Monitoring Flows and Turnover Rates in Administrative Segregation

Changes in operational practice have resulted in reducing admissions to administrative segregation.

Why we did this study

Movement in administrative segregation counts can be reflective of operational shifts in placement and release. In 2013-14, there were 8,141 inmates admitted to administrative segregation in Correctional Service Canada (CSC) institutions. By 2014-15, there were 8,319 inmates admitted and then in 2015-16 there were 6,788 admissions. On the other hand, in 2013-14 there were 8,181 releases from segregation, then in 2014-15 there were 8,418 releases and in 2015-16 there were 6,980 releases. Although an inmate may be admitted and released a number of times within a fiscal year, it is important to note that each year there have been more releases from administrative segregation than admissions. It would appear that the pattern of rise and fall in admissions to and releases from segregation mirrors the same trajectory. Exploring the recent reduction in admissions to administrative segregation may yield some useful information with respect to the use of administrative segregation in federal corrections.

What we did

Admissions to and releases from administrative segregation were drawn from CSC’s Offender Management System for three consecutive fiscal years (2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16). Analyses explored flow changes and turnover rates (releases by admissions) over time, nationally as well as regionally.

Systematically recording admissions to and releases from segregation and exploring turnover rates nationally and across the five administrative regions of CSC yielded important information on the implementation of new operational practices.

What we found

Nationally, admissions to administrative segregation decreased in 2015-16 relative to 2014-15 for a net overall reduction of 1,531 inmates (or -18.4%) from 8,319 to 6,788 since April 2014.

Overall, declines in admissions to and rises in releases were observed across all five administrative regions of CSC.

When calculating turnover rates in administrative segregation (the number of releases by the number of admissions) the national rate rose from 1.005 in 2013-14 to 1.012 in 2014-15 and to 1.028 in 2015-16. Regionally, the Atlantic region recorded the highest turnover rate of 1.039 in 2015-16 relative to .995 in 2013-14. Similarly, the Prairie region showed a higher turnover rate of 1.030 in 2015-16 relative to .998 in 2013-14. Also in 2015-16, Quebec (1.030), Ontario (1.024) and Pacific (1.016) have recorded more releases from than admissions to administrative segregation. 

What it means

The recent and substantial decline in administrative segregation counts is reflective of increased turnover due to changes in operational practice. More specifically, that recent trend has been one of a more releases and fewer placements.  Future trend analyses will determine whether or not this decline is a short burst in a downward trajectory. 

For more information

Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.

You can also visit the Research Publications section for a full list of reports and one-page summaries.

Prepared by: Larry Motiuk and Mike Hayden