: 2021-11-08
- Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA), sections 3, 3.1, 4, 5(b), 15.1, 26, 76, 77, 79, 80, 83 and 87
- Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations (CCRR), section 102
To ensure offenders receive the most effective correctional programs at the appropriate time in their sentences to promote their rehabilitation and to prepare them for reintegration into the community
To maximize correctional programs effectiveness, to ensure integrity in program management and delivery, and to ensure that correctional programs respect gender, ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences, and are responsive to the special needs of women, Indigenous offenders, offenders requiring health care and other groups
Applies to all staff and contractors involved in correctional program development, management, monitoring, referrals, and delivery
- The Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, will:
- in collaboration with the Deputy Commissioner for Women, as appropriate:
- authorize the development and delivery of correctional programs
- review and approve the Annual Program Plan
- oversee the coordination of efficient correctional program management and delivery, in collaboration with the Regional Deputy Commissioners, in order to maximize program capacity
- establish and update correctional program guidelines GL 726-1 – National Correctional Program Standards, GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines and GL 726‑3 – National Correctional Program Management Guidelines.
- The Regional Deputy Commissioner will:
- ensure procedures are in place that support correctional program delivery
- ensure the correctional program inventory is reviewed regularly and updated as required
- ensure that national correctional programs, including Indigenous correctional programs and women offender correctional programs, are available to offenders
- ensure monitoring of program delivery and results as well as reporting to the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs, and the Deputy Commissioner for Women, as appropriate
- promote and facilitate collaboration between assessment, intervention and program staff to:
- ensure continuity in correctional planning
- ensure efficient program management
- maximize program delivery capacity
- approve and submit the Regional Annual Program Plan to the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs.
- The Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, will:
- provide a strategic perspective to the Regional Deputy Commissioner, for the regional planning of correctional programs
- oversee quality and consistency in the referral and delivery of correctional programs to all offenders across the region
- review and submit the Regional Annual Program Plan to the Regional Deputy Commissioner.
- The Director, Reintegration Programs, will manage, coordinate and monitor national correctional program development and implementation, in consultation with the Director General, Women Offender Sector, as appropriate.
- The Institutional Head/District Director will:
- develop an Annual Program Plan and submit it to the Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions
- provide a secure and appropriate environment for the delivery of correctional programs, including a culturally-appropriate environment for the delivery of Indigenous correctional programs
- ensure that a Correctional Plan is developed and maintained for each offender, in consultation with the offender, including objectives for the offender’s participation in correctional programs, pursuant to section 15.1 of the CCRA.
- The Assistant Warden, Interventions/Associate District Director, or their delegate, will:
- chair the Correctional Intervention Board in accordance with CD 705 – Intake Assessment Process and Correctional Plan Framework and CD 710 – Institutional Supervision Framework
- ensure that correctional planning and correctional program referrals adhere to GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines
- ensure the delivery of correctional programs based on the Regional Annual Program Plan
- authorize, in writing, alternatives to in-person Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper involvement (such as, but not limited to, video conferences, telephone, etc.) in exceptional circumstances, in consultation with the Regional Administrator, Indigenous Initiatives
- notify the Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, where there is a significant delay, by more than one month, in starting or completing a correctional program.
- The Regional Administrator, Assessment and Interventions, will:
- review, analyze and report to the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services, all correctional program demand, availability and results
- develop and submit a Regional Annual Program Plan to the Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Integrated Services
- be the final decision maker where there are dissenting opinions on whether to accept an override to a correctional program
- monitor correctional program overrides and report to the Director, Reintegration Programs, on a quarterly basis
- ensure the competencies of Correctional Program Officers/Indigenous Correctional Program Officers are evaluated through the quality review and certification process
- approve requests to deliver maintenance programs in the community by use of alternative technology.
- The Regional Program Manager will:
- manage correctional program portfolios
- authorize correctional program overrides
- organize and deliver training on correctional programs
- complete the Integrated Initial Training and Quality Review Form for the Evaluation of Correctional Program Delivery Staff (CSC/SCC 1313e) or the Supplementary Initial Training Evaluation of Correctional Program Officers form (CSC/SCC 1312‑01e), as appropriate
- conduct the quality review of the performance of Correctional Program Officers/Indigenous Correctional Program Officers and complete the Integrated Initial Training and Quality Review Form for the Evaluation of Correctional Program Delivery Staff (CSC/SCC 1313e).
- The Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager will:
- supervise staff involved in the delivery of correctional programs and provide guidance and support to Elders/Spiritual Advisors or Elder Helpers involved in the delivery of Indigenous correctional programs
- ensure that correctional program schedules include the offender’s participation information and identify the Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer who will deliver the program
- monitor program demand, delivery, participation and rates of correctional program completion
- ensure that required correctional program performance measurement data are completed and filed accordingly
- ensure that program case conferences and corresponding documentation are completed and entered in the Offender Management System, as required
- exercise discretion regarding the timeframe for final program report completion, based on the group size, for up to a maximum of 10 working days
- ensure that the final correctional program report is quality controlled and finalized in the Offender Management System, within two working days following the approved timeframe for final program report completion, as noted above
- ensure that the delivery of correctional programs take into account the requirements of CD 087 – Official Languages
- ensure that provisions specific to contracted correctional program delivery are followed.
- The Manager, Victim Services, will ensure that all Victim Services Officers have access to, and are informed of, the most recent national correctional program descriptions.
- The Victim Services Officer may share information with a registered victim about the programs designed to address the needs of the offender, pursuant to CD 784 – Victim Engagement, when the threshold for sharing information with victims is met under paragraph 26(1)(b) of the CCRA.
- The Parole Officer will:
- adhere to GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines when referring offenders to correctional programs
- adhere to CD 705-5 – Supplementary Assessments when determining which offenders meet the criteria for a sex offender assessment
- complete the Identification of Needs for Correctional Programs screen in the Offender Management System in order to identify the offender’s required correctional program(s)
- consult a Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer or a Manager, Programs, when program selection criteria may not be clear or when there are discrepancies between offender file information and the risk assessment results
- identify the required correctional program(s) in the Correctional Plan
- take into account the offender’s progress towards meeting the objectives of their Correctional Plan when making decisions on program referrals, transfers or recommendations for conditional release.
- The Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer will:
- ensure that the offender understands and signs the Consent to Participate in a Correctional Program form (CSC/SCC 1288):
- where an offender understands and accepts the intent of the Consent to Participate in a Correctional Program form (CSC/SCC 1288) but refuses to sign the form, the Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer will indicate this refusal on the form and sign it in the presence of a witness. The Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer will document in a Casework Record the reason why the offender refused to sign the Consent to Participate in a Correctional Program form (CSC/SCC 1288) and what was done to ensure that informed consent was obtained
- where an offender agrees to participate in a correctional program, but either refuses to complete the correctional program performance measures or does not want the information used for research purposes, the offender will still be permitted to participate in the correctional program
- ensure that the pre-program interviews and assessments are completed no earlier than 30 working days prior to the correctional program start date
- record correctional program performance measures within 10 working days of their completion
- identify the personal targets to be achieved in the programs, ensure they are consistent with the objectives in the Correctional Plan, and discuss with the Parole Officer if necessary
- deliver correctional programs as per the correctional program manuals
- provide correctional program make-up sessions, as required, and document make-up sessions in the final correctional program report
- use available existing tools during program delivery to ensure that they accommodate the unique responsivity needs of offenders
- complete a Casework Record within one working day when:
- there is a significant contact with the offender that is not a requirement of the correctional program
- a pre- or post-program interview is completed with an offender
- there is significant information for the Case Management Team
- initiate a case conference with the Case Management Team member(s) and complete a Casework Record within one working day when:
- there are concerns of an escalation of risk (e.g., breach of condition, absence/suspension from the correctional program)
- there are significant difficulties encountered by the offender that could jeopardize their participation in the program or there is a significant decision to be discussed such as repeating or ceasing maintenance program participation
- complete a final correctional program report for all offenders who complete a correctional program or whose assignment to a correctional program has ended. The timeframe for report completion, which can be up to a maximum of 10 working days, will be discussed and approved by the Manager, Programs/Community Program Manager.
- The Correctional Program Officer Assessor, where this position exists, will:
- contribute to the completion of men offender correctional program referrals in accordance with GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines
- contribute to the completion of correctional program assessments in accordance with GL 726‑3 – National Correctional Program Management Guidelines
- adhere to CD 705-5 – Supplementary Assessments when determining which offenders meet the criteria for a sex offender assessment
- contribute to the completion of the Identification of Needs for Correctional Programs screen in the Offender Management System in order to identify the offender’s required correctional program(s), in consultation with the Parole Officer.
- The Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper involved in the delivery of Indigenous correctional programs:
- will provide counselling, teachings and ceremonial services pursuant to CD 702 – Indigenous Offenders. Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper involvement will normally be provided through in-person presence and engagement in program/intervention sessions and individual sessions, which includes:
- providing guidance and teachings to offenders through group sessions (circles) and individual discussions
- conducting spiritual services and various traditional ceremonies to support program objectives
- may participate in correctional programs using alternative methods such as, but not limited to, video conference, telephone, etc., following the written approval of the Assistant Warden, Interventions, in consultation with the Regional Administrator, Indigenous Initiatives
- will provide advice to the Regional Program Manager and/or the Assistant Warden, Interventions, with regards to cultural teachings and ceremonies in Indigenous correctional programs, as required
- will support Correctional Program Officers/Indigenous Correctional Program Officers in understanding the impacts of Indigenous social history on Indigenous offenders
- will provide Correctional Program Officers/Indigenous Correctional Program Officers with cultural support in the delivery of Indigenous correctional programs, which includes traditional teachings and ceremonies in program sessions
- provide holistic observations on offender behavioural change and progress in addressing their needs to the Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer for inclusion in the final correctional program report for offenders participating in Indigenous correctional programs.
- Staff will ensure offenders actively participate in meeting the objectives of their Correctional Plan, including participating in correctional programs, pursuant to paragraph 4(h) of the CCRA.
Original signed by:
Annex A Cross-References and Definitions
CD 001 – Mission, Values and Ethics Framework of the Correctional Service of Canada
CD 081 – Offender Complaints and Grievances
CD 087 – Official Languages
CD 700 – Correctional Interventions
CD 701 – Information Sharing
CD 702 – Indigenous Offenders
CD 705 – Intake Assessment Process and Correctional Plan Framework
CD 705-1 – Preliminary Assessments and Post-Sentence Community Assessments
CD 705-2 – Information Collection
CD 705-4 – Orientation
CD 705-5 – Supplementary Assessments
CD 705-6 – Correctional Planning and Criminal Profile
CD 710 – Institutional Supervision Framework
CD 710-1 – Progress Against the Correctional Plan
CD 711 – Structured Intervention Units
CD 712 – Case Preparation and Pre-Release Framework
CD 715-1 – Community Supervision
CD 715-2 – Post-Release Decision Process
CD 715-3 – Community Assessments
CD 719 – Long-Term Supervision Orders
CD 720 – Education Programs and Services for Inmates
GL 726-1 – National Correctional Program Standards
GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines
GL 726-3 – National Correctional Program Management Guidelines
CD 730 – Offender Program Assignments and Inmate Payments
CD 767 – Ethnocultural Offenders: Services and Interventions
CD 784 –Victim Engagement
CD 843 – Interventions to Preserve Life and Prevent Serious Bodily Harm
Indigenous Social History Tool
Annual Program Plan: a planning tool used by the operational units to determine programming needs, capacity, and resource requirements.
Correctional Intervention Board: a multidisciplinary team that approves interventions and contributes to recommendations or decisions for complex cases. The Interdisciplinary Mental Health Team is considered a component of the Correctional Intervention Board.
Correctional planning: an analysis by the operational units, which includes the following components:
- prepare offenders for timely and safe reintegration
- ensure that the intensity and stream of correctional program(s) selected are based on risk and needs
- give priority to offenders serving sentences of four years or less for correctional programs during intake
- include appropriate culturally-based correctional programs for Indigenous offenders who wish to participate in Indigenous correctional programs
- include gender-informed correctional programs designed for women offenders
- be achievable and available within the length of the sentence, and take parole eligibility dates into consideration
- provide a justifiable rationale for any override to a correctional program, and document this rationale in the Offender Management System
- consider the offender’s specific responsivity needs.
Correctional program: a structured intervention that targets empirically-validated factors directly linked to offenders’ criminal behaviour, in order to reduce re-offending.
Correctional Program Officer Assessor: a designated Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer, at a men's site, responsible for completing program-related assessments for referrals to the appropriate correctional programs. The Correctional Program Officer Assessor will be trained in all Integrated Correctional Program Model streams as well as in the Inuit Integrated Correctional Program. This role will normally be assigned to an experienced Correctional Program Officer/Indigenous Correctional Program Officer.
Elder Helper: an individual other than an offender designated to assist offenders to benefit from traditional healing and contemporary treatment interventions by supporting the work of the Elders/ Spiritual Advisors and the Interdisciplinary Team.
Elder/Spiritual Advisor: any person recognized by an Indigenous community as having knowledge and understanding of the traditional culture of the community, including the physical manifestations of the culture of the people and their spiritual and social traditions and ceremonies. Knowledge and wisdom, coupled with the recognition and respect of the people of the community, are the essential defining characteristics of an Elder/Spiritual Advisor. Elders/Spiritual Advisors are known by many other titles depending on the region or local practices. An example is Angakuk who is an Inuit shaman or medicine man.
Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper involvement: the in-person presence and engagement of an Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper in Indigenous correctional programs/interventions through traditional teachings and cultural ceremonies in program sessions and individual sessions. Under exceptional circumstances, and where no reasonable alternative exists, the in-person presence and engagement of an Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper may be substituted by alternative methods (such as, but not limited to, video conferences, telephone, etc.). The written approval of the Assistant Warden, Interventions, in consultation with the Regional Administrator, Indigenous Initiatives, will be required prior to proceeding with substitutions to in-person Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper involvement. An example of exceptional circumstances is the COVID-19 pandemic where Elder/Spiritual Advisor or Elder Helper access to operational units was suspended thereby preventing in-person presence in program/intervention sessions.
Identification of Needs for Correctional Programs: a screen in the Offender Management System that considers the results of various assessments, including risk and actuarial assessments, and the override assessments (when applicable) to identify the required correctional program(s) for the offender in order to address their correctional program needs.
Indigenous: a person of First Nations, Métis or Inuit heritage.
Indigenous correctional programs: structured, culturally-based interventions that target empirically-validated factors directly linked to Indigenous offenders' criminal behaviour in order to reduce re-offending. These programs’ culturally-relevant content includes Indigenous social history considerations, traditional teachings and ceremonies, and cultural activities. Indigenous correctional programs should normally be delivered by Indigenous Correctional Program Officers with the involvement of Elders/Spiritual Advisors or Elder Helpers, and will utilize a healing and holistic approach to address the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental needs of Indigenous offenders. Indigenous correctional programs include specific programming for Inuit men offenders.
Indigenous social history: the various circumstances that have affected the lives of most Indigenous peoples. Considering these circumstances may result in alternate options or solutions and applies only to Indigenous offenders (not to non-Indigenous offenders who choose to follow the Indigenous way of life). These circumstances include the following (not an exhaustive list):
- effects of the residential school system
- sixties scoop into the adoption system
- effects of the dislocation and dispossession of Inuit peoples
- family or community history of suicide
- family or community history of substance abuse
- family or community history of victimization
- family or community fragmentation
- level or lack of formal education
- level of connectivity with family/community
- experience in the child welfare system
- experience with poverty
- loss of or struggle with cultural/spiritual identity.
Informed consent: consent is considered to be informed when an individual has the capacity to understand the nature of the process and is fully apprised of:
- the potential results and the risks associated with the process
- the potential effects of refusing to agree to the process
- the fact that they have the right to withdraw from the process.
National correctional programs: a specific set of correctional programs that have been developed and implemented on a national level. These programs are structured interventions that target empirically-validated factors directly linked to offenders’ criminal behaviour, in order to reduce re-offending.
Override: the referral of an offender to a correctional program for which the offender does not fully meet the correctional program selection criteria according to the actuarial assessment tools. There will be certain exceptional cases where actuarial tools can be supplemented by structured professional judgement in order to ensure a better match between level of risk and level of program intensity or program stream. Structured professional judgement is based on the consideration of dynamic risk factors and case-specific factors which are not otherwise captured by the actuarial tools, which can be found in GL 726-2 – National Correctional Program Referral Guidelines. An override may be to a higher or lower program intensity or to a different program stream (multi-target or sex offender) than the program for which the offender meets the selection criteria.
Quality review and certification: the process used to measure Correctional Program Officer/ Indigenous Correctional Program Officer competency, as well as the competency of National Correctional Program Trainers and Regional Program Managers.
Required correctional program(s): the final program referral results on the Identification of Needs for Correctional Programs screen in the Offender Management System, which compares the offender's risk assessment results with the program selection criteria in order to determine the most appropriate program intensity and stream for the offender.
Responsivity: the presence of a characteristic(s) that influences the offender's capacity to benefit from the targeted intervention(s). These can include, but are not limited to: health needs, intellectual and developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, learning disabilities, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, age, gender, linguistic differences, ethnocultural background, motivation level, etc. Responsivity resource kits are available to staff to effectively engage and work with offenders with responsivity needs.
Women offender correctional programs: structured interventions created in a holistic, gender, cultural, and trauma-informed manner to address specific needs of women offenders. These evidence-based programs adhere to the guiding principles of empowerment, meaningful and responsible choices, respect and dignity, supportive environment, and shared responsibility identified in Creating Choices: The Report of the Task Force on Federally Sentenced Women (1990).
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