Correctional Service Canada
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Women Offender Programs and Issues

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The Cross Gender Monitoring Project
3rd and Final Annual Report

vi) Investigations

In several of the situations mentioned, we have had the opportunity to review CSC's Investigation reports of allegations of sexual inappropriateness. This review has led to the conclusion that there is a need for experts to be involved in these investigations. For instance, in one case, a victim was deemed not to be credible because she had reported the incident many months later. The reality of victimization is that it is not unusual for a victim of sexual abuse to come forward long after an incident has occurred. The fact that these occurrences are in a closed setting where potential victims are prisoners complicates the investigations. The rate of histories of sexual abuse among FSW also complicates matters.

On the other hand, when false allegations are made against staff members, the potential for damage to that person's career is daunting. The need for outside members for these investigations is paramount as is the need for experts in sexual victimization. It is not a good practice for staff from the same institution to be investigating their co-workers, as they are not impartial, and this has been the case in a few of these instances. This will be discussed in more detail in the final section of this report. In addition, under the current system, inmates are expected to use the Complaint and Grievance System to report incidents of sexual impropriety. The appropriateness of this form of reporting will also be discussed in the last Section.