Response of the Correctional Service of Canada to the 39th Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator 2011-2012


The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC), as part of the criminal justice system and respecting the rule of law, contributes to public safety by actively encouraging and assisting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, while exercising reasonable, safe, secure and humane control.

CSC administers court-imposed sentences for offenders sentenced to two years or more. CSC has a presence in all regions of Canada, managing institutions of various security levels and supervising offenders on different forms of conditional release, while assisting them to become law-abiding citizens. CSC also administers post-sentence supervision of offenders with Long Term Supervision Orders for up to 10 years.

The past few years have seen significant changes to CSC's operational environment and this is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. This is due to the challenging offender profile, legislative reforms, fiscal restraints and the changing demographics of the staff complement across the country.

With respect to the offender profile, we continue to see an offender population with more extensive histories of violence and violent crimes; previous youth and adult convictions; affiliations with gangs and organized crime; higher rates of infection of Hepatitis C and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV); a disproportionate representation of First Nations; Métis and Inuit offenders; significant substance abuse histories and related problems; and mental health disorders.

In this challenging context, CSC's priorities are:

  • Safe transition to and management of eligible offenders in the community;
  • Safety and security of staff and offenders in our institutions and in the community;
  • Enhanced capacities to provide effective interventions for First Nations, Métis and Inuit offenders;
  • Improved capacities to address mental health needs of offenders;
  • Efficient and effective management practices that reflect values-based leadership, and 
  • Productive relationships with increasingly diverse partners, stakeholders, and others involved in public safety.

Legislatively, over the past few years, several bills were passed that impact on CSC, including the Serious Time for the Most Serious Crime Act and the Protecting Canadians by Ending Sentence Discounts for Multiple Murderers Act, and the Tackling Violent Crime Act. The cumulative impact of these legislative changes has resulted in an increase in the offender population count since 2010, offenders, on average, remaining in custody longer, and changes in the way we offer services to offenders.

At the same time, the Government of Canada's Budget 2012 related to the Deficit Reduction Action Plan (DRAP) will result in a number of cost-saving measures that total $295 million over the next three years and will increase offender accountability and realize operational efficiencies at national and regional headquarters and at operational sites across the country. DRAP initiatives will create both operational challenges for the Service in the coming years, as well as new opportunities.

This is truly a time of renewal within CSC and consequently the Service welcomes the report of the Correctional Investigator: it provides an important, independent perspective on the Service's policies and operations. CSC will continue to work closely with the Correctional Investigator to address and resolve issues of mutual concern raised in his report, in pursuit of its mandate and in the interest of public safety for Canadians.

Access to Physical and Mental Health Services

Recommendation 1:

I recommend that an external clinical expert be contracted to conduct a compliance review against clinical measures identified in CD 843 and that the results of this review and the Service's response be made public.

CSC supports in principle the goal of this recommendation which is to strive for continuous quality improvement and to have an active monitoring process to ensure compliance with legislative and policy requirements. There are several processes currently in place that review compliance of Commissioner's Directive (CD) 843 Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour, for example:

  • Management Control Frameworks (MCFs). These are management self-auditing tools which test for compliance. An MCF for CD 843 was completed in fiscal year (FY) 2011-2012 without any major compliance issues noted.
  • Regional Suicide/Self-Injury Prevention Management Committees (RSPMCs). These regional management committees review each incident of self-injury/suicide attempt on a monthly basis and verify compliance issues. In addition, co-chairs meet annually to share best practices and address common issues.
  • Investigations. CSC regularly conducts investigations into self-injury, suicide and attempted suicide.

In addition to the processes noted above, CSC will organize a roundtable of external subject matter experts, regarding the effective management and treatment of serious self-injurious offenders in a correctional environment. The roundtable will also be asked to look at other methods for measuring compliance with the law and policy. The themes of this roundtable will be made public.

Further, the frequency for the MCF review of CD 843 will be increased to annually over the next two years (as opposed to every two years) and the results of the MCF will be discussed at CSC's Executive Committee

Recommendation 2:

I recommend that the Service prepare an expert report on the barriers to alternative mental health service delivery in federal corrections and publicly release a management action plan to mitigate these barriers, including clear timelines for implementation of new service arrangements with external healthcare providers.

CSC does not support this recommendation. In accordance with the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, CSC provides inmates with essential health care, and reasonable access to non-essential mental health care that will contribute to the inmate's rehabilitation and successful reintegration into the community.

CSC is currently implementing critical aspects of the Mental Health Strategy as a result of funds received in Budgets 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2010. Results to date are encouraging. For example, in FY 2011-2012, approximately 48% of (N 9,925) incarcerated offenders received mental health services and 22% of (N 3,097) offenders in the community received a mental health service. CSC Psychiatric Treatment Centres, all five of which are accredited, received a total of 675 admissions in FY 2011-2012. The average length of stay in a Treatment Centre during that year was approximately 154 days for acute or sub-acute treatment and 393 days for psycho-social rehabilitation. As well, an evaluation of the Community Mental Health Initiative indicated that the risk of suspension and revocation in the group who received a community mental health specialist service was 34% and 59% lower, respectively, than the comparison group.

While CSC has made significant progress in addressing the mental health needs of offenders it is recognized that more can be done. In January 2011, the report of an external expert consultant engaged by CSC to review the feasibility of alternative service delivery (including mental health service delivery) concluded that a contractual or full transfer of CSC health services to other health authorities would be impractical for a number of reasons, primarily stemming from the absence in Canada of a national health delivery authority. Instead, the report recommended that CSC continue to explore ways to enhance the delivery of mental health services primarily through strengthened internal governance and continued partnership development.

CSC is committed to maintaining and expanding community partnerships in the area of mental health where community capacity exists. This focus is key to providing the stability and support necessary for an offender to be released and remain in the community in a law-abiding manner. For example, CSC and Institut Philippe-Pinel have a long standing partnership to provide in-patient psychiatric care to women offenders. CSC has also engaged the not-for-profit community and, in any given month, over 100 beds are available for offenders with mental health care needs, across Canada, in community based residential facilities.

Further, in FY 2011-2012, CSC's community mental health staff conducted over 1,900 contacts with community health and social services providers in order to facilitate local partnership development and the provision of essential mental health services to offenders.

In addition to many local and specialized community mental health partnerships across the country, CSC regularly engages with the major forensic hospitals in Canada and the Federal/Provincial-Territorial Mental Health Working Group. One of the goals of these two engagements is to identify opportunities for innovative and creative partnerships to enhance service delivery.

Over the last five years, CSC has been consulting with external independent experts to conduct specialized mental health assessments on offenders with complex needs in order to define appropriate treatment planning. Lastly, in addition to ongoing partnership activities, CSC will continue to engage with external experts regarding the effective management and treatment of offenders with complex needs.

CSC is committed to ongoing partnership development within the constraints of the funding available, including consultation with subject matter experts, and will provide a list of external assessments completed in FY 2012-13 by April 2013.

Recommendation 3:

I once more recommend, in keeping with Canada's domestic and international human rights commitments, laws and norms, an absolute prohibition on the practice of placing mentally ill offenders and those at risk of suicide or serious self-injury in prolonged segregation.

CSC supports this recommendation in principle. Administrative segregation is a legislative measure available to the Service to help ensure the safety of all inmates, staff and visitors. It is employed by CSC as a last resort for the shortest period of time necessary to manage the serious risk posed by an inmate's association with other inmates. In order for an inmate to be placed and maintained in administrative segregation, he or she must meet the stringent criteria set out in section 31 of the CCRA and there must be no reasonable alternative to segregation. The inmate is entitled to all of the procedural and substantive safeguards outlined in the law and policy including regular segregation reviews. Furthermore, CSC works assiduously to return a segregated inmate to the general population as soon as it is safe to do so.

In accordance with section 87 of the CCRA, CSC specifically takes into consideration an offender's state of health and health care needs in determining whether to place the offender in segregation.  Except in emergency situations, consultation with an offender's case management team will occur before a segregation placement which includes consultation with mental health care professionals as appropriate. All reasonable alternatives to segregation will be considered, including whether an inmate with mental health concerns could be safely and appropriately managed in a treatment centre or similar environment.

In recognition of the importance of building appropriate safeguards around mental health and administrative segregation, CSC is strengthening its policy framework in the following ways:

  • Adding explicit requirements to CD 709 Administrative Segregation for staff to assess, consider and properly document the mental health care concerns of an inmate being considered for segregation placement, including any plan to address the inmate's health concerns. Their assessment will also be documented as part of the immediate needs checklist. CD 709 is anticipated to be promulgated in September 2012; however, the Case Management Bulletin stipulating the requirement to complete the immediate needs checklist was promulgated on October 21, 2010.
  • Clarifying that an inmate who is placed in an observation cell for the sole purpose of suicide/self-injury observation is not to be admitted to administrative segregation.
  • Reinforcing that information gathered from the health care assessment conducted when an inmate is segregated be made available to staff working with the inmate and documented on the inmate's segregation file in addition to the health care file. (Case Management Bulletin September 2011); and
  • Clarifying that inmates who are at an increased risk for self-injury or suicide are to be managed in accordance with CD 843, Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour (promulgated in July 2011) which emphasizes the requirement to use least restrictive measures for the purpose of preserving life and preventing serious bodily injury while maintaining the dignity of the inmate in a safe and secure environment.  It also directs staff to work in an interdisciplinary team to ensure that a comprehensive approach and plan is developed. Further direction was issued which reinforced that such inmates are not to be placed on administrative segregation status strictly as a result of their self harming behaviours. This Case Management Bulletin was promulgated on June 12, 2012.

In cases where there are no reasonable alternatives to segregation, an inmate's mental health is considered as part of the segregation review process. CSC's psychologists are consulted as appropriate to determine if there are acute mental health concerns and will determine if the inmate requires a referral to specialized health services, including psychiatric care. More comprehensive mental health assessment may also be conducted to identify the inmate's particular mental health or behavioural needs and develop an appropriate plan for his or her successful reintegration back to the inmate population.

Finally, to address the recommendation of the 2010-2011 OCI Report, recommendation 16, quarterly audits are being conducted to ensure mental health considerations are taken into account and documented in a decision to initiate or maintain a segregation placement. Also on a quarterly basis, senior managers at the regional and national levels, review the cases of several inmates in long-term segregation faced with significant reintegration difficulties across the country to discuss alternatives with the objective of facilitating releases from administrative segregation for these offenders at the earliest opportunity.

Recommendation 4:

I recommend that the Service significantly augment its substance abuse programming, treatment, counselling and harm reduction services, supports and investments to better align with the needs of offenders whose criminal activity is linked to drug addiction or alcohol abuse.

CSC supports this recommendation and has significantly augmented National Substance Abuse Program delivery. The Integrated Correctional Program Model was designed by the same program developers of the National Substance Abuse Program and it was designed to address the same underlying causes of criminal behaviour with the same competencies that made CSC's National Substance Abuse Program successful at reducing the likelihood of general and violent recidivism. The main goal of both the National Substance Abuse Program and the Integrated Correctional Program Model is that they are designed to address the risk factors related to offending, in particular, offending linked to substance abuse. The Integrated Correctional Program Model has incorporated the most effective aspects of CSC's National Substance Abuse Program but has the added benefit of allowing enrolments on a continual basis which has resulted in greater program accessibility for offenders who need substance abuse programming. In addition, offenders can access the program much earlier in their sentence.

Enrolments for substance abuse programs and the Integrated Correctional Program Model have increased by 35% from FY 2008-2009 to 2011-2012 with the total number of enrolments increasing from 3,799 in 2008-2009 to 5,145 in 2011-2012.Footnote 1 The Integrated Correctional Program Model targets multiple programming needs, including substance abuse which is why it is included.

 Over the coming year, CSC will be focusing on motivating offenders who refuse to participate in programs to participate in key interventions, such as the National Substance Abuse Program, as a means of assisting them in their release preparations and becoming law-abiding citizens. In addition, the Integrated Correctional Program Model also includes a motivation component to encourage offenders to actively participate in the programming and intervention components of their correctional plan.

Deaths in Custody

Recommendation 5:

I recommend that CSC immediately put in place all necessary measures, including funding, to ensure the potential points of suspension in inmates' cells are identified and appropriately dealt with to prevent suicide.

CSC supports this recommendation in principle; however, absolute elimination of any form of suspension point is not feasible as suspension points are possible from even the most unlikely objects. Nonetheless, CSC strives to eliminate unnecessary suspension point opportunities and more importantly, where it is not feasible or practical to do so, our goal is to ensure that frontline staff are aware of any vulnerabilities in every cell before placing an offender in a cell who may have tendencies toward self-injuring or suicidal behaviours.

A Security Bulletin was released on January 21, 2010 on Infrastructure Vulnerabilities – Points of Suspension and Suicide Prevention. The bulletin indicated that it was critical that all potential points of suspension, both removable and non-removable, and other cell vulnerabilities are systematically and consistently identified, inspected, repaired, replaced, repositioned or removed. In June 2012, CSC Form 1448 National Cell Condition Checklist was updated and posted on the Infonet.

CD 550, Inmate Accommodation, continues to be under review by CSC, however CSC issued an interim direction to all operational sites in June 2012, in the form of a security bulletin. This bulletin directs staff to complete a National Cell Condition Checklist (CSC form 1448) at a minimum of once per month to identify blind spots and potential points of suspension.

Recommendation 6:

I recommend CSC create a dedicated senior management position responsible for promoting and monitoring safe custody practices. This position should be invested with sufficient authority and autonomy to collect and report on performance measures consistent with the Service's legal duty of care to preserve life in custody.

CSC does not support this recommendation. It is the role of all senior managers in CSC to promote safe custodial practices.  At the local level, the institutional head, in accordance with Corrections and Conditional Release Regulations, is responsible for the care, custody and control of all inmates in the penitentiary. As well, at the regional level the Regional Deputy Commissioner (RDC) and Assistant Deputy Commissioner Institutional Operations have direct responsibility for the oversight of safe custody practices. At the National Headquarters level, there are two senior executives – the Senior Deputy Commissioner (SDC) and the Assistant Commissioner, Correctional Operations and Programs (ACCOP) – who are tasked with the responsibility to collect and report on performance measures regarding safe custody practices.

The role of the SDC includes the oversight responsibility for internal investigations. Through this function, the SDC meets monthly with all RDCs and Functional Policy Heads at NHQ to discuss National Boards of Investigations – their findings and recommendations – as well as trend data. These lessons learned are documented throughout the organization. As well, discussions are facilitated on whether these issues are systemic or isolated incidents. A roll-up of trends related to completed investigations was shared with Executive Committee members and a Management Action Plan is being prepared to build on these lessons learned.

Additionally, under the leadership of the SDC, a second Independent Review Committee was convened by CSC to review all non-natural deaths in custody during the FY 2010-2011. This Report will also be shared throughout the organization and used as an additional learning tool.

In light of the "individual failures" identified by the OCI on page 19 of the OCI 2011-2012 Annual Report, CSC has undertaken a review of the 152 National Boards of Investigation that were convened in 2011-2012 to ensure that these were not systemic issues and that they have in fact been addressed through corrective measures.  Of the 152, only 29 were investigations related to a death in custody. These 29 investigations were examined in detail to ensure that appropriate measures were taken to prevent a reoccurrence of the areas identified by the OCI. All of the corrective measures have or will be discussed with EXCOM members, at the National Investigations meeting, to ensure that performance is improved in these areas where necessary and that "Lessons Learned" are shared with all CSC Regions. In addition, all RDCs share the identified trends in Investigations with their respective management teams.

In addition, the ACCOP has created a Performance Measurement Framework for inmate deaths in custody which has been shared with senior managers and the OCI office, and allows for ongoing monitoring and implementation of strategies. It is anticipated the next report on performance measurement will be available by December 31, 2012.

Also, a Review of Practices in Place to Prevent/Respond to Deaths in Custody was completed in February 2012 as part of CSC's 2011-2014 Risk-Based Audit Plan. As well, in the context of CSC's strategic priority for the safety and security of staff and offenders within institutions a total of 109 separate actions/commitments have been made by CSC to better respond to/prevent deaths in custody. Since 2009, CSC has been completing a progress report on a semi-annual basis on the implementation status of these commitments. The review conducted in February 2012 found that 22 of the 24 commitments related to risk have been completed. CSC is committed to implementing its action plan for areas that will assist in preserving life in custody.

Recommendation 7:

I recommend CSC enhance the quality of security rounds, counts, patrols, interventions and interactions (dynamic security) consistent with preservation of life principles and operational policies and perform enhanced spot and compliance audits.

CSC supports this recommendation. CSC's policy framework with respect to rounds, counts, patrols, interventions and dynamic security is well defined and will continue to be strengthened with regular reviews and updates. These policies clearly identify expectations and accountabilities for staff at all levels.  In addition, the activities associated with these policy requirements are a prevalent aspect of both initial training for staff as well in subsequent refresher training.  Notwithstanding the policy framework and training, a number of internal and external reviews have identified ongoing concerns with compliance to the policy requirements. To that end, enhanced oversight of security patrols, including spot checks and compliance reporting, has been implemented in each region.

CSC will continue to implement processes that will improve the quality of rounds and counts, including best practices such as those that are currently in place in the Atlantic Region.

Moreover, a national refresher on Dynamic Security was offered to correctional staff in FY 2011-2012. 

Most recently, a national Working group comprised of CSC managers and staff, as well as UCCO-SACC-CSN representatives, has conducted a review of security rounds to prevent deaths in custody. The report of the Working Group will be presented to EXCOM in December 2012.

Recommendation 8:

At each operational site, I recommend CSC conduct a review of internal emergency response protocols against recent compliance failures and ensure both staff and management understand their respective roles and responsibilities in carrying out life-saving interventions. Corrective measures taken should be widely communicated across the Service.

CSC supports the intended goal of this recommendation. CSC through its governance and policy has clear direction on areas of responsibility for both staff and management to ensure preservation of life while in custody. CSC has enshrined in its policy framework that directors of operational units must conduct a medical emergency exercise at least every 12 months to assess the effectiveness of contingency plans and to give staff members the necessary practice in their respective roles in the event of an emergency. Furthermore, operational sites are required to conduct "quarterly on-site simulations of medical emergencies that allow staff to practice and remain current in skills".

In addition, all operational unit contingency plans require review at least every 12 months. Any gaps identified from the review requiring amendments, and/or certification that the review has been completed, are forwarded to National Headquarters through Regional Headquarters. In addition, if gaps are identified through interventions used to manage or control incidents, the Situation Management Model is reviewed, and if required, amended accordingly. CSC also tracks all compliance failures identified in the MCF through a review of Internal Emergency Response Protocols. Sites are measured against specific criteria in relation to Management of Emergencies, Fire Safety, Use of Security Equipment, Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour, Use of Restraint Equipment, etc. Through this reporting structure, non-compliance is identified and sites are required to rectify in anticipation of the next nationally reported review. MCF results are reviewed and discussed at Executive Committee meetings in order to ensure that organizational gaps and/or deficiencies are immediately addressed.

The role of the SDC includes responsibility for internal investigations. Through this function, the SDC meets monthly with all RDCs and Functional Policy Heads at NHQ to discuss National Boards of Investigations – their findings and recommendations – as well as trend data. The monthly meetings allow for a comprehensive review of internal emergency responses and identification of compliance failures and areas of strengthening. Corrective measures are identified that appropriately address any compliance failures and sites are required to report on implementation.

Furthermore, these monthly discussions allow for the identification of trends and lessons learned that are communicated throughout the organization, as well as an opportunity to distinguish between systemic or isolated incidents. A roll-up of trends related to Boards of Investigation, including internal response protocols, was shared with Executive Committee members and a Management Action Plan is being prepared to build on these lessons learned.

It is the position of CSC that the Service has a robust review process in place. The organization's MCF provides an internal emergency response review protocol and a policy framework. In addition, the monthly SDC Incident Investigation meetings with RDCs and Sector Heads allow for review of specific actions undertaken in response to emergencies at the sites and identify any compliance failures that require corrective measures. Any trends or identified systemic issues are then shared throughout the Service.

Conditions of Confinement

Recommendation 9:

Without any further delay, I recommend that CSC promulgate its revised inmate accommodation policy, to include enhanced procedural safeguards and increased monitoring of double bunking assignments at both regional and national levels of review. The policy should be audited to a high level of assurance for compliance within 12 months of its implementation.

CSC supports the recommendation in principle but does not support the implementation of regional and national levels of review. Tools are being developed to assist correctional officers in conducting appropriate, safe and secure cell assignment including double bunking. These tools will include amended OMS screens which will ensure that the officer addresses each area of consideration. These changes are anticipated to be completed by June 30, 2013. Also, guidelines for the completion of the double bunking assessment will be prepared so as to provide support to the officers completing the assessment. These guidelines will be completed by December 31, 2012.

Promulgation of CD 550, Inmate Accommodation, is anticipated for September 2012. In the interim, however, CSC issued interim directions to all operational sites in May and June 2012, in the form of security bulletins. The policy reinforces accountabilities and provides the structure for ensuring that appropriate assessments and assignments are being completed. In addition, regions will ensure that performance is monitored and assessed locally, and where there are deficiencies, managers will be held accountable.

Recommendation 10:

I recommend that CSC issue national policy direction for dry cell placements in accordance with administrative fairness standards (clear procedural and legal safeguards and notification) and include an absolute prohibition on dry cell placements exceeding 72 hours.

CSC supports this recommendation in part and issued a National Policy direction in regard to dry cell placements. The Institutional Head is required to review each placement in a dry cell on a daily basis. In addition, the inmate may make written representations for consideration at the daily review. Furthermore, the policy requires that "the institutional head will inform the Assistant Deputy Commissioner Institutional Operations, when the placement of an inmate in a dry cell under section 51 of the CCRA exceeds 72 hours."

As such, at this time, we do not have an absolute prohibition on placements exceeding 72 hours, as there have been incidents of offenders reinserting or swallowing foreign objects to avoid detection, which necessitates the continued placement beyond a 72 hour time period. We recognize the potential concerns with respect to the health and dignity of the individual in these circumstances. As such, CSC will adjust the policy framework to ensure any dry cell placement exceeding 72 hours requires a physical and mental case assessment completed for each subsequent 12 hour period.

Recommendation 11:

I recommend that CSC policy contain explicit and clear language indicating the correctional purpose for placing inmates in designated units. Specialized units or ranges should have documented procedural safeguards in place to include admission and discharge criteria and these should meet a specific and defined program or criminogenic need.

CSC supports this recommendation and will be reviewing the current make-up, purpose and operational practices of the various specialized units and ranges across the country in light of the recent amendments to the Corrections and Conditional Release Act. This review will also include developing specific procedural safeguards and guidelines with respect to admission and discharge into these units and their general operating and programming practices.

Recommendation 12:

I recommend that CSC's use of force review, accountability and monitoring framework be significantly strengthened to include a mandatory national review of all uses of force interventions where a mental health issue or concern is identified.

CSC does not support this recommendation. The Revised CD 567-1 - Use of Force was promulgated on June 13, 2012.  The new policy streamlines the process and reduces the amount of national reviews which will take place. The rationale for the new policy was to concentrate limited resources for regional and national reviews on situations of greatest importance; thus, ensuring timeliness and attention. As such, it is anticipated that problematic situations will continue to warrant and receive reviews at the appropriate levels. In addition, CSC recognizes that the OCI will maintain its practice of reviewing all use of force interventions and will respond accordingly to any significant issues brought to CSC's attention.

Recommendation 13:

I recommend new guidelines be issued to clarify the roles, responsibilities and scope of policy and legal authorities for both community and institutional Security Intelligence Officers.

CSC does not support this recommendation. The policy framework for Security intelligence contained in the CD 568 series has been completely revised. The roles and responsibilities of the Security Intelligence Officers (SIOs) and all others involved in an intelligence role have been clarified and strengthened. As well, there are direct cross references to all legislation such as the CCRA and the Access to Information and Privacy Act that have an impact on the responsibilities and legal obligations of the SIO.

Access to Programs

Recommendation 14:

I recommend that CSC conduct a review of its security, policy and procedural framework governing inmate access and contact with the outside world with a view to promoting and significantly expanding use of computers to enhance family and community ties in support of safe and timely reintegration.

CSC does not support this recommendation but will explore methods of improving inmate access and contact with the outside world. These methods will not be limited to expanding inmate access to computers. For example, video conferencing may prove to be a viable method of enhancing family and community ties. Further, CSC has also added more correctional programs to computers for inmate use in program rooms.

CSC will also explore options that are being examined in other jurisdictions to provide safe and secure access via technology to family and personal information.

Federally Sentenced Women

Recommendation 15:

I recommend that CSC convene an investigation into all assaults that occurred in FY 2011-12 involving federally sentenced women in Secure Units (maximum security) to include a review of dynamic security policies and practices, double-bunking status and procedures for use of force reporting and review.

CSC supports this recommendation in principle. In the last five years, the number of inmate assaults involving a maximum security woman at the five regional facilities has fluctuated between 5 and 23 per year, reaching its peak in 2009-2010. The number of use of force incidents involving maximum security women has decreased by 23%, from 91 to 70. In the same time period, the maximum security population has increased by 25%, from 51 women in 2007-2008 to 64 in 2011-2012. CSC will undertake this fiscal year an independent review of these incidents with the intent of identifying lessons learned, policy compliance issues, and areas for improvement as they relate to practices and procedures.

Recommendation 16:

I recommend that the Minister prohibit CSC from introducing or using padded cells in any of its treatment facilities.

The use of padded cells for therapeutic reasons is consistent with community practice. The padded cell is an intervention that is part of a comprehensive treatment plan in limited and exceptional circumstances. Currently, CSC has one padded cell located at the Regional Psychiatric Centre in Saskatoon. Comprehensive clinical guidelines and monitoring procedures are being developed with the advice of an external expert psychiatrist before CSC considers the possibility of expanding their use to other treatment centres.


Footnote 1

Data source: PMMR, Database: CJIL, Extract Date: 2012-04-15.

Return to footnote 1