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Citizens’ Advisory Committees in Canada

2004 No R-147

Shelley Trevethan
Christopher J. Rastin
Amey Bell
Christa Gillis

Research Branch
Correctional Service of Canada

June 2004

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The involvement of the public is seen as an integral part in the management of the federal correctional system in Canada. Citizens’ Advisory Committees (CACs) represent one way that citizens are involved in the correctional process. CACs have been in place in some form since the mid-1960s. Since their inception, however, CACs have been subject to relatively little research.

There are three types of CACs in place: institutional, community and joined CACs. Institutional CACs involve community members working together on a CAC where a federal correctional facility is located. Community CACs involve community members working together on a CAC where a parole office, Community Correctional Centre, or District Office is located. Joined CACs involves community members working on a CAC that serves both an institution and parole office.

In consultation with a CAC advisory group, this research project profiled CAC members across Canada, including their perceptions about the criminal justice system. The project also described the activities CACs are involved in, discussed differences in models of CACs, examined the effectiveness of CACs and explored issues they are currently facing. This involved the completion of membership surveys by 244 CAC members and interviews with 38 CAC chairs.

Profile

The CAC membership profile differs from that of the general Canadian population. Specifically, CAC members are older, more likely to be married or in a common-law relationship, less likely to be of a visible minority group, more educated, and have higher incomes than Canadians in general. In contrast to findings from 1991 and 1995 surveys, men and women are now fairly equally represented among CAC members, they tend be older, and are less likely to have a college or university education.

Overall, CAC members possess positive attitudes toward offenders, support the rehabilitation of offenders, and are neutral about the use of deterrence for offenders (that is, are neither completely for nor completely against the use of punishment). Therefore, CAC members generally perceive offenders to be like average citizens, capable of positive change and reintegration into society. In addition, CAC members have fairly positive views about the criminal justice system compared with the Canadian population in general. However, they are more pessimistic than Canadians in general about the system’s ability to provide swift justice and help victims.

Activities

CAC chairs described the organizational structure of their respective CAC as either formal or informal. Formal structures were typical of a hierarchical order of authority, while more flexible and diverse roles were characteristic of informal structures.

According to CAC members, the main purpose of CACs is clearly indicative of the three primary roles: liaison, observer and advisor. CAC members partake in a number of activities within their respective CAC, including meetings and discussions with Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and keeping informed about various aspects of the correctional process. Only small proportions said that they were involved in parole hearings, acting as independent observers during disturbances, or developing community resources.

There are some differences in activities engaged in by institutional and community CACs. Not surprisingly, institutional CAC members tend to be more involved in activities related to the correctional facilities, such as institutional visits and meetings with offenders. Institutional CAC members were also more likely to engage in training other CAC members and to contribute to offender programs. Because many institutional CACs have been in operation longer than community CACs, the members may be more experienced to provide training or aid in program development.

Effectiveness

CAC members reported a substantial amount of knowledge on the mission statements of CSC and CACs, and on the role of CACs. However, they said that they were less knowledgeable on policies and procedures relating to crises, and issues affecting victims and correctional staff. Moreover, members said they were fairly satisfied with their work as CAC members and with their interactions with CSC. Members valued the opportunity to learn from their volunteer experience and to provide input in order to make a positive impact on the correctional process. CAC members felt that they have personally gained from volunteering and have individually contributed to their CAC for a number of reasons. Finally, CAC members said that their ability to be independent observers, provide advice and recommendations, and interact with staff were the most effective elements of CACs. They felt that effectiveness could be improved in areas of policy, programs, and operational safety.

Some potential issues were raised by CAC members and chairs. The major issues identified included: communication with CSC and CACs, training and recruitment, community involvement and education, and funding.

Summary

This research has provided a descriptive profile of CAC members while demonstrating some key areas in which the various types of CAC members are different from one another and from the general Canadian population. The characteristics of CAC chairs’ experiences, activities, knowledge, and satisfaction also provide insight to the role of CACs in general. In addition, chairs and members identified some common issues facing CACs at this time, which can be recognized as potential areas for improvement and increased effectiveness. However, it must be acknowledged that both chairs and members are very satisfied with their work in CACs, and emphasized many beneficial aspects of this experience.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to take this opportunity to thank numerous people who assisted in the completion of this study. First of all, we would like to thank the advisory group created for this project, for their assistance in guiding the research. Dr. Charles Emmrys, the National Chair of CACs, was the driving force behind the initiation of this research. We would also like to thank the Citizen Engagement Division of Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) for their support in this project, specifically Helen Friel and Christine Cloutier.

In addition, we would like to thank members of the Research and Review and Evaluation Branches of the Correctional Service of Canada. In particular, we would like to thank Martine Maybury for her interviewing skills, data entry and qualitative analysis; Marlene Pepin for her work with interviewing CAC chairs from across Canada; and Reagan Letourneau for her qualitative data analysis skills, interviewing CAC chairs, and assistance in the organization of this study. Also, our appreciation is extended to Michael Jeffery and Lynn Thrasher of the Research Branch for their valuable assistance in the logistics of the study.

We would also like to thank the CAC members who completed the surveys and CAC chairs who participated in the interviews. Your time is appreciated, and the information you provided was invaluable.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

The involvement of the public is seen as an integral part in the management of the federal correctional system in Canada. This is reflected in the policies, values and practices of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC). For instance, a guiding principle of core value 1 is that “we recognize the value of family and community relationships". A guiding principle of core value 5 is that it is necessary to consult the appropriate segments of the public in the development of the service’s key policies (CSC, 2002).

Citizens’ Advisory Committees (CACs) represent one way that citizens are involved in the correctional process. CACs have been in place in some form since the mid-1960s. In 1977, the MacGuigan report noted the need to have public involvement in the correctional system, and recommended that CACs be implemented in all correctional institutions across Canada. This parliamentary subcommittee stated that the public has a vested interest in correctional facilities being peaceful, and serving the public good (MacGuigan, 1977). Today, there are CACs associated with all federal correctional facilities in Canada, and over 20 with parole offices.

MacGuigan Report

Arguably, the MacGuigan Report (1977) had a major influence on the role of CACs within the correctional system. A parliamentary subcommittee was established in October 1976, after a series of violent and hostage-taking incidents in Canadian correctional facilities from 1975 to 1976. According to a report by the Solicitor General Canada (1987), these incidents climaxed in the fall of 1976 when almost simultaneous disturbances occurred at Laval institution in Quebec and Millhaven institution in Ontario, as well as several British Columbia federal correctional facilities. The purpose of the subcommittee that submitted the MacGuigan report was to investigate the adequacy of security, custodial facilities and correctional programs in the federal correctional facilities.

The subcommittee made 65 recommendations after its investigation. Chapter IX of the report examined reintegration programs and ways to increase the effectiveness of these programs. It was noted that a larger role should be made for community participation in federal corrections, through the use of CACs (MacGuigan, 1977). The report specifically recommended that CACs be implemented in all correctional institutions throughout Canada. Several years later, a Commissioner’s Directive stated that, in addition to all correctional facilities, all parole offices in Canada should have a CAC (CSC, 1990).

Citizens’ Advisory Committees

CACs consist of citizen volunteers from communities where a federal penitentiary, parole office, or Community Correctional Centre (CCC) is located. At the time of this study, there were CACs operating in all 52 federal correctional facilities in Canada, and 26 CACs operating in the community, associated with parole offices or Community Correctional Centres (Emmrys, 2003). According to the CSC Commissioner’s Directive (CD) 0231, the objective of CACs is:

To foster positive relations with the community by engaging citizens in the development of policies and offender programs and to ensure that they are enriched by diverse perspectives (CSC, 2003).

Members of CACs are appointed by the warden of the institution or director of the parole office, with the consent of the Deputy Commissioner of the region. CD 023 states that the membership of each CAC should be representative of the community the CAC serves. In addition, the representatives of the CAC should be reflective of the institution and community at large. Typically, a CAC should not operate with less than five or more than 15 members. In addition, appointments of CAC members should not normally be for a period of less than two years (CSC, 2003).

The role of CACs is to2:

  • provide advice to CSC regarding correctional operations, programs, policies, and plans;
  • act as impartial observers of and provide feedback on the day-to-day activities and operations of CSC;
  • act as liaison with staff and offenders and their representatives, other organizations including criminal justice and advocacy groups and the community to address correctional issues; and,
  • local committees should establish clear objectives and undertake activities that will support them (CSC, 2003).

In terms of operations, local meetings of CACs are called at the discretion of the committees or the director. Meeting places are to be made available and accessible to CACs through CSC. Likewise, CSC supports and encourages periodic national conferences to exchange information among all CAC members when there is sufficient justification for such meetings. Figure 1 illustrates the national organizational structure of CACs in Canada.

1 The policy on Citizens’ Advisory Committees was changed in March 2003 (see CSC, 1990; CSC, 2003). The policy was changed for the following reasons: a) CACs are now required at each operational unit; b) to respond to the recommendations of the Gentles Inquest; c) to further clarify the role of CACs; and d) to identify who is responsible for the program in CSC (CSC, 2003).

2 The roles of CACs were also slightly amended with the change of policy in March 2003 (CSC, 2003).

The National Executive of CACs was implemented in 1979. Each CSC region has one representative that sits on the National Executive. This executive elects the national CAC Chairperson every two years (CSC, 1999).

All members of local CACs in a given region are members of that region’s regional committee. The elected CAC chairperson represents each local CAC in a particular region. Furthermore, each member of the regional committee elects a regional chairperson who, along with the regional CAC coordinator, is responsible for the administration of each regional CAC (CSC, 1999).

The local committees meet approximately once a month, at their respective penitentiary or parole office. This meeting place encourages familiarity with the facility and contact with staff and offenders (CSC, 1999).

Previous Research

To date, there have been five studies that have examined various aspects of CACs. This has included a review of advisory committees (CSC, 1991), two national CAC membership surveys (CAC 1995), a CSC warden and district director national survey of CACs (Demers, 2000), and a CAC membership survey in the Ontario region (Andrychuk & Howarth, 2002).

A report published by CSC (1991) reviewed the status of CACs in Canada at that time. The review was broad in scope, evaluating both the National and Regional Advisory Committees, which consisted of several subcommittees (e.g., Interfaith, Educational and Employment Subcommittees). The evaluation also included a profile of CAC members based on data from a 1991 membership survey.

The survey also asked questions regarding volunteers’ perceptions about the purpose and roles of CACs. The report clustered responses into four main roles. First, respondents identified their role as a liaison between the institution, community, CSC, offenders and volunteers. Second, the role of advisors on objectives, policies, programs and procedures was noted. Third was the role of educator; respondents felt that CAC volunteers have a primary role in educating the public regarding the nature of corrections. Lastly, it was identified that CAC volunteers are mediators, specifically between offenders and correctional staff.

With regard to functional structure, it was found that most CACs met monthly, while 80% reported meeting from 4 to 12 times in a given year. When asked how often committees should meet, 80% of respondents felt that 4 to 12 meetings a year was appropriate. Regarding CSC involvement in CACs, 50% of respondents noted that there were no CSC representatives on their committee. The other 50% reported having between one and four CSC representatives on their CAC. The report also noted that 94% of respondents did not want their CSC representation to change.

The report found that 80% of CAC members reported a high level of satisfaction with CSC. However, those CAC volunteers who reported good access to CSC staff also reported that volunteers should be more informed by CSC in order to provide better knowledge for volunteers. Overall, internal communications between CAC members were rated as good. However, some members reported frustration and uncertainty of their roles as CAC members.

An important area of assessment in this research includes the volunteers’ perceived impact on the criminal justice system. Overall, 50% of the volunteers reported feelings of having “little-to-no” impact in the areas of policy, programs, public awareness and crisis management. In addition, the report found that, although the majority of respondents felt that CSC support is sufficient, 30% felt that there was a need for increased financial support to CACs from CSC, in addition to increased support from CSC headquarters, the community and institutional staff.

Two membership surveys have been conducted by the CAC National Executive (CAC, 1995). The purpose of these surveys was to gather information about CAC membership and its organization. The 1991 national membership survey had a response rate of 40% (134 out of 336), while the 1995 membership survey had a response rate of 30% (129 out of 430). The majority of respondents were male in 1991 (80%) and 1995 (62%). In 1991, three-quarters of CAC members were 45 years of age or older (76%), while this proportion decreased in 1995 (68%). Most CAC members had a college or university education in 1991 (68%) and in 1995 (80%). The average number of years as a CAC member has remained consistent, with 4.2 years in 1991 and 4.4 years in 1995. The same proportion of members in each year reported that they became a volunteer because they were asked by another CAC member (50%). Additionally, members continue to be asked to join by someone in CSC (29% in 1991 and 27% in 1995). Members said they volunteered an average of 6.3 hours per month in 1991 and 5.1 hours per month in 1995. Members’ understanding of their role in a CAC has dramatically increased from 34% in 1991 to 97% in 1995.

Additional information regarding individuals who comprise CACs was provided in the 1995 national membership survey. The majority of CAC members volunteered at a medium security institution (37%). Eight percent reported being part of a visible minority group. Over half of CAC members (57%) reported that they have been a member for over three years. Many were volunteers in other activities (82%).

In 1995, the overwhelming majority (91%) were satisfied or very satisfied with their experience on the CAC. More specifically, members were satisfied with the opportunity for organizational input (89%), the level of communication in CACs (82%), the achievement of CAC goals (81%), the level of CSC orientation received (80%), the impact of their advice on CSC (68%), and the level of consultation with CSC (67%). Over one-half of CAC members (56%) reported the opportunity to contribute to public education in their communities, which included community presentations (27%), tours of CSC facilities (14%), and media interviews (11%) (CAC, 1995).

Demers (2000) reviewed the findings of a national survey distributed to CSC wardens and district directors (n=59) in 1999. The goals of this project were to increase the effectiveness of CACs in the following year and to explore the perceptions of CSC representatives regarding CACs. This included an investigation of the role of CACs, expectations of CACs, priority areas for CAC involvement, the value of CACs, and areas for increased effectiveness.

The wardens and district directors were asked to identify the role of CACs in the year following the study. The respondents indicated the need for increased interaction between the public and CSC, especially in the areas of program and policy development. They also noted that CSC staff, inmates and the public required greater clarification about the role of CACs. A focus on education in the form of increased membership and participation in community forums was also indicated. Similar to the forecasted role of CACs in the year 2000, wardens and district directors expected increased CAC involvement and communication. This included facilitating positive relationships and collaboration with CSC staff and offenders, and engaging in public awareness and recruitment strategies. Furthermore, several priority areas were identified by the respondents. Specifically, public education, restorative justice, networking, reintegration, and community liaison were suggested as priorities.

According to the participating wardens and district directors, CACs were considered valuable to the institution or parole unit in a number ways. For example, CACs were useful in providing impartial feedback, effective in helping inmates, providing an opportunity for CSC staff and community to interact, and challenging institutions to provide better correctional services. Respondents also felt that CACs would be more effective if they provided more ideas about programs, risk management, and public relationships. They also suggested that CACs be more active in helping offenders with work and community service opportunities upon release. Overall, the work of CACs was highly valued by wardens and district directors. The respondents acknowledged the high-level of commitment and effort of CACs including their ability to assist in positive community engagement, increased public understanding of correctional issues, and enhancement of relations among staff, offenders, and communities.

Andrychuk and Howarth (2002) outlined the findings of a CAC membership survey in the Ontario region (n=38)3. This survey allowed CAC institutional and community members to express their opinions about CSC operations, services, and programs. Among the CAC members surveyed, the greatest level of consensus was with regard to the capability of rehabilitative and educational programs to effectively reduce the risk of recidivism. In addition, survey respondents agreed that funding for CSC operations was inadequate and current efforts to reduce institutional violence and drugs were ineffective; however, staff–offender relationships were rated as favourable. In general, there was agreement that CSC management and staff understood and supported CACs, and that CACs promoted positive interactions between CSC and the community.

3 107 surveys were sent to CAC members in the Ontario region, for a response rate of 36%.

Current Project

The present study was a joint endeavor conducted by the Research Branch and Evaluation and Review Branch of CSC, initiated by the Citizen Engagement Division of Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the National Executive Committee of Citizens’ Advisory Committees. The purpose of the study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of CACs currently in place. The project is meant to provide information that will help to improve the effectiveness of CACs.

Over time, there have been many changes in Canadian society and corrections generally. These changes may impact on the role and functioning of CACs. The present study provides a profile of CAC members that can be used to examine changes from earlier profiles. The people who comprise CACs, how they operate, and the attitudes of the CAC volunteers have been subject to little research. This study is intended to provide insight into several areas of CACs. The research questions are as follows:

  1. What is the profile of CAC members?
  2. What attitudes do CAC members have?
  3. What activities are CACs involved in?
  4. What models of CACs are in place across Canada?
  5. How effective are CACs?
  6. What issues are those involved in CACs facing?

METHODOLOGY

This study used a membership survey and chair interview to investigate the research questions.

Membership Survey

A membership survey was developed in a questionnaire format (see Appendix B). The membership survey consists of three sections. Section A includes information on the CAC membership profile. This section examines a variety of socio-demographic characteristics such as age, gender, marital status, annual family income, primary language, education and profession. The section also includes information on involvement in the CAC, such as why the person joined, how long he/she has been a member, number of hours of involvement in the CAC and involvement in other volunteer activities. Section B examines the perceptions of CAC members. Section C examines experiences CAC members have with their CAC, including involvement in various activities, knowledge of certain areas, perceptions of effectiveness and satisfaction with various aspects of CACs.

The perception component of the survey, although often used with correctional staff and offenders, was a new concept for use with CAC members. Since one of the roles of CACs is to provide advice to CSC in respect to the correctional process, it was decided that it was important to examine the perceptions of members towards the criminal justice system. This section of the survey contained three psychometric tests: the Attitudes Towards Prisoners Scale (ATPS) (Melvin, Gramling & Gardner, 1985), the Support for Rehabilitation Scale (SRS) (Cullen, Lutze, Link & Wolfe, 1989) and the Support for Deterrence Scale (SDS) (Cullen, Cullen & Wozniak, 1988). In addition, attitudes about the criminal justice system were examined using information from the General Social Survey (Besserer & Trainor, 1999).

The ATPS, SRS and SDS have been used on a variety of criminal justice populations, and their authors advocate their use on many different populations within the criminal justice system. The psychometric properties of these tests appear suitable to use on volunteers of CACs. In addition, the three items from the General Social Survey have been used on a substantial sample of the Canadian population, and yield comparative data for the present study. The items of the ATPS, SRS and SDS were randomly sorted in the overall questionnaire. The three psychometric scales used in this study have been validated using a deception scale, to assess the accuracy of results, given social desirability. Results indicated that there was no significant influence of social desirability on these psychometric scales (Melvin et al., 1985; Cullen et al., 1989).

Attitudes Towards Prisoners Scale

The Attitudes Towards Prisoners Scale (ATPS) (Melvin et al., 1985) is a 36-item Likert Scale with the items correlated at least.47 with a general factor. The ATPS possesses high split-half (r = 0.84 to 0.92) and test-retest (r = 0.82) reliability. No evidence of response distortion has been found. A number of comparisons between selected groups provides evidence of validity. Groups of prisoners, as well as persons engaged in prisoner rehabilitation or prison reform, scored highest on the scale. Intermediate-scoring groups consisted of students, community members, and correctional officers. As predicted by the authors, the group with the lowest average ATPS scores consisted of law enforcement officers.

Higher scores suggest that offenders are viewed as average citizens, capable of positive change, whereas lower scores reflect the view that offenders are seen in a less positive light. Some items are reverse-scored. Each response score is equivalent to the corresponding number selected by the respondent. All response scores are then summed. Scores can range from 0 to 144. The scale has good test-retest reliability (r =.82 between pre- and post-test) and excellent internal consistency. The scale appears to be free of response distortion, for example, social desirability. In a number of comparisons, the ATPS differentiated among key groups namely, reform/rehabilitation groups, inmates, students, community members, law enforcement officers and correctional officers, in the predicted directions, thus providing evidence of construct validity (Melvin et al., 1985). Split half reliability for four different samples were: law enforcement officers (r = 0.92, p < 0.01), prisoners (r = 0.88, p < 0.01), and persons involved in prison reform or prisoner rehabilitation work (r = 0.86, p < 0.01) (Melvin et al., 1985).

The ATPS was used by the British Prison Service (Hogue, 1995) to assess attitudinal changes in staff after a three-week training program. A total of 81 individuals working within the British Prison System participated in the training program. All participants were trained to facilitate treatment groups with sexual offenders as part of multidisciplinary team approach. The training involved participating in a modular course for a duration of three weeks. Subjects included prison officers, probation officers, psychologists and staff from other backgrounds who had been selected to run sexual offender treatment groups as part of a national prison service initiative. Results indicated that there was a significant change in attitudes of the subjects when using the ATPS.

Support for Rehabilitation Scale

The Support for Rehabilitation Scale (SRS) is a nine-item scale created by Cullen, Lutze, Link and Wolfe (1989) to measure an individual’s orientation towards rehabilitation. The nine statements are scored according to a seven-point Likert Scale, with responses ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) (Cullen et al., 1989). Summing the items yields a total score, with higher scores reflecting stronger support for rehabilitation. Scores can range from 9 to 63. The SRS has been used with correctional staff, other criminal justice employees, and the public at large. Internal consistency values across samples were 0.79 (Cullen et al., 1989), and 0.84 (Cullen, Clark, Cullen & Mathers, 1985), indicating good internal consistency of the scale.

Cullen et al. (1985) used the SRS on a sample of 156 individuals, randomly selected from the general public. In addition, the same scale was administered to criminal justice participants, including lawyers, judges, legislators, prison guards, and correctional administrators. Psychometric validity in these samples appears satisfactory.

Support for Deterrence Scale

The Support for Deterrence Scale (SDS) was designed to measure the attitudes of correctional officers towards prisoners as a means to deter offenders from committing crimes. It consists of five items answered on a seven-point Likert Scale, ranging from “very strongly agree” (1) to “very strongly disagree” (7) (Cullen et al., 1988). Higher scores indicate a stronger belief that deterrence4 is effective in reducing crimes. Scores range from 5 to 35. The SDS is a five-item sub-scale from the 13-item Punishment scale developed by Cullen, Cullen and Wozniak (1988). Cullen et al. (1988) reported a high Cronbach alpha level (α = 0.80).

This study was based on the same data that were used to assess attitudes with the Support for Rehabilitation Scale (Cullen et al., 1985). Cullen et al. (1988) used the SDS on a sample of 156 randomly-selected individuals from the general public. The same scale was administered to criminal justice participants, including lawyers, judges, legislators, prison guards, and correctional administrators. Psychometric validity in these samples appeared satisfactory.

Items from each of the three scales were randomly distributed in the membership survey. Although the SRS and SDS were originally created on a seven-point Likert Scale, the scales in the membership survey were modified and converted to a five-point Likert Scale5. The two scales were changed to maintain consistency in scale presentation with regard to the ATPS. It was hoped that a consistent scale rating would minimize confusion among respondents when completing the survey. At the time of data analyses, the scores from the five-point scale in the SRS and SDS were converted to scores along a seven-point continuum using a linear transformation6. This is a valid technique commonly used in statistics in order to adapt a scale to meet the needs of the research while maintaining the reliability and validity of the scale, and ultimately allowing for comparisons to be made. This step was necessary in order to compare the results of the membership survey to previous research conducted using these scales.

4 Deterrence represents the punitive ideal that punishment in various forms has the capacity to stop offenders from committing crime and ultimately reduces crime.

5 Similar conversions have been made to the respective scales in other correctional research (Tellier, Dowden, Fournier & Franson, 2001).

6 A linear transformation involves multiplication of X by a constant. The relationship among the values remain unaffected in the sense that it does not distort values at one part of the scale more than values at another part (Howell, 1997).

General Social Survey

In addition to the above psychometric tests, items from the Statistics Canada General Social Survey (GSS) were used (see Besserer & Trainor, 1999). The following items were used to compare the results obtained from the present study and those in the GSS:

  1. Do you think that the Canadian criminal courts do a poor job, an average job or a good job: of providing justice quickly; of helping the victim; of determining whether the accused or the person charged is guilty or not; of ensuring a fair trial for the accused?
  2. Do you think that the prison system does a poor job, an average job or a good job: of supervising and controlling prisoners while in prison; of helping prisoners becoming law-abiding citizens?
  3. Do you think that the parole system does a poor job, an average job, or a good job (the responsibility of the parole system is to decide which prison inmates can serve part of their sentence in the community under supervision and to make sure the conditions of parole are being met; if offenders don’t meet parole conditions they can be returned to prison) of releasing offenders who are not likely to commit another crime and of supervising offenders on parole?

The GSS, originating in 1985, is conducted through telephone interviews. Each survey contains a core topic, focus or exploratory question and a standard set of socio-demographic questions used for classification. More recent cycles have also included some qualitative questions, which explore opinions and perceptions.

The primary objectives of the GSS are to gather data on social trends in order to monitor temporal changes in the living conditions and well-being of Canadians, and to provide immediate information on specific social policy issues of current or emerging interest. Until 1998, the sample size was approximately 10,000 persons. This was increased in 1999 to at least 25,000. With a sample of at least 25,000, results are available at both the national and provincial levels and possibly for some special population groups such as disabled persons, visible minorities and seniors.

Participants

All current CAC members were provided with an opportunity to complete the membership survey. In total, 244 membership surveys were completed7 out of an estimated 450 CAC members who were eligible for participation in the study — a response rate of 54%. It should be noted that a response rate of 54% is good for mail-out survey methodology.

Despite the high response rate, the number of questions completed in each survey appeared to decrease as the participants completed the survey. This is most likely the result of participant fatigue given the length of the membership survey. Furthermore, some members were relatively new to CACs, and may not have felt comfortable completing the entire survey.

7 A total of 248 membership surveys were received, but due to missing information, only 244 could be included for data analysis.

Chair Interview

The second measure utilized for this project was an interview with a sample of CAC chairs. The interview questions were designed to examine the chairs’ perceptions of CACs and were administered by telephone. The chair interview consisted of four sections: CAC structure, CAC interactions, CAC activities and experiences with CACs (see Appendix C).

Section A of the chair interview examined the overall structure and composition of the CAC, including number of members, ethnic composition of the CAC, structure, education and employment levels of the overall CAC. Section B examined the interactions the CAC may have with a variety of groups within CSC (e.g., warden, parole office director, medical staff, offenders) and the extent of those interactions. Section C examines the activities that the CAC may be involved in, both at the institutional and community levels, and the extent to which the CACs engage in these activities. Section D examines the experiences the CAC chair has with their CAC, CSC and the perceptions of their CAC.

Participants

Criteria were established in order to select the sample of chairs to be interviewed. First of all, in order to ensure knowledgeable respondents, only chairs from CACs that had been in operation for a year or more were selected. Furthermore, in order to ensure sufficient representation for analyses, all CACs associated with healing lodges and women’s facilities were selected and CACs in the Atlantic region were over-sampled. Of the remaining CACs, the Pacific, Prairie, Ontario and Quebec regions were each stratified to provide an equal representation of CACs. Lastly, the sample was stratified to equally represent minimum, medium, maximum and multiple security institutions across each region. The Special Handling Unit (SHU) was also included.

Originally, it was proposed that interviews would be undertaken with approximately one-half of the institutions with CAC chairs (or 26 institutions). However, some CAC chairs were unable to participate because some had not been in operation for at least one year, or there was a new chair who did not have enough experience to provide information in the interview. Further, researchers were unable to contact some chairs in order to ask for their participation. As a result, 21 institutional CACs were contacted for the study and all agreed to participate (100% response rate).

The sampling of CAC chairs from parole offices differed from that of the institutions. Most importantly, the decision to choose CACs that had been in operation for a year or more had an impact on the parole office sample. For example, no interviews for CACs for parole offices could be conducted in the Quebec region, because no CAC had been in operation for a year or more. In addition, some CACs associated with parole offices chosen for the sample were no longer in operation when it came time to conduct the interview. Therefore, the sampling of the parole office CACs can be best described strictly as a convenience sample.

As described above, although approximately one-half of all parole offices with operating CACs (or 21 parole offices) were intended to be sampled, many were not eligible to participate since many had only recently formed or had ended. This meant that 17 community CACs met the criteria and all agreed to participate in the survey (100% response rate).

Process

The research project began with the creation of an advisory committee composed of representatives from CSC National Headquarters (Research Branch, Review and Evaluation Branch, Citizen Engagement Division), CSC regional representatives, and CAC representatives (national chair, regional chairs). Following initial meetings with the advisory committee, a work plan was prepared and approved. It was agreed that a membership survey and chair interviews would be conducted. Instruments for the membership survey and chair interviews were prepared and approved by the advisory committee. Prior to beginning data collection, a letter describing the project was sent to all CAC chairs, wardens and directors of parole offices.

The membership survey was mailed to the warden of every institution, and the director of every parole office, that had a CAC in operation. For each CAC, a survey package containing copies of the membership survey, administration guidelines, and a letter explaining the logistics and rationale behind the survey, was provided. The survey was provided to CAC members either by a representative of the institution or parole office, or the chair of the CAC. Completed membership surveys were mailed to the Research Branch of CSC.

Interviews were conducted with the sample of CAC chairs chosen from institutions and parole offices. Four researchers were trained to administer the interviews. The interviews required from one to two hours to complete.

The data from the membership surveys and chair interviews were input by the Research Branch of CSC. Open-ended questions were examined and, where appropriate, themes were developed and coded for analysis. Once a dataset was prepared, analyses were conducted to address the research questions.

Analyses

This study used standard analytical techniques regarding quantified data analysis. Analyses were conducted using SAS (version 8.2) and SAS Enterprise (SAS Institute Inc, 2002). This includes T-tests, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), measures of association (R2), as well as chi-square analyses using standard contingency tables. In addition, when testing for equality of variances when conducting a t-test, some analyses indicated significant differences. In these cases, the Satterthwaite method was used to compensate for this statistical assumption violation. The Satterthwaite method compensates by modifying the degrees of freedom performed in the analysis (SAS, 1999).

It should also be noted that random sampling was limited in this study. Although the membership survey was intended to retrieve results from all CAC members, not all members were willing or able to complete their membership survey. Therefore, responses from the membership survey are not from a random sample. In addition, the chair interviews were conducted using a stratified sample.

RESULTS

The purpose of the study was to provide a comprehensive understanding of Citizens’ Advisory Committees (CACs) currently in place within the federal correctional process. The project was meant to provide information that could help to improve the effectiveness of CACs. The following describes the results of the project. Appendix A provides all statistical tables.

Profile of CAC members

The following provides a profile of CAC members, using data from the membership survey and interviews with CAC chairs. Differences between CACs associated with federal correctional facilities and those associated with community parole offices or Community Correctional Centres (CCCs) are examined. Furthermore, the findings are compared, when possible, with those of the Canadian population (Census of population, Statistics Canada, 2001) and previous research conducted on CACs.

As noted earlier, 244 CAC members completed the membership survey. In total, 29 respondents were from the Pacific region, 65 from the Prairie region, 45 from the Ontario region, 63 from the Quebec region, and 42 from the Atlantic region (Table 1). Of the completed surveys, 150 were from CACs associated with federal correctional facilities, 85 from CACs associated with parole offices or CCCs, and 9 from CACs associated with both correctional facilities and parole offices8.

8 A CAC may be associated with an institution, a parole office, multiple institutions, or an institution and a parole office.

Involvement in CACs

CAC chairs noted that recruitment is most often accomplished through other CAC members, CSC staff, and the use of pamphlets. About one-half (53%) of the chairs interviewed said that they were very satisfied with the recruitment process in place.

The largest proportion of CAC members said they became a member of the CAC because another member (45%) or someone in CSC (39%) asked them to join. Members from institutional CACs were more likely to have been recruited by other CAC members than those from community-based CACs (54% versus 30%). Community-based CAC members were more likely to have been recruited by CSC staff (57% versus 28%).

Members joined the CAC for a variety of reasons, such as wanting to have greater community involvement (66%), wanting to learn more about the criminal justice system (40%), wanting to contribute to a safe society (40%), wanting to assist offenders (30%), or because the work is related to members’ studies and profession (19%). Larger proportions of community-based than institutional CAC members said they joined the CAC to have greater community involvement (75% versus 59%), to contribute to a safe society (57% versus 30%), and to assist offenders (39% versus 24%)9. The vast majority of CAC members (88%) said that they participate in other volunteer activities.

9 Members may have given a number of reasons for joining the CAC. Therefore, the percentages do not add to 100%.

The respondents have been active members of CACs for fairly long periods of time. More than one-half (55%) of CAC members have been volunteering for three years or more. This indicates that many members are continuing to have their membership renewed after the two-year mandate. In general, CAC members associated with institutions had been involved in CACs for longer periods of time than those associated with parole offices or CCCs. Only 15% of institutional CAC members had been involved in the CAC for less than one year, compared with almost one-half (47%) of members associated with parole offices. This is not particularly surprising because the implementation of community-based CACs is a relatively recent occurrence.

Similar to findings from previous member surveys, the majority of members are asked by other CAC members to join. However, more members are being asked by CSC representatives than in previous years. For example, similar proportions of members in 1991 and 1995 were asked by CSC representatives to join the CAC (29% and 27%, respectively), however, this proportion was higher in this survey (39%). The proportion of members who have been involved in CACs for three years or more is unchanged from 1995. Members continue to be involved in other volunteer activities.

According to the CAC chairs interviewed, the turn-over of CAC members in the last two years was 41%. There was an average of two CAC members who departed a CAC in the last two years (range from zero to eight members). There was no statistically significant difference between the proportions of turn-over among institutional and community members. There are three possible reasons for this high turn-over rate. First, many community CACs in the Quebec region had just been created at the time of the survey; therefore, the length of membership would not have accumulated up until this point. Second, the initial two years may be a very short-term option for some members, and this timeframe may be characteristic of a transitional member population. Third, the numbers provided by chairs are estimations and may not provide the most accurate turn-over rate. There are certainly some CAC members who continue their membership over the years and represent a group of individuals who are very committed and dedicated to their respective CAC. One reason provided by chairs for why people have left CACs is because of personal reasons (53%) such as family commitment, job change, conflict of interest, or moving. Other reasons were difficulty meeting the time requirements of the CAC (32%), health-related reasons (29%), and a lack of satisfaction with the impact of the CAC (21%).

Approximately 46% of CAC members volunteer for approximately one to three hours a month. A further one-quarter (28%) spend from four to six hours volunteering. CAC members associated with institutions report spending more time per month volunteering on the CAC. More than one-half (56%) of institutional CAC members reported volunteering four hours or more a month, compared with about one-third (31%) of community CAC members.

The majority of CAC members (53%) live within 10 kilometers from the respective CSC institutional facility or parole office. This is a positive and important feature for CAC members, as it is important for CAC members to have quick access to CSC facilities in order to fully engage in their roles or to have ready access to be involved with the respective CSC facility. It is also important because CAC members are meant to represent the community surrounding the institution, parole office or community correctional facility. Living within the community would be important in order to have contact with other community members.

In the CAC chair interview, chairs reported an average of seven members in their CAC (ranging from 1 to 15 members). They also note that that their CACs meet about once a month (on average 11 times a year), with meetings typically held in the institution or parole office associated with the CAC.

The characteristics of CAC members differ from the Canadian population

The sample of CAC members who responded to the membership survey differ from the Canadian population as a whole (Statistics Canada, 2001) on some characteristics. As illustrated in Figure 2, 53% of CAC members are men, which is slightly higher than in the Canadian population (48%). Furthermore, CAC members tend to be older than the general Canadian population, with 82% of CAC members 45 years of age or older (compared with 37% in the Canadian population). CAC members associated with correctional facilities tend to be older than those associated with parole offices or CCCs. For instance, 32% of institutional CAC members are 65 years of age or older, compared with 11% of community-based CAC members. Almost three-quarters (71%) of CAC members are married or living in a common-law relationship, compared with about 60% of the Canadian population (Statistics Canada, 2001).

Almost three-quarters (71%) of the CAC members said that English was their primary language and one-quarter (27%) said it was French. Only 2% reported their primary language as being something other than English or French (compared with 10% in the Canadian population). In terms of ethnicity, 8% of the respondents reported being a visible minority and 5% Aboriginal. In the Canadian population, 13% are visible minorities and 4% are Aboriginal (Statistics Canada, 2001).

More than two-thirds (69%) of the respondents said they had completed post-secondary education, including a college, university or postgraduate degree. In comparison, about one-half (55%) of the Canadian population has a post-secondary degree including college, trades, or university (Statistics Canada, 2001).

As might be expected given the age of the respondents, the largest proportion of CAC members (38%) are retired. The next largest proportion reported having jobs related to the social sciences, education and religion (16%), followed by business, finance and administrative occupations (9%), and criminal justice (8%). Over one-half of the sample (62%) reported an average annual family income of $50,000 or greater. In comparison, 16% of Canadians have an average income of $50,000 and over (Statistics Canada, 2001).

The findings from the membership survey show some differences from what was found in earlier surveys. Over the years, the proportion of women involved in CACs has been increasing. In 1991, women comprised 20% of CAC members. This increased to 38% in 1995 and 47% in the current survey. Furthermore, the age of CAC members is older than in previous years; previous studies reported that 76% of CAC members in 1991 and 68% in 1995 were 45 years of age or older, whereas 82% of members are currently 45 years of age or older. Interestingly, the level of education among CAC members appears to have decreased from the 1995 survey. In 1991, 68% of CAC members had a college or university education. This was 80% in 1995, but 69% in the current survey. This may indicate that CACs are more reflective of the community that they represent.

The results are similar to those from the chair interviews. A large proportion of CAC chairs (41%) said that they did not think that their CAC reflected the local community. In order to make CAC members more reflective of the local community, they suggested more specific targeting of minority/ethnic groups, particularly through Aboriginal organizations. Although this approach makes sense, the findings from the membership survey indicate that a larger issue is the recruitment of other visible minority groups. It was also suggested that conducting more public education about CACs, and enhancing involvement with community organizations, could help make CACs more reflective of local communities.

In summary, CAC members are currently composed of both men and women, who are typically Caucasian, married, 45 years of age or older and highly educated. This profile is somewhat discrepant with what is seen in the general Canadian population, and different in a few key areas than what has been seen in previous surveys of CAC members.

Perceptions of CAC members

As noted in the methodology section, an important and innovative approach in this study was the idea to examine the perceptions of CAC members. Since one of the roles of CACs is to provide advice to CSC in respect to the correctional process, it is important to understand what perceptions members have towards the criminal justice system. Attitudes of CAC members in three primary criminal justice domains were examined: attitudes towards offenders, support for rehabilitation and support for deterrence. In addition, members’ perceptions of the criminal justice system were examined. The following discusses the results of the attitudinal measurement of CAC members in these domains (see Table 3).

CAC members have positive attitudes toward offenders

Overall, CAC members appear to have a favourable impression of offenders. Using the Attitudes toward Prisoners Scale (ATPS), CAC members had an average score of 91.6 (ranging from 60 to 125) out of a possible 144. A score in this range indicates that CAC members perceive offenders to be similar to those individuals who are not incarcerated (that is, a typical community member). Furthermore, a score at this level indicates that CAC members are likely to view offenders as individuals whom are capable of positive change.

Tests assessing differences in attitudes between institutional and community CACs were conducted. The findings indicate that community-based CAC members have significantly more positive attitudes toward offenders (mean = 94.2) than institutional CAC members (mean = 89.7). This may be because community-based CAC members have exposure to offenders in the community rather than in institutional settings. These offenders are typically lower risk and lower need, and may give a more positive impression.

In comparison to results from other research, CAC members appear to have fairly similar views of offenders as others assessed. For instance, in the southern United States, Melvin et al. (1985) found that offenders had a mean ATPS score of 109.5, rehabilitated offenders had a mean score of 108.3, and a group of students had a mean score of 90.510. Furthermore, correctional officers had an average score of 90.7, and law enforcement officers had an average score of 67.0. A community sample was also tested to assess the average citizens’ attitudes toward offenders. The community sample had an average score of 87.4. The attitudes of CAC members were similar to students and correctional officers, more optimistic than law enforcement officers and community members, and more pessimistic than offenders and rehabilitation groups.

10 It should be noted that this study was conducted in the southern United States in the early 1980s. Therefore, the comparison groups (e.g., correctional and law enforcement officers) are not necessarily representative of their Canadian counterparts.

CAC members support rehabilitation

In general, CAC members were supportive of the rehabilitation of offenders. The average score of CAC members for the Support for Rehabilitation Scale (SRS) was 49.8 (ranging from 24 to 62) out of a possible 63. A score in this range of the scale indicates that CAC members tend to have strong support for the rehabilitation of offenders. No significant differences were found between members from institutional and community CACs.

When compared with other groups previously tested with the SRS, CAC members had relatively high scores. Samples of correctional and case management officers from the southern United States of America were assessed using the SRS. Correctional officers were found to have a mean SRS score of 19.0 and case management officers had an average score of 23.0.

CAC members are neutral in their attitudes toward deterrence

Results indicate that members tend to be neutral in their opinions for the use of deterrence as a method of fighting and reducing crime. The average score of CAC members on the Support for Deterrence Scale (SDS) was 14.2 (ranging from 6 to 25) out of a possible 35. No significant differences were found between members from institutional and community CACs.

Although CAC members appear to be neutral in their support for deterrence, a correlation analysis indicates that as CAC members’ support for rehabilitation increases, their support for deterrence decreases (r = -0.5).

CAC members have fairly positive attitudes about the criminal justice system

The attitudinal component of the membership survey also included a variety of questions from the Statistics Canada General Social Survey (GSS) (1999). Overall, the results tend to indicate that CAC members have an optimistic view of the criminal justice system. For instance, almost two-thirds (62%) of CAC members feel that the prison system does a good job at supervising and controlling prisoners while in prison, and 58% feel that the Canadian criminal courts do a good job at ensuring a fair trial for the accused. In comparison to the results of the GSS in 1999, lower proportions of the Canadian population in general perceive the prison system as doing a good job at supervising and controlling prisoners (26%) and criminal courts as doing a good job at ensuring a fair trial (41%) (Besserer & Trainor, 1999).

About one-half of CAC members feel that the parole system is good at releasing offenders who are not likely to commit another crime (45%) and supervising offenders while on parole (44%). Based on the GSS, substantially lower proportions of Canadians reported that the parole system is good at releasing offenders not likely to re-offend (15%), and that the parole system is good at supervising offenders on parole (13%). One-third (33%) of CAC members said that the prison system does a good job at helping prisoners become law-abiding citizens, while only 14% of Canadians agree with this sentiment (Besserer & Trainor, 1999).

Further, 41% of CAC members indicated that criminal courts do a good job at determining whether the accused is guilty compared to 21% of Canadians in the general population. Finally, only 6% of CAC members said that the criminal courts do a good job at providing justice quickly and helping the victim. In these areas, CAC members have more pessimistic opinions than the Canadian public. For instance, 13% of Canadians reported that the criminal courts did a good job at providing justice quickly while 15% thought they did a good job at helping the victim (Besserer & Trainor, 1999).

A significantly larger proportion of community-based CAC members than institutional-based members feel that the parole system does a good job at supervising offenders while on parole (66% versus 29%) and releasing offenders who are not likely to commit another crime (59% versus 37%).

Summary

In summary, based on information from the membership survey, CAC members tend to have fairly positive attitudes towards offenders. Furthermore, they support rehabilitation and are neutral about (that is, neither support nor are against) the use of deterrence for offenders. Therefore, CAC members generally perceive offenders to be like average citizens, capable of positive change and reintegration into society. CAC members also have positive views of the criminal justice system in terms of providing fair trials, and in respect to offender supervision. However, they are more critical about such as the swiftness of the criminal justice system and with how victims are helped.

CAC Activities

According to the membership survey, 63% of members believe that the main purpose of CACs should be to act as liaison with the community. Smaller proportions said that their role was to observe the correctional process (29%), to provide advice (28%), and to communicate with/about offenders (19%)11.

11 More than one response was possible.

Table 4 provides an indication of the types of activities CAC members are involved in. CAC members engage in a large number of activities, including meetings with staff, visiting CSC facilities, and acting as independent observers. As illustrated in Figure 3, some of the activities CAC members said they are very involved in include having regular meetings and discussions with CSC managers and staff (59%), being well informed about the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system (50%), seeking information on general correctional issues (46%) and requesting information on all aspects of the correctional process (41%).

The smallest proportions of CAC members said they are frequently involved in the following activities:

  • Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts or grievance proceedings (8%);
  • Acting as independent observers during disturbances or crises (8%);
  • Assisting in developing community resources for institutional and pre-release or post-release programs (9%); and
  • Surveying attitudes of the community, offenders and correctional staff (9%).

Interestingly, while CAC members tended to think that the main purpose of CACs should be to act as liaison with the community, many of the most frequent activities they said they engaged in do not appear to involve the community. For instance, only one-quarter of the respondents said that they were very much involved in helping to increase communication between the local community and CSC, or increasing the awareness/understanding of community members.

As indicated in Table 4, there are some differences in activities engaged in by institutional and community CACs. Not surprisingly, institutional CAC members tend to be more involved in activities related to correctional facilities. For instance, institutional CAC members are more likely to make visits to CSC facilities than community CAC members (42% versus 20%), and to be involved in meetings with offenders (35% versus 11%). Furthermore, institutional CAC members are more likely to act as independent observers during disturbances or crises than community CAC members (11% versus 0%) and of day-to-day operations (26% versus 4%). This is the case because the work of institutional CAC members would typically necessitate more direct contact with correctional facilities and inmates. Also, institutional CAC members likely have greater access to offenders than community CAC members. Finally, CSC correctional facilities would most likely have more issues that require CAC members to act as independent observers during disturbances.

Institutional CAC members were significantly more likely to engage in activities relating to the training of other CAC members (21% versus 6%). They were also more likely to be involved in contributing to offender programs (24% versus 8%). This may be the case because institutional CACs are more established and have been in operation longer than community CACs. Therefore, institutional CAC members may be more experienced or may be better structured to provide training or aid in program development.

Overall, a larger proportion of institutional CAC members reported involvement in various activities than did community CAC members. This may be because some community CACs are still being formed and members are trying to determine exactly what their role should be. Not surprisingly, community-based CACs tend to be most involved in activities relating to the community. For instance, community CAC members are involved in addressing community attitudes (26%), increasing awareness of CSC in the community (24%), increasing communication between CSC and the community (23%), serving as a link between the community and CSC (23%), and assisting offenders in community reintegration (22%).

Over two-thirds (70%) of CAC members said they had the opportunity to participate in community outreach activities. Community outreach activities included such things as discussions with family, friends and neighbours, presentations to community groups, and hosting participation in public forums. A significantly larger proportion of institutional than community CAC members reported being involved in community outreach activities (76% versus 59%). This is a continued trend from the 1995 membership survey, where members reported involvement in community presentations, facility tours and media interviews.

CAC chairs reported that their CACs were involved in similar activities as those described by members themselves (Table 5). The largest proportion of chairs said that their CACs were very involved in having regular meetings and discussions with CSC managers and staff (79%), seeking information on general correctional issues (68%), requesting information on all aspects of the correctional process (66%), making regular visits to CSC facilities and programs (63%), and maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation (62%).

The three activities that the fewest CAC chairs reported engaging in were assisting in developing institutional and community pre- and post-release programs (14%), surveying attitudes (18%) and assisting offenders in community reintegration (22%).

Generally, CAC chairs reported that CACs participate more often in activities than CAC members themselves report. The four areas of greatest difference were in regard to training, liaison, observer, and facility visits. The most notable difference in activities reported by CAC chairs and members was their contribution to the training of other CAC members. Approximately 58% of CAC chairs said their CAC contributes to member training, compared with 17% of CAC members. Similarly, CAC chairs were more likely to report that their CAC participates in correctional workshops or training sessions than CAC members reported (42% versus 16%). This could be because these activities may be more salient for chairs, therefore, they recall them more readily.

Chairs and members also differed in the extent to which they reported CAC involvement in liaison and observation activities. For instance, 62% of chairs said that their CACs maintain a liaison role with other CACs through national, regional, and/or local participation compared to 23% of CAC members. CAC chairs were also more likely to say that their CAC was involved as independent observers of CSC’s day-to-day activities and operations (59% versus 20%) and as independent observers during disturbances or crises (42% versus 8%) than CAC members. CAC chairs were also more likely to report greater involvement of their CAC in making regular visits to CSC facilities and programs than CAC members (63% versus 34%).

Some of the similarities between chairs and members were specific to public education, communication, and making contributions to programs. Similar proportions of CAC chairs and members reported participation in the following areas: increasing awareness and understanding of the local community about CSC; assisting in the development of community resources for institutional, pre-release or post-release programs; contributing to offender programs in the institutions and community; helping to increase communication between local community and CSC; and meeting with community members to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues.

With regard to interaction with the respective CSC institution or parole office, approximately three-quarters (74%) of CAC chairs reported having a great deal of involvement with their associated institution or parole office.

CAC chairs were asked how often their CAC had contact with various groups. More than three-quarters (79%) of the chairs said their CAC meets with offenders. All of the institutional chairs reported that they meet with offenders compared with one-half (53%) of community chairs. Of those who meet with offenders, about two-thirds (62%) meet with them at least once a month. The largest proportions said that issues they discuss tend to be about general offender concerns (96%), programming issues (82%) and case-specific concerns (74%).

Eight out of 10 (82%) of the chairs said their CAC meets with CAC regional representatives. There were no significant differences between institutional and community members with regard to meeting CAC representatives. The majority of issues discussed related to operations and administration (52%), while issues in general (21%), basic communication and information exchange (17%), and policy and programs (14%) were other areas of discussion.

One-half (50%) of chairs said their CAC consults with other CSC representatives. A significantly larger proportion of institutional than community chairs said that they consult with CSC representatives (67% versus 29%). Chairs reported that discussions with CSC representatives were about the operations and administration of offenders (47%), operations and administration of CAC members (35%), and policy and planning issues (35%).

Eight out of 10 (84%) of the chairs said their CAC interacts with other CACs. There were no significant differences between institutional and community chairs. Interactions primarily consisted of information sharing, support, and communication among the CACs (38%). CAC chairs also noted that they interacted with other CACs in the form of regional meetings (28%), joint meetings (28%), public education (19%) and annual meetings (9%).

About two-thirds (68%) of the chairs said that their CAC meets with community members. There were also no significant differences between chair type with regard to meeting community members. The majority of CAC chairs meet with community members once per month (56%).

To conclude, according to CAC members, their main activities involve the roles of liaison, observation, and advice. This also included activities such as meetings and discussions, keeping informed about the correctional process, and finding out information about this process. Although members reported acting as liaison with the community as their primary role, very few indicated they are involved in activities with the community. There were also some key differences between institutional and community members with regard to participation in certain types of activities. For example, institutional CAC members were more likely to be involved in activities in correctional facilities, such as being independent observers of disturbances and daily operations. Institutional members were also more likely to be involved in the areas of training, programs, and the community. Many members were also involved in community outreach activities. CAC chairs reported that their CACs were involved in similar activities as reported by CAC members themselves; however, chairs reported greater involvement of their CACs in the areas of training, liaison, observation and visiting facilities. Chairs also reported that their CACs maintain contact with various groups including offenders, CAC and CSC representatives, and community members.

Models

As discussed in previous sections, some differences are evident between institutional and community-based CACs. For instance, they differed in areas relating to recruitment, length of time as a member of a CAC, number of hours per month they volunteer, attitudes towards prisoners, and activities. Clearly, and not surprisingly, institutional and community CACs differ in some important respects.

While there are some similarities among CACs, there are also areas of variability. For instance, when asked to describe their organizational structure, some chairs described a formal structure (37%), while others referred to a very informal structure (24%). According to some chairs, the formal structure of CACs resembled a hierarchical order in which members had defined and assigned roles (such as certain areas of the correctional facility or certain topic areas). Respondents clearly indicated the presence of chair, vice-chair, and secretary. In contrast, CACs that were described as informal were comprised of members with different and flexible roles depending on need.

The responses describing the overall role of their respective CAC provided some additional insight into the types or models of CACs12. For instance, the largest proportion of chairs referred to the liaison role with the community, staff and offenders (58%). Other roles included observation of the correctional process (39%), and advice to staff and offenders (39%). These reported roles are consistent with the mandate of CACs. Consistent with a liaison role, some CAC chairs also viewed public education and awareness (24%) and the reintegration of offenders (16%) as central to their role. Although there appears to be division among those CACs identified as formal and informal with regard to organizational structure, acting as a liaison in the community and institution largely represents the primary role within CACs.

12 More than one response was possible.

Effectiveness

Members and chairs were asked a number of questions relating to the effectiveness of CACs. The following describes members knowledge on various areas; members’ satisfaction with various components of CACs; and members’ perceptions of the effectiveness of CACs.

Knowledge

CAC members were asked about their knowledge in a number of areas (Table 6). Overall, they said they had a great deal of knowledge about their work as CAC members. In particular, large proportions said they were very knowledgeable about the Mission of CACs (69%), their role as a CAC member (68%) and the Mission of CSC (59%). These findings are positive because it is important for members to have a strong understanding of the objectives of their organization, as well as their mission and duties.

The smallest proportions of CAC members said they were knowledgeable in the following areas:

  • Procedure on how to act in a crisis situation (23%);
  • Policy on how to act in a crisis situation (24%);
  • Issues affecting staff (28%); and
  • Issues affecting victims (30%).

This finding relating to crises is consistent with the finding that CAC members rarely engage in activities such as independent observation during institutional crises or disturbances. Because CAC members do not often engage in this activity, this may explain why they say they have little knowledge of the policies and procedures relating to crises. It is also not surprising that CAC members report having little knowledge of victim or staff issues, as CACs primarily focus on offenders and the community, and not the victim or staffing aspect of the criminal justice system.

There were only two areas of knowledge where institutional and community CAC members differed significantly. Larger proportions of institutional than community CAC members said that they had a great deal of knowledge about the policies (33% versus 7%) and procedures (32% versus 6%) relating to how to act in a crisis situation. This can be most likely attributed to the fact that community CAC members would rarely be required to act in crisis situations. Therefore, knowledge related to policies and procedures regarding crises may be less relevant for community-based CAC members than for other types of CACs.

Satisfaction

CAC members were asked about their level of satisfaction with various areas related to their work on the CAC (Table 7). In general, they said they are satisfied with much of the work they do and the experiences they have had during their time as volunteers on the CAC. More than two-thirds (68%) said they were very satisfied overall with being a CAC member. The largest proportions of CAC members said that they were very satisfied with their relationship with staff in the CSC facility or parole office they are associated with (74%), having an opportunity for input into how CACs are run (61%) and their ability to act as an independent observer (54%).

The three areas in which CAC members were least likely to report satisfaction were:

  • CACs performance at participation in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs (23%);
  • Fostering public participation in the correctional process (26%); and
  • CACs performance at contributing to the overall development of programs and correctional facilities (29%).

Two areas were significantly different with respect to satisfaction for institutional and community CACs. Larger proportions of community CAC members said they were very satisfied with the level of CSC orientation they received (52% versus 42%). Similarly, larger proportions of institutional CAC members said they were very satisfied with their ability to act as independent observers (62% versus 38%). Again, this finding may be because CAC members associated with federal institutions have more opportunity to act as independent observers.

When CAC members were further prompted about their satisfaction with CACs, other areas of satisfaction as well as dissatisfaction were noted13. Some of the reasons they noted for their satisfaction included having the opportunity to learn, a positive and supportive relationship with CSC staff, a sense of personal contribution and involvement, representation of the community and the positive impact made by the CAC. Of the small percentage who expressed dissatisfaction, some reasons included the lack of impact or results from CACs, an unclear role and purpose of CACs, a lack of training, a lack of communication between the CAC and CSC, and a lack of community involvement.

The overall satisfaction of CAC members appears to have increased from the 1995 membership survey. In 1995, 27% of members said that they were very satisfied with their CAC experience, compared with 68% of members in this survey. The reasons for satisfaction have remained fairly consistent from the previous survey. In both surveys, members were satisfied with the opportunity to provide input, the impact of their advice, and their relationships with CSC. While members surveyed in 1995 expressed satisfaction with CAC communication, CSC orientation, and CSC consultation, fewer CAC members are currently satisfied with these practices. These areas actually represented members’ suggestions for improvement.

Members were also asked what they feel they have gained personally from their involvement in their CAC. The largest proportion (70%) said that they had gained a better understanding of corrections. Other things they have gained include a better understanding of offenders and the community (32%), and an appreciation and understanding of staff (16%). Some of the areas where they feel they have contributed individually include volunteering their time and effort to the CAC (34%), contributing their knowledge and experience (31%), acting as a community liaison (25%), providing independent and impartial observation (14%) and supporting offenders (5%)14.

Similarly, of the chairs interviewed, 81% said they were very satisfied with being a chair of a CAC. The large majority of chairs (89%) described their overall experience as a chair as positive. Positive responses include a rewarding and satisfying contribution (45%), educational and learning experience (42%), networking (15%), and member participation and involvement (15%)15. Of those who said they had a negative experience, the reasons provided were general frustration with CACs (50%), and the time-consuming and demanding nature of involvement in the CAC (33%).

13 More than one response was possible.

14 More than one response was possible.

15 More than one response was possible.

Effectiveness

Members were asked to rate how effective they thought their CAC was in a number of areas (Table 8). Large proportions said that CACs are very effective serving as independent observers in the correctional system (47%), providing recommendations to CSC (44%), providing advice to CSC (43%), and interacting with staff (43%). The smallest proportions of CAC members indicated CACs were effective at:

  • Contributing to correctional policy (22%);
  • Contributing to correctional programs (23%); and
  • Contributing to the safe running of institutions and parole offices (29%).

When examined more closely, significantly larger proportions of institutional than community CAC members said their CAC was very effective when serving as independent observers during crises (58% versus 24%) and in interacting with offenders (41% versus 22%). This is consistent with other results described earlier. It is most likely that community-based CAC members report low levels of effectiveness regarding independent observation and interaction with offenders because they may not have much opportunity to engage in these activities. Larger proportions of institutional than community CAC members said their CACs were very effective at providing advice to CSC (49% versus 28%), and contributing to the quality of the correctional process (43% versus 31%).

CAC members indicated that there were many beneficial aspects of CACs. The largest proportions of respondents noted the benefits of educating members and the community (27%) and serving as a liaison between CSC and the community (23%). Other beneficial aspects include serving as neutral and independent observers and advisors (20%), community involvement and representation in the correctional process (16%), support for offenders (12%), and liaison between CAC and CSC (8%)16.

Similarly, chairs said that the most beneficial aspect of CACs is the role of independent observer, advisory and liaison (50%). Other benefits were community representation and participation in the correctional process (19%) and public education about the correctional process (19%).

16 More than one response was possible.

Summary

These results indicate that CAC members are fairly knowledgeable in a number of areas related to CACs. However, it also provides us with some ideas of areas that could be enhanced with additional training, such as the policies and procedures for how to act in a crisis situation, and issues facing victims and correctional staff.

The majority of CAC members and chairs were very satisfied with their experiences as a volunteer on the CAC. In particular, they were satisfied with their relationships with CSC, the educational and learning opportunities, and their sense of personal contribution. Some CAC members expressed dissatisfaction with gaining the participation of the public, with attaining community resources and with the CAC contribution to the development of institutional programs. These are some areas that may require improvement over time.

CAC members regarded their CAC as effective in serving as independent observers as well as providing recommendations and advice. According to members, effectiveness could be improved in areas of policy, programs, and operational safety. Both CAC members and chairs noted some beneficial aspects of CACs such as acting as a liaison, providing advice and observation, educating the public, and representing the community.

Issues facing CACs

Members were asked their opinions about a series of questions (Table 9). Some of the more positive findings were that members said that:

  • They feel recognized as volunteers (80%);
  • They are contributing to the CAC (78%);
  • Their time with the CAC is well spent (78%);
  • They have a clear understanding of the mandate of CACs (74%);
  • Their CAC operates in an organized manner (72%); and
  • They have the opportunity to receive adequate ongoing training as a CAC member (70%).

Furthermore, few respondents felt that CSC holds CACs back in carrying out their mandate (17%). Only 9% said that they worry about safety issues in their work with CACs.

Some issues noted by members include:

  • 81% said that they could improve their understanding of CSC policy;
  • 45% said that CSC management could provide more support to CACs; and
  • 33% said that they did not receive adequate training when they joined their CAC.

There was only one area where significant differences were found between institutional and community CAC members. It was found that significantly more institutional than community CAC members feel that they are contributing to the CSC (67% versus 52%).

Importantly, 91% of CAC members who completed the survey said that they intend to continue their involvement in the CAC after this two-year term ends. Some of the reasons they gave for continuing their involvement were: they continue to enjoy the work (24%); they feel they are continuing to make a contribution (20%); to continue to improve effectiveness and results (15%); opportunity to learn and gain knowledge (14%); and to educate and involve the community (7%).

CAC members suggested some areas of improvement: better communication with CSC (22%), training (21%), more community involvement and understanding (13%), better communication within levels of CACs (12%), more interaction with inmates (11%); address budget and funding issues (11%) and recruitment (8%). Seven members (5%) felt that there were no improvements needed (Table 10).

Members were also asked about the most important issues to be addressed within CACs. These included better communication with CSC (35%), better communication between CACs (23%), training (20%), more community involvement and education (15%), recruitment (7%), more involvement with offenders (7%) and funding (6%).

There were some aspects of CACs that chairs suggested for improvement. These areas included member training and education (27%), more communication, involvement and independence of CACs (27%), consistency and clarification of mandate and role of CACs (24%), public education and communication (18%), and formal recognition of volunteers (6%). CAC chairs also suggested some areas to improve community outreach. These included more public education (43%), more support and communication from CSC (37%) and expanded community involvement (17%) (Table 11).

The chairs interviewed also identified some important issues to be addressed in order to ensure the most effective functioning of CACs. The most important issues included member training, education and recruitment (47%), communication within and among the community, CSC and CACs (33%), funding and administrative support (19%), public education and involvement (11%), and consistency and clarification of the mandate and role of CACs (8%).

Interestingly, CSC representatives surveyed in 1999 about CACs reported very similar issues relating to the role and function of CACs (Demers, 2000). For example, similar to the suggestions of CAC members in this survey, wardens and district directors thought that the role of CACs required greater clarification, a higher level of communication among CACs and CSC, and greater public awareness and education. Similar to suggestions made by CAC chairs and members, wardens and district directors recommended that CACs would be more effective if they concentrated more on programs, including helping offenders with opportunities after release. However, it is important to note that the work of CACs was highly valued by the respondents, and similar to the results in this survey, CSC representatives emphasized the benefits of CACs in terms of acting as impartial advisors, and a liaison between CSC and the community.

A past membership survey in the Ontario region (Andrychuk & Howarth, 2002) demonstrates similar findings to this national membership survey. CAC members in Ontario identified funding as a major issue for CACs, which was similarly noted by chairs and members in the current survey. According to the previous membership survey, CAC efforts to reduce institutional violence and drugs were viewed as ineffective. This is consistent with chairs in this survey who rated their ability to contribute to the safe functioning as operational units as fairly ineffective. The important role of CACs acting as liaisons with the community was duly noted in both membership surveys.

CAC members noted a number of positive issues; however, some issues such as a better understanding of CSC policy, more support from CSC management and adequate training upon joining were mentioned. The large majority intend to continue their involvement with the CAC after the two-year term expires because they feel that they are enjoying their work and making a contribution to the CAC. Both members and chairs suggested that training, community involvement, and communication with CSC needed improvement. In addition to areas of improvement, members and chairs indicated some important issues to be addressed in order to ensure the most effective functioning of CACs. For example, some issues were better communication among all levels; more training, recruitment, funding; and, increased community involvement and education. As indicated in the responses, there is a general consensus about the most important issues — or, alternatively, areas of improvement — for CACs to focus upon.

CONCLUSION

This study was developed to explore several areas: a profile of CAC members, attitudes that CAC members have towards aspects of the criminal justice system, activities CAC members are involved in, effectiveness of CACs and issues facing CAC members.

Overall, it was found that CACs have fairly similar distributions of men and women. Members are typically Caucasian, married, 45 years of age or older and highly educated. This profile differs in many respects from what is characteristic of the general Canadian population. CAC members are not necessarily meant to be reflective of the Canadian population as a whole, but of the communities in which they reside. However, a large proportion of CAC chairs felt that their CAC was not reflective of the local community. Greater targeting of minority and ethnic groups was suggested in order to achieve a better balance in membership.

The results indicate that CAC members have fairly positive attitudes toward offenders. Furthermore, they support rehabilitation and are neutral about the use of deterrence for offenders. Therefore, CAC members generally perceive offenders to be like average citizens, capable of positive change and reintegration into society. Overall, CAC members have positive views of the criminal justice system in terms of processes within the criminal courts, in addition to the prison and parole systems. Compared with the Canadian general population, CAC members have more positive attitudes about the court’s ability to ensure a fair trial and determine the guilt of the accused, the capacity to supervise offenders in prison and on parole, and the parole system’s capability to release offenders who are not likely to commit future crimes. However, CAC members are more critical about the swiftness of the criminal justice system and the extent to which victims are helped compared with Canadians in general.

In terms of participation in CAC activities, members participate in a range of activities including meetings with staff and keeping informed about the correctional process. However, very few members participated in activities such as observing disturbances or crises, attending parole hearings or disciplinary court, surveying community attitudes, or developing community resources for programs. Although members believed one of their primary roles was to act as liaison with the community, very few of the activities they were involved in focused on the community. This discrepancy indicates a need to focus upon strengthening the link between CACs and the community both in theory and practice. More specifically, institutional CAC members reported more extensive involvement in a number of activities than community CAC members. It appears that the role of community CAC members may be less clear or distinct as this group of members is continuing to develop across Canada. However, community CAC members have demonstrated in their current participation rates the potential to play a dominant role in community activities.

In general, CAC chairs reported that their CAC was involved in activities similar to those described by CAC members. However, only a small proportion of CAC chairs reported CAC participation in developing programs, surveying community attitudes, and assisting offenders in reintegration. From this finding, there appears to be a need to increase involvement in various aspects of the community. CAC chairs also reported higher rates of participation for their respective CAC than CAC members themselves. For example, chairs were more likely than members to report that their CAC was involved in member training, acting as liaison with other CACs, observing CSC operations and visiting facilities. Similar activities of CACs as reported by chairs and members were exclusive to public education, communication and program contributions.

In reference to the varying levels of effectiveness, the majority of members reported high levels of knowledge in areas such as the CAC mission, the role of a CAC member and the CSC mission. However, issues that stand out most for the membership in terms of knowledge include policy and procedure in crisis situations and issues affecting victims and staff. The membership also reported high levels of satisfaction regarding their relationship with CSC facilities and parole offices, opportunities to provide input, and observe the operations of CACs. However, CAC members also report that they were least likely to be satisfied with their participation in developing community resources, fostering public participation and developing programs. Very few CAC members thought they were effective in contributing to correctional policy and programs, and the safe functioning of operational units. It appears that CACs would like to increase their effectiveness both in the community and institutions with a greater focus on assisting with programs and policies.

CAC members stated a number of important areas vital to the successful functioning of CACs. Specifically, members’ knowledge of CSC policy was noted, more support from CSC and, again, a need for better and more adequate training. CAC chairs and members suggested various areas of improvement including better communication with CSC and other CACs, more community involvement, increased public education and more training for members. These are key areas consistently identified by CAC chairs and members, and thus should be acknowledged through CAC or CSC orientation and training, consultation with CSC or internal interaction with CAC representatives.

Overall, this study has found positive results in terms of the interactions between CACs and CSC, as well as positive results in terms of the CAC members’ perceptions of offenders. Most of all, CAC members appear very satisfied with their overall work as volunteers in the criminal justice system. Members noted many beneficial aspects and personal gains from the volunteer work with CACs. Similarly, CAC chairs were extremely satisfied with their contributions and experiences. CAC representatives as a whole valued the CAC experience as an opportunity to learn, represent their community, and provide independent advice and observation to their respective CSC facilities. This is represented in the large number of CAC members who intend to continue their involvement in CACs.

Future research may examine ways to address the areas that require improvement in CACs, ways to address the problems related to some areas of satisfaction and examine the efficacy and effectiveness of certain CAC models. This research, combined with the present study, will contribute greatly to a strong Citizens’ Advisory Committee, a strong Correctional Service of Canada, and most of all, a stronger relationship between the CSC and the Canadian public that the CSC serves.

REFERENCES

Andrychuk, D., & Howarth, A. (2002). Report on the CAC Survey/Questionnaire of CSC Operations, Services, and Programs, Kingston, ON, Citizen Advisory Committee, Collins Bay Institution.

Besserer, S., & Trainor, C. (1999). Juristat: Criminal Victimization in Canada. No. 85-002-XIE, 20(10), Ottawa, ON, Statistics Canada.

Citizen Advisory Committees (1995). 1995 CAC Membership Survey, Ottawa, ON, CAC National Executive.

Correctional Service of Canada (2003). Commissioner’s Directive 023: Citizens’ Advisory Committees, Ottawa, ON, Correctional Service of Canada.

Correctional Service of Canada (2002). Core values of the Correctional Service Canada, Ottawa, ON, Correctional Service of Canada.

Correctional Service of Canada (1999). Citizens’ Advisory Committees to the Correctional Service of Canada: 1999–2000 Annual Report, Ottawa, ON, Correctional Service of Canada.

Correctional Service of Canada (1991). Review of Advisory Committees, Ottawa, ON, Evaluation Branch, Correctional Service of Canada.

Correctional Service of Canada (1990). Commissioner’s Directive 023: Citizens’ Advisory Committees, Ottawa, ON, Correctional Service of Canada.

Cullen, F.T., Clark, G.A, Cullen, J.B., & Mathers, R.A. (1985). Attribution, salience, and attitudes toward criminal sanctioning. Criminal Justice and Behaviour, 12(3), 305–331.

Cullen, F.T., Cullen, J.B., & Wozniak, J.F. (1988). Is rehabilitation dead? The myth of the punitive public. Journal of Criminal Justice, 16(4), 303–317.

Cullen, F.T., Lutze, F.E., Link, B.G., & Wolfe, N.T. (1989). The correctional orientation of prison guards: Do officers support rehabilitation? Federal Probation, 53(1), 33–42.

Demers, T. (2000). Citizens’ Advisory Committees Questionnaire for Wardens and District Directors: National Survey Results, Ottawa, ON, Communications and Consultation Sector, Correctional Service of Canada.

Department of Justice Canada (1992). Corrections and Conditional Release Act. Ottawa, ON, Department of Justice Canada.

Emmrys, C. (2003). The role of Citizens’ Advisory Committees in Canada. Forum on Corrections Research, 15(1), 8–10.

Hogue, J. (1995). Training multi-disciplinary teams to work with sex offenders: Effects on staff attitudes. Psychology, Crime and the Law, 1, 227–235.

Howell, D.C. (1997). Statistical Methods for Psychology. Toronto, ON, Duxbury Press.

MacGuigan, M. (1977). The Sub-Committee on the penitentiary system in Canada, Ottawa, ON, Report to Parliament, Standing Committee on Justice and Legal Affairs, Second Session, Thirtieth Parliament.

Melvin, K.B., Gramling, L.K., & Gardner, W.M. (1985). A scale to measure attitudes towards prisoners. Criminal Justice & Behaviour, 12(2), 241–253.

SAS Institute Inc. (2000). SAS Version 8.01, Cary, NC, SAS Institute Inc.

SAS Institute Inc. (1999). SAS/STAT User’s Guide, Version 8, Vol. 3. Cary, NC, SAS Institute Inc.

Solicitor General Canada (1987). Corrections in Canada since the MacGuigan report: Prepared for the Standing Committee on Justice and Solicitor General, Ottawa, ON, Solicitor General Canada.

Statistics Canada (2001). Census of Population 2001, Ottawa, ON, Statistics Canada.

Tellier, C., Dowden, C., Fournier, J., & Franson, J. (2001). Correctional Officers Professional Orientation Scales, Research Report R-103, Ottawa, ON, Correctional Service of Canada.

APPENDICES

Appendix A: Tables

Table 1: CAC Characteristics
  Institution Community Joined   Total
  # % # % # % p # %
Region  
Atlantic 22 15% 20 24% 0 0%   42 17%
Quebec 43 29% 19 22% 1 11%   63 26%
Ontario 26 17% 18 21% 1 11%   45 18%
Prairies 47 31% 11 13% 7 78%   65 27%
Pacific 12 8% 17 20% 0 0%   29 12%
Total 150 100% 85 100% 9 100% 244 100%
Province  
Newfoundland and Labrador 0 0% 4 5% 0 0%   4 2%
Nova Scotia 12 8% 3 4% 0 0%   15 6%
New Brunswick 10 7% 13 15% 0 0%   23 9%
Quebec 43 29% 19 22% 1 11%   63 26%
Ontario 26 17% 18 21% 1 11%   45 18%
Manitoba 9 6% 0 0% 0 0%   9 4%
Saskatchewan 5 3% 8 9% 4 44%   17 7%
Alberta 33 22% 4% 3 33%   3 16%
British Columbia 12 8% 17 20% 0 0%   29 12%
Total 150 100% 85 100% 9 100% 244 100%
How did you become a member?  
Asked by another CAC member 78 54% 25 30% 4 44%   107 45%
Asked by someone in CSC 41 28% 47 57% 4 44%   92 39%
Asked by another organization 6 4% 3 4% 0 0%   9 4%
Other 20 14% 8 10% 1 11%   29 12%
Total 145 100% 83 100% 9 100% 23 100%
Reasons for joining CAC1  
Community involvement 89 59% 63 75% 8 89% * 160 66%
To assist offenders 36 24% 33 39% 4 44% * 73 30%
Learn about criminal justice system 6 41% 33 39% 4 44% ns 98 40%
Related to my studies/profession 25 17% 22 26% 0 0% ns 47 19%
Contribute to a safe society 45 30% 48 57% 4 44% *** 97 40%
Other 13 9% 4 5% 1 11% ns 18 7%
Total 150 100% 84 100% 9 100% 243 100%
Do you participate in other volunteering activities?   ns  
Yes 132 91% 70 84% 7 78%   209 88%
No 13 9% 13 16% 2 22%   28 12%
Total 145 100% 83 100% 9 100% 237 100%
Length as a CAC member   ***  
Less than 6 months 13 9% 22 26% 0 0%   35 15%
6 to 11 months 9 6% 18 21% 1 11%   28 12%
1 to 2 years 33 22% 13 15% 2 22%   48 20%
3 to 4 years 27 18% 23 27% 1 11%   51 21%
5 to 6 years 23 16% 4 5% 1 11%   28 12%
7 to 10 years 23 16% 2 2% 3 33%   28 12%
More than 10 years 20 14% 2 2% 1 11%   23 10%
Total 148 100% 84 100% 9 100% 241 100%
Hours a month spent volunteering   ***  
Less than one hour 5 3% 7 9% 0 0%   12 5%
1 to 3 hours 60 41% 49 60% 1 11%   110 46%
4 to 6 hours 44 30% 20 25% 3 33%   67 28%
7 to 10 hours 19 13% 3 4% 3 33%   25 11%
More than 10 hours 19 13% 2 2% 2 22%   23 10%
Total 147 100% 81 100% 9 100% 237 100%
Distance from institution/parole office   ns  
Less than 1 km 8 6% 9 11% 0 0%   17 7%
1 to 10 km 58 41% 47 56% 4 44%   109 46%
11 to 20 km 29 20% 11 13% 1 11%   41 17%
21 to 30 km 12 8% 9 11% 1 11%   22 9%
Over 30 km 36 25% 8 10% 3 33%   47 20%
Total 143 100% 84 100% 9 100% 236 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

(1) More than one response was possible.

 

Table 2: Membership demographics
  Institution Community Joined   Total
  # % # % # % p # %
Gender   ns  
Men 87 58% 37 44% 5 56%   129 53%
Women 62 42% 47 56% 4 44%   113 47%
Total 149 100% 84 100% 9 100% 242 100%
Age   *  
25 to 34 4 3% 7 8% 0 0%   11 5%
35 to 44 19 13% 11 13% 2 25%   32 13%
45 to 54 38 26% 30 36% 1 13%   69 29%
55 to 64 39 26% 27 32% 2 25%   68 28%
65+ 48 32% 9 11% 3 38%   60 25%
Total 148 100% 84 100% 8 100% 240 100%
Marital Status   *  
Single 8 5% 13 15% 3 33%   24 10%
Married/common-law 109 75% 55 65% 6 67%   170 71%
Divorced/separated 18 12% 14 17% 0 0%   32 13%
Widowed 11 8% 2 2% 0 0%   13 5%
Total 146 100% 84 100% 9 100% 239 100%
Language   ns  
English 101 69% 61 73% 8 89%   170 71%
French 43 29% 21 25% 1 11%   65 27%
Other 3 2% 2 2% 0 0%   5 2%
Total 147 100% 84 100% 9 100% 240 100%
Visible minority status   ns  
Yes 12 8% 5 6% 1 11%   18 8%
No 131 92% 79 94% 8 89%   218 92%
Total 143 100% 84 100% 9 100% 236 100%
Aboriginal status   ns  
First Nations 4 3% 0 0% 0 0%   4 2%
Métis 6 4% 2 2% 0 0%   8 3%
Non-Aboriginal 135 93% 80 98% 9 100% 224 95%
Total 145 100% 82 100% 9 100% 236 100%
Education   ns  
Grade school 3 2% 1 1% 0 0%   4 2%
High school diploma 39 27% 16 20% 1 11%   56 24%
College diploma 19 13% 12 15% 1 11%   32 14%
University degree 51 36% 27 33% 6 67%   84 36%
Postgraduate degree 20 14% 23 28% 1 11%   44 19%
Other 11 8% 3 4% 0 0%   14 6%
Total 143 100% 82 100% 9 100% 234 100%
Current employment   ns  
Sales and services 11 8% 2 2% 1 11%   14 6%
Trades, transport and equipment operation 4 3% 1 1% 0 0%   5 2%
Business, finance and administration 13 9% 9 11% 0 0%   22 9%
Criminal justice 10 7% 8 10% 0 0%   18 8%
Government services 7 5% 7 9% 0 0%   14 6%
Social science, education and religion 21 14% 16 20% 0 0%   37 16%
Student 1 1% 3 4% 0 0%   4 2%
Retired 65 45% 20 25% 5 56%   90 38%
Other 14 10% 15 19% 3 33%   32 14%
Total 146 100% 81 100% 9 100% 236 100%
Annual family income   ns  
Less than $40,000 27 22% 14 22% 1 14%   42 22%
$40,000 to $49,999 22 18% 6 9% 2 29%   30 16%
$50,000 to $59,999 19 16% 6 9% 1 14%   26 13%
$60,000 to $69,999 14 11% 6 9% 0 0%   20 10%
$70,000 to $79,999 8 7% 8 13% 3 43%   19 10%
$80,000 or over 32 26% 24 38% 0 0%   56 29%
Total 122 100% 64 100% 7 100% 193 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.001; ***

 

Table 3: Attitudes of members
  Institution Community Joined     Total
  # Mean SD # Mean SD # Mean SD p r2 # Mean SD
Attitudes Toward Prisoners Scale 109 89.7 13.0 68 94.2 11.9 4 99.0 10.7 * 0.04 181 91.6 12.7
Support for Rehabilitation Scale 136 49.2 6.0 78 50.6 6.9 6 52.0 5.0 ns 0.02 220 49.8 6.3
Support for Deterrence Scale 141 14.5 4.1 82 13.5 4.1 7 14.3 2.4 ns 0.01 230 14.2 4.1
Table 3A: Attitudes of members
  Institution Community Joined   Total
  # % # % # % p # %
Criminal courts do a good job…   ns  
Providing justice quickly 9 7% 4 5% 1 17%   14 6%
Helping the victim 4 3% 7 9% 1 20%   12 6%
Determining whether accused is guilty 48 35% 36 50% 4 80%   88 41%
Ensuring a fair trial for the accused 72 54% 48 64% 5 100% 125 58%
Prison system does a good job…   ns  
Supervising prisoners while in prison 92 64% 43 57% 6 86%   141 62%
Helping prisoners become law-abiding citizens 46 33% 23 32% 4 57%   73 33%
Parole system does a good job…      
Releasing offenders not likely to commit another crime 47 37% 43 59% 3 60% * 93 45%
Supervising offenders on parole 36 29% 51 66% 3 60% *** 90 44%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 4: CAC activities (Membership Survey)
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
Regular meetings/discussions with CSC managers and staff   ns  
Not at all 18 12% 13 17% 2 25%   33 14%
Some 34 23% 26 35% 0 0%   60 26%
Very 94 64% 36 48% 6 75%   136 59%
Total 146 100% 75 100% 8 100% 229 100%
Being well informed on the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system   ns  
Not at all 23 16% 16 22% 1 13%   40 18%
Some 48 33% 22 31% 3 38%   73 33%
Very 73 51% 34 47% 4 50%   111 50%
Total 144 100% 72 100% 8 100% 224 100%
Seeking information on general correctional issues   ns  
Not at all 30 21% 20 27% 0 0%   50 22%
Some 43 30% 25 34% 5 63%   73 32%
Very 72 50% 29 39% 3 38%   104 46%
Total 145 100% 74 100% 8 100% 227 100%
Requesting information on all aspects of the correctional process   *  
Not at all 40 28% 25 34% 0 0%   65 29%
Some 38 26% 24 33% 6 75%   68 30%
Very 66 46% 24 33% 2 25%   92 41%
Total 144 100% 73 100% 8 100% 225 100%
Regular visits to CSC facilities and programs   **  
Not at all 37 26% 36 47% 3 38%   76 33%
Some 47 33% 25 33% 3 38%   75 33%
Very 60 42% 15 20% 2 25%   77 34%
Total 144 100% 76 100% 8 100% 228 100%
Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation   ns  
Not at all 55 38% 38 51% 4 50%   97 43%
Some 46 32% 17 23% 1 13%   64 28%
Very 42 29% 19 26% 3 38%   64 28%
Total 143 100% 74 100% 8 100% 225 100%
Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation   ***  
Not at all 58 40% 47 66% 6 75%   111 50%
Some 35 24% 16 23% 0 0%   51 23%
Very 51 35% 8 11% 2 25%   61 27%
Total 144 100% 71 100% 8 100% 223 100%
Supporting/encouraging community involvement through volunteer participation   ns  
Not at all 64 46% 36 50% 5 63%   105 48%
Some 35 25% 19 26% 1 13%   55 25%
Very 41 29% 17 24% 2 25%   60 27%
Total 140 100% 72 100% 8 100% 220 100%
Increasing awareness/understanding of local community about CSC   ns  
Not at all 60 42% 34 46% 5 63%   99 44%
Some 47 33% 22 30% 0 0%   69 31%
Very 36 25% 18 24% 3 38%   57 25%
Total 143 100% 74 100% 8 100% 225 100%
Helping increase communication between local community and CSC   ns  
Not at all 62 43% 38 52% 5 63%   105 47%
Some 46 32% 18 25% 0 0%   64 29%
Very 35 24% 17 23% 3 38%   55 25%
Total 143 100% 73 100% 8 100% 224 100%
Serving as a link between CSC and the local community   ns  
Not at all 53 37% 37 50% 5 63%   95 42%
Some 56 39% 20 27% 0 0%   76 34%
Very 35 24% 17 23% 3 38%   55 24%
Total 144 100% 74 100% 8 100% 226 100%
Maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation   ns  
Not at all 82 57% 37 52% 4 50%   123 55%
Some 28 19% 19 27% 2 25%   49 22%
Very 34 24% 15 21% 2 25%   51 23%
Total 144 100% 71 100% 8 100% 223 100%
Independent observer of CSC’s day-to-day activities/operations   ***  
Not at all 66 46% 59 82% 4 50%   129 58%
Some 40 28% 10 14% 1 13%   51 23%
Very 38 26% 3 4% 3 38%   44 20%
Total 144 100% 72 100% 8 100% 224 100%
Contributing to offender programs in institutions and the community   *  
Not at all 89 63% 56 77% 4 50%   149 67%
Some 19 13% 11 15% 3 38%   33 15%
Very 34 24% 6 8% 1 13%   41 18%
Total 142 100% 73 100% 8 100% 223 100%
Contribute to the training of other CAC members   *  
Not at all 83 58% 45 63% 3 38%   131 59%
Some 30 21% 23 32% 2 25%   55 25%
Very 30 21% 4 6% 3 38%   37 17%
Total 143 100% 72 100% 8 100% 223 100%
Meeting with community members/groups to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues   *  
Not at all 87 60% 50 69% 6 75%   143 64%
Some 32 22% 11 15% 1 13%   44 20%
Very 25 17% 11 15% 1 13%   37 17%
Total 144 100% 72 100% 8 100% 224 100%
Participant at correctional workshops or training sessions   ns  
Not at all 84 60% 41 55% 4 50%   129 58%
Some 38 27% 17 23% 2 25%   57 26%
Very 18 13% 16 22% 2 25%   36 16%
Total 140 100% 74 100% 8 100% 222 100%
Assist offender in community reintegration   ns  
Not at all 109 77% 46 63% 7 88%   162 73%
Some 17 12% 11 15% 1 13%   29 13%
Very 16 11% 16 22% 0 0%   32 14%
Total 142 100% 73 100% 8 100% 223 100%
Surveying attitudes of community, offenders and correctional staff   ns  
Not at all 94 67% 59 82% 6 75%   159 72%
Some 32 23% 8 11% 1 13%   41 19%
Very 14 10% 5 7% 1 13%   20 9%
Total 140 100% 72 100% 8 100% 220 100%
Assisting in development of community resources for institutional and pre-release or post-release programs   ns  
Not at all 119 86% 56 77% 6 75%   181 82%
Some 9 6% 9 12% 1 13%   19 9%
Very 11 8% 8 11% 1 13%   20 9%
Total 139 100% 73 100% 8 100% 220 100%
Acting as an independent observer during disturbances/crises   **  
Not at all 106 74% 71 96% 7 88%   184 82%
Some 21 15% 3 4% 0 0%   24 11%
Very 16 11% 0 0% 1 13%   17 8%
Total 143 100% 74 100% 8 100% 225 100%
Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts, grievance proceedings   ns  
Not at all 107 76% 65 89% 6 75%   178 80%
Some 21 15% 4 5% 1 13%   26 12%
Very 13 9% 4 5% 1 13%   18 8%
Total 141 100% 73 100% 8 100% 222 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 5: CAC activities (Chair Interviews)
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
Regular meetings/discussions with CSC managers and staff   ns  
Not at all 1 5% 1 6%   2 5%
Some 6 29% 0 0%   6 16%
Very 14 67% 16 94%   30 79%
Total 21 100% 17 100%   38 100%
Seeking information on general correctional issues   ns  
Not at all 1 5% 1 6%   2 5%
Some 6 29% 4 24%   10 26%
Very 14 67% 12 71%   26 68%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Requesting information on all aspects of the correctional process   ns  
Not at all 2 10% 3 18%   5 13%
Some 5 24% 3 18%   8 21%
Very 14 67% 11 65%   25 66%
Total 2 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Regular visits to CSC facilities and programs   ns  
Not at all 3 14% 3 18%   6 16%
Some 4 19% 4 24%   8 21%
Very 14 67% 10 59%   2 63%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 3 100%
Maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation   ns  
Not at all 3 15% 3 18%   6 16%
Some 4 20% 4 24%   8 22%
Very 13 65% 10 59%   23 62%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Independent observer of CSC’s day-to-day activities/operations   ns  
Not at all 2 10% 7 44%   9 24%
Some 3 14% 3 19%   6 16%
Very 16 76% 6 38%   22 59%
Total 21 100% 16 100% 37 100%
Being well informed on the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system   ns  
Not at all 2 10% 1 6%   3 8%
Some 7 33% 6 35%   13 34%
Very 12 57% 10 59%   22 58%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Contribute to the training of other CAC members   ns  
Not at all 3 14% 3 18%   6 16%
Some 7 33% 3 18%   10 26%
Very 11 52% 11 65%   22 58%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Supporting/Encouraging Community Involvement through Volunteer Participation   ns  
Not at all 7 35% 4 25%   11 31%
Some 4 20% 3 19%   7 19%
Very 9 45% 9 56%   18 50%
Total 20 100% 16 100% 36 100%
Serving as a link between CSC and the local community   ns  
Not at all 7 35% 8 47%   15 41%
Some 4 20% 1 6%   5 14%
Very 9 45% 8 47%   17 46%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Acting as an independent observer during disturbances/ crises   **  
Not at all 6 29% 13 76%   19 50%
Some 3 14% 0 0   3 8%
Very 12 57% 4 24%   16 42%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Participant at correctional workshops or training sessions   ns  
Not at all 9 43% 3 18%   12 32%
Some 4 19% 6 35%   10 26%
Very 8 38% 8 47%   16 42%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation   ns  
Not at all 6 30% 6 35%   12 32%
Some 6 30% 4 24%   10 27%
Very 8 40% 7 41%   15 41%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Meetings with offenders and offender/parolee groups   **  
Not at all 2 10% 11 65%   13 34%
Some 8 38% 12%   10 26%
Very 11 52% 4 24%   15 39%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Helping increase communication between local community and CSC   ns  
Not at all 7 35% 8 47%   15 41%
Some 8 40% 2 12%   10 27%
Very 5 25% 7 41%   12 32%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts, grievance proceedings   ns  
Not at all 11 55% 10 63%   21 58%
Some 4 20% 2 13%   6 17%
Very 5 25% 4 25%   9 25%
Total 20 100% 16 100% 36 100%
Increasing Awareness/Understanding of Local community about CSC   ns  
Not at all 10 48% 6 35%   16 42%
Some 7 33% 6 35%   13 34%
Very 4 19% 5 29%   9 24%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Contributing to Offender Programs in Institutions and the community   ns  
Not at all 8 40% 10 59%   18 49%
Some 6 30% 4 24%   10 27%
Very 6 30% 18%   9 24%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Meeting with community members/groups to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues   ns  
Not at all 12 57% 10 59%   22 58%
Some 6 29% 1 6%   7 18%
Very 3 14% 6 35%   9 24%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Assist offender in community reintegration   ns  
Not at all 11 55% 10 59%   2 57%
Some 3 15% 5 29%   8 22%
Very 6 30% 2 12%   8 22%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%
Surveying Attitudes of Community, Offenders and correctional staff   ns  
Not at all 11 52% 12 71%   23 61%
Some 7 33% 1 6%   8 21%
Very 3 14% 4 24%   7 18%
Total 21 100% 17 100% 38 100%
Assisting in development of community resources for institutional and pre-release or post-release programs   ns  
Not at all 13 65% 9 53%   22 59%
Some 4 20% 6 35%   10 27%
Very 3 15% 2 12%   5 14%
Total 20 100% 17 100% 37 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 6: Members’ knowledge
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
CACs’ Mission   ns  
Not at all 8 6% 7 9% 0 0%   15 7%
Somewhat 29 20% 26 34% 2 25%   57 25%
Very 108 74% 43 57% 6 75%   157 69%
Total 145 100% 76 100% 8 100% 229 100%
Role as a CAC member   ns  
Not at all 11 8% 8 11% 0 0%   19 8%
Somewhat 28 19% 25 33% 1 13%   54 23%
Very 107 73% 43 57% 7 88%   157 68%
Total 146 100% 76 100% 8 100% 230 100%
CSC’s Mission   ns  
Not at all 14 10% 9 12% 0% 0%   23 10%
Somewhat 45 31% 25 32% 2 25%   72 31%
Very 87 60% 43 56% 6 75%   136 59%
Total 146 100% 77 100% 8 100% 231 100%
Issues affecting offenders   ns  
Not at all 24 16% 17 22% 1 13%   42 18%
Somewhat 57 39% 27 36% 5 63%   89 39%
Very 65 45% 32 42% 2 25%   99 43%
Total 146 100% 76 100% 8 100% 230 100%
Issues affecting corrections in general   ns  
Not at all 19 13% 14 18% 1 13%   34 15%
Somewhat 61 41% 34 44% 3 38%   98 42%
Very 67 46% 29 38% 4 50%   100 43%
Total 147 100% 77 100% 8 100% 232 100%
Issues affecting the criminal justice system   ns  
Not at all 28 19% 17 22% 4 50%   49 21%
Somewhat 59 40% 27 35% 0 0%   86 37%
Very 59 40% 33 43% 4 50%   96 42%
Total 146 100% 77 100% 8 100% 231 100%
Offender reintegration issues   ns  
Not at all 41 28% 16 21% 1 13%   58 26%
Somewhat 53 37% 34 45% 5 63%   92 41%
Very 50 35% 2 33% 2 25%   77 34%
Total 144 100% 75 100% 8 100% 227 100%
Correctional programs   ns  
Not at all 25 17% 23 30% 1 13%   49 21%
Somewhat 68 47% 32 42% 5 63%   105 46%
Very 52 36% 21 28% 2 25%   75 33%
Total 145 100% 76 100% 8 100% 229 100%
CSC’s policies and procedures   ns  
Not at all 36 24% 20 26% 2 25%   58 25%
Somewhat 61 41% 34 44% 3 38%   98 42%
Very 50 34% 23 30% 3 38%   76 33%
Total 147 100% 77 100% 8 100% 232 100%
Issues affecting victims   ns  
Not at all 62 42% 30 40% 5 63%   97 42%
Somewhat 44 30% 18 24% 2 25%   64 28%
Very 40 27% 27 36% 1 13%   68 30%
Total 146 100% 75 100% 8 100% 229 100%
Issues affecting staff   ns  
Not at all 45 31% 31 42% 4 50%   80 35%
Somewhat 59 40% 24 32% 2 25%   85 37%
Very 42 29% 19 26% 2 25%   63 28%
Total 146 100% 74 100% 8 100% 228 100%
Policy on to how to act in a crisis situation   ***  
Not at all 65 44% 60 79% 2 25%   127 55%
Somewhat 33 22% 11 14% 4 50%   48 21%
Very 49 33% 5 7% 2 25%   56 24%
Total 147 100% 76 100% 8 100% 231 100%
Procedure on how to act in a crisis situation   ***  
Not at all 64 44% 62 81% 3 38%   129 56%
Somewhat 36 25% 10 13% 2 25%   48 21%
Very 46 32% 5 6% 3 38%   54 23%
Total 146 100% 77 100% 8 100% 231 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 7: Members’ satisfaction
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
Overall satisfaction as a CAC member   ns  
Very dissatisfied 4 6% 5 16% 1 17%   10 9%
Somewhat 14 20% 9 28% 2 33%   25 23%
Very satisfied 52 74% 18 56% 3 50%   73 68%
Total 70 100% 32 100% 6 100% 108 100%
Your relationship with the institution or parole office   ns  
Very dissatisfied 13 9% 4 6% 0 0%   17 8%
Somewhat 28 19% 11 16% 2 29%   41 19%
Very satisfied 104 72% 54 78% 5 71%   163 74%
Total 145 100% 69 100% 7 100% 221 100%
Opportunity for input into how CACs are run   ns  
Very dissatisfied 10 7% 8 13% 1 14%   19 9%
Somewhat 43 31% 18 29% 1 14%   62 30%
Very satisfied 86 62% 36 58% 5 71%   127 61%
Total 139 100% 62 100% 7 100%   208 100%
Your ability to act as an independent observer   ns  
Very dissatisfied 21 15% 23 36% 2 29%   46 22%
Somewhat 33 23% 17 27% 1 14%   51 24%
Very satisfied 88 62% 24 38% 4 57%   116 54%
Total 142 100% 64 100% 7 100%   213 100%
Level of CAC orientation you received   ns  
Very dissatisfied 25 19% 16 26% 3 38%   44 22%
Somewhat 43 32% 16 26% 2 25%   61 30%
Very satisfied 65 49% 30 48% 3 38%   9 48%
Total 133 100% 62 100% 8 100%   203 100%
Level of CSC orientation you received   ns  
Very dissatisfied 45 33% 7 12% 1 13%   5 26%
Somewhat 33 24% 22 37% 2 25%   57 28%
Very satisfied 57 42% 31 52% 5 63%   93 46%
Total 135 100% 60 100% 8 100%   203 100%
Training you received   ns  
Very dissatisfied 46 34% 13 21% 3 38%   62 31%
Somewhat 30 22% 16 26% 2 25%   48 24%
Very satisfied 58 43% 32 52% 3 38%   93 46%
Total 134 100% 61 100% 8 100%   203 100%
Your CAC’s performance at promoting knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC, staff and the public   ns  
Very dissatisfied 19 14% 7 11% 1 17%   27 13%
Somewhat 54 40% 30 48% 1 17%   85 42%
Very satisfied 63 46% 25 40% 4 67%   92 45%
Total 136 100% 62 100% 6 100%   204 100%
Your CAC’s performance at contributing to the overall development of programs and correctional facilities   ns  
Very dissatisfied 27 20%   17 28% 1 14%   45 22%
Somewhat 66 48% 33 54% 2 29%   101 49%
Very satisfied 44 32% 11 18% 4 57%   59 29%
Total 137 100% 61 100% 7 100%   205 100%
Fostering public participation in the correctional process   ns  
Very dissatisfied 50 36% 24 39% 2 33%   76 37%
Somewhat 51 37% 22 36% 1 17%   74 36%
Very satisfied 36 26% 15 25% 3 50%   54 26%
Total 137 100% 61 100% 6 100%   204 100%
CACs’ performance at participation in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs   ns  
Very dissatisfied 52 37% 23 34% 3 43%   78 36%
Somewhat 58 41% 27 40% 2 29%   87 40%
Very satisfied 31 22% 17 25% 2 29%   50 23%
Total 141 100% 67 100% 7 100%   215 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 8: Effectiveness of CACs
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
Serving as an independent observer in the correctional system   ***  
Not at all 25 17% 28 42% 1 14%   54 25%
Somewhat 36 25% 22 33% 3 43%   61 28%
Very 83 58% 16 24% 3 43%   102 47%
Total 144 100% 66 100% 7 100%   217 100%
Providing recommendations to CSC   ns  
Not at all 30 21% 24 36% 1 14%   55 25%
Somewhat 47 33% 18 27% 1 14%   66 30%
Very 66 46% 25 37% 5 71%   96 44%
Total 143 100% 67 100% 7 100%   217 100%
Providing advice to CSC   **  
Not at all 24 17% 2 32% 0 0%   46 21%
Somewhat 49 34% 27 40% 3 38%   79 36%
Very 70 49% 19 28% 5 63%   94 43%
Total 143 100% 68 100% 8 100%   219 100%
Interacting with staff   ns  
Not at all 26 18% 14 20% 2 29%   42 19%
Somewhat 54 38% 27 39% 2 29%   83 38%
Very 62 44% 28 41% 3 43%   93 43%
Total 142 100% 69 100% 7 100%   218 100%
Serving as a liaison between CSC and the community   ns  
Not at all 29 20% 21 31% 2 25%   52 24%
Somewhat 52 36% 23 34% 2 25%   77 35%
Very 62 43% 24 35% 4 50%   90 41%
Total 143 100% 68 100% 8 100%   219 100%
Contributing to the quality of the correctional process   *  
Not at all 28 20% 26 38% 2 29%   56 26%
Somewhat 53 38% 21 31% 1 14%   75 35%
Very 60 43% 21 31% 4 57%   85 39%
Total 141 100% 68 100% 7 100%   216 100%
Interacting with the public   ns  
Not at all 38 27% 28 41% 2 25%   68 31%
Somewhat 52 37% 15 22% 2 25%   69 32%
Very 51 36% 25 37% 4 50%   80 37%
Total 141 100% 68 100% 8 100%   217 100%
Interacting with offenders   ***  
Not at all 32 23% 42 62% 3 43%   77 35%
Somewhat 52 37% 11 16% 2 29%   65 30%
Very 58 41% 15 22% 2 29%   75 35%
Total 142 100% 68 100% 7 100%   217 100%
Contributing to the protection of society   ns  
Not at all 48 34% 21 30% 2 29%   71 33%
Somewhat 50 35% 29 42% 2 29%   81 37%
Very 43 30% 19 28% 3 43%   65 30%
Total 141 100% 69 100% 7 100%   217 100%
Contributing to the safe operation of institutions or parole offices   ns  
Not at all 48 35% 34 51% 2 29%   84 40%
Somewhat 49 36% 16 24% 1 14%   66 31%
Very 41 30% 17 25% 4 57%   62 29%
Total 138 100% 67 100% 7 100%   212 100%
Contributing to correctional programs   ns  
Not at all 59 42% 36 52% 3 43%   98 45%
Somewhat 49 35% 18 26% 2 29%   69 32%
Very 32 23% 15 22% 2 29%   49 23%
Total 140 100% 69 100% 7 100%   216 100%
Contributing to correctional policy   ns  
Not at all 70 50% 39 58% 3 43%   112 52%
Somewhat 36 26% 17 25% 1 14%   54 25%
Very 34 24% 11 16% 3 43%   48 22%
Total 140 100% 67 100% 7 100%   214 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 9: Improvements/opinions
  Institution Community Joined p Total
  # % # % # %   # %
I feel recognized as a volunteer   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 7 5% 4 5% 0 0%   11 5%
Undecided 23 16% 12 16% 1 11%   36 16%
Agree/strongly agree 118 80% 57 78% 8 89%   183 80%
Total 148 100% 73 100% 9 100%   230 100%
I am contributing to the CAC   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 7 5% 5 7% 0 0%   12 5%
Undecided 21 14% 17 23% 1 11%   39 17%
Agree/strongly agree 119 81% 51 70% 8 89%   178 78%
Total 147 100% 73 100% 9 100%   229 100%
My time working on my CAC is time well spent   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 11 8% 4 6% 1 13%   16 7%
Undecided 19 13% 14 21% 0 0%   33 15%
Agree/strongly agree 115 79% 50 74% 7 88%   172 78%
Total 145 100% 68 100% 8 100%   221 100%
I have a clear understanding of the mandate of CACs   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 13 9% 7 10% 0 0%   20 9%
Undecided 23 16% 14 20% 1 13%   38 17%
Agree/strongly agree 109 75% 50 70% 7 88%   166 74%
Total 145 100% 71 100% 8 100%   224 100%
My CAC operates in an organized manner   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 13 9% 8 12% 1 13%   22 10%
Undecided 29 20% 10 14% 1 13%   40 18%
Agree/strongly agree 102 71% 51 74% 6 75%   159 72%
Total 144 100% 69 100% 8 100%   221 100%
I have the opportunity to receive adequate ongoing training   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 25 17% 8 11% 3 33%   36 16%
Undecided 24 17% 6 8% 1 11%   31 14%
Agree/strongly agree 95 66% 57 80% 5 56%   157 70%
Total 144 100% 71 100% 9 100%   224 100%
I am contributing to the CSC   *  
Strongly disagree/disagree 14 9% 5 7% 0 0%   19 8%
Undecided 35 24% 30 41% 4 44%   69 30%
Agree/strongly agree 99 67% 38 52% 5 56%   142 62%
Total 148 100% 73 100% 9 100%   230 100%
I have a clear understanding of where CACs’ role ends and CSC’s begins   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 21 14% 15 21% 1 13%   37 16%
Undecided 32 22% 18 25% 1 13%   51 23%
Agree/strongly agree 94 64% 38 54% 6 75%   138 61%
Total 147 100% 71 100% 8 100%   226 100%
I am contributing to the safety of my community   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 15 10% 10 14% 0 0%   25 11%
Undecided 40 28% 26 37% 2 25%   68 30%
Agree/strongly agree 90 62% 34 49% 6 75%   130 58%
Total 145 100% 70 100% 8 100%   223 100%
CAC recommendations are heard by CSC   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 19 13% 10 14% 0 0%   29 13%
Undecided 48 33% 19 28% 3 38%   70 31%
Agree/strongly agree 79 54% 40 58% 5 63%   124 56%
Total 146 100% 69 100% 8 100%   223 100%
CAC recommendations are heard at the regional level   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 18 12% 6 9% 2 22%   26 12%
Undecided 51 35% 25 36% 2 22%   78 35%
Agree/strongly agree 76 52% 39 56% 5 56%   120 54%
Total 145 100% 70 100% 9 100%   224 100%
The role of CAC members is clearly defined   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 29 20% 20 28% 0 0%   49 22%
Undecided 39 27% 16 23% 2 25%   57 25%
Agree/strongly agree 78 53% 35 49% 6 75%   119 53%
Total 146 100% 71 100% 8 100%   225 100%
I received adequate training when I joined my CAC   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 46 32% 24 34% 2 25%   72 33%
Undecided 22 15% 11 16% 1 13%   34 15%
Agree/strongly agree 75 52% 35 50% 5 63%   115 52%
Total 143 100% 70 100% 8 100%   221 100%
My involvement with my CAC has had a positive impact on CSC programs and operations   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 24 16% 6 8% 0 0%   30 13%
Undecided 56 38% 34 48% 3 38%   93 41%
Agree/strongly agree 68 46% 31 44% 5 63%   104 46%
Total 148 100% 71 100% 8 100%   227 100%
My involvement has had a positive impact on offenders   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 28 19% 16 23% 1 11%   45 20%
Undecided 44 30% 32 45% 4 44%   80 35%
Agree/strongly agree 75 51% 23 32% 4 44%   102 45%
Total 147 100% 71 100% 9 100%   227 100%
CAC recommendations are heard at the national level   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 34 23% 12 17% 2 22%   48 22%
Undecided 56 39% 24 35% 2 22%   82 37%
Agree/strongly agree 55 38% 33 48% 5 56%   93 42%
Total 145 100% 69 100% 9 100%   223 100%
CSC holds us back from carrying out our mandate   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 70 49% 30 43% 4 50%   104 47%
Undecided 49 34% 27 39% 4 50%   80 36%
Agree/strongly agree 24 17% 13 19% 0 0%   37 17%
Total 143 100% 70 100% 8 100%   221 100%
I worry about safety issues related to my work on my CAC   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 115 79% 58 83% 7 78%   180 80%
Undecided 16 11% 8 11% 1 11%   25 11%
Agree/strongly agree 15 10% 4 6% 1 11%   20 9%
Total 146 100% 70 100% 9 100%   225 100%
I could understand more of CSC policy   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 7 5% 5 7% 0 0%   12 5%
Undecided 23 16% 6 8% 2 22%   31 14%
Agree/strongly agree 117 80% 61 85% 7 78%   185 81%
Total 147 100% 72 100% 9 100%   228 100%
CSC management could provide more support to CACs   ns  
Strongly disagree/disagree 27 19% 22 31% 2 25%   51 23%
Undecided 45 31% 23 32% 3 38%   71 32%
Agree/strongly agree 72 50% 26 37% 3 38%   101 45%
Total 144 100% 71 100% 8 100%   223 100%

ns = not significant; * p<=.05; ** p<=.01; *** p<=.001

 

Table 10: Issues facing CACs (Membership Survey)
  Institution Community Joined Total
  # % # % # % # %
Aspects of improvement1  
Better communication with CSC 25 24% 7 17% 1 20% 33 22%
Training 23 22% 8 19% 1 20% 32 21%
Other 13 13% 8 19% 1 20% 22 15%
More community involvement/understanding 14 13% 6 14% 0 0% 20 13%
Better communication within levels of CAC 15 14% 2 5% 1 20% 18 12%
More interaction with inmates 12 12% 4 10% 0 0% 16 11%
Budget and funding 11 11% 5 12% 0 0% 16 11%
Recruitment 7 7% 5 12% 0 0% 12 8%
No improvements needed 3 3% 3 7% 1 20% 7 5%
Total 104   42   5   151  
Most important issues1  
Better communication with CSC 38 39% 10 21% 5 71% 53 35%
Better communication within CACs 21 22% 12 25% 2 29% 35 23%
Training 18 19% 12 25% 1 14% 31 20%
More community involvement and education 13 13% 8 17% 2 29% 23 15%
Other 9 9% 3 6% 0 0% 12 8%
Problems with recruitment 6 6% 4 8% 1 14% 11 7%
More involvement with offenders 6 6% 4 8% 0 0% 10 7%
Funding 3 3% 6 13% 0 0% 9 6%
Total 97   48   7   152  

(1) More than one response was possible.

 

Table 11: Issues facing CACs (Chair Interview)
  Institution Community Total
  # % # % # %
Improvements to community outreach1  
Public education 5 31% 8 57% 13 43%
More CSC support and communication 10 63% 1 7% 11 37%
Expand community involvement 1 6% 4 29% 5 17%
Other 2 13% 2 14% 4 13%
Total 16   14   30  
Aspects of improvement1  
Member training and education 5 28% 4 27% 9 27%
More communication, involvement and independence of CACs 4 22% 5 33% 9 27%
Consistency and clarification of mandate and role of CACs 5 28% 3 20% 8 24%
Public education and communication 4 22% 2 13% 6 18%
Formal recognition of volunteers 1 6% 1 7% 2 6%
Other 1 6% 1 7% 2 6%
Total 18   15   33  
Most important issues1  
Member training, education, and recruitment 9 47% 8 47% 17 47%
Communication between/among community, CSC and CACs 6 32% 6 35% 12 33%
Funding and administrative support 4 21% 3 18% 7 19%
Public education and involvement 3 16% 1 6% 4 11%
Consistency and clarification of mandate and role of CACs 0 0% 3 18% 3 8%
Other 1 5% 1 6% 2 6%
Total 19   17   36  

(1) More than one response was possible.

 

Appendix B: Membership Survey

CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE

MEMBERSHIP SURVEY

By a joint request of the Citizen Engagement Division of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the National Executive Committee of Citizens’ Advisory Committees, the Research and Evaluation Branches of CSC are conducting an examination of Citizens’ Advisory Committees (CACs) in Canada.

This study is being conducted in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the functioning of CACs. This will include gaining a clearer understanding of who is volunteering for CACs and hearing from you about your experiences. Your input is important in order to help us identify areas that are functioning well and areas that could be improved. This information could help the Correctional Service of Canada and Citizens’ Advisory Committees to improve the correctional process.

The questionnaire will include questions about your background, perceptions, experiences as a member of a CAC, and issues you are facing.

Your participation is voluntary and will be kept strictly confidential. Furthermore, all information will be grouped so that no one will be individually identified. If there are questions that you do not feel comfortable answering, do not feel obligated to answer them.

The questionnaire will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. If you would like further information about this research, please contact Christopher Rastin, Research Officer at CSC at (613) 947-9296 or rastinch@csc-scc.gc.ca.

We would like to thank you for participating in this important study. Your time is greatly appreciated.

MEMBERSHIP SURVEY

Identification Number: 0/1/__/__/__
Date: __/__/__

SECTION A: CAC MEMBER PROFILE

 

1. Province/territory where your CAC is located (check one):

[01] Newfoundland and Labrador
[02] Prince Edward Island
[03] Nova Scotia
[04] New Brunswick
[05] Quebec
[06] Ontario
[07] Manitoba
[08] Saskatchewan
[09] Alberta
[10] British Columbia
[11] Northwest Territories
[12] Yukon
[13] Nunavut

2. What is the name of the city/town that your CAC is located in?
_____________________________________

3. Are you a member of a CAC for (check one and write in name of institution/parole office):

[1] Institution – name _________________________
[2] Parole office – name _______________________
[3] Combined (multiple institutions) – names: ___________________________ and ________________________
[4] Combined (institution and parole office) – names: _____________________ and ________________________

4. How far do you live from the institution/parole office with which you are associated? (Check one)

[1] <1km
[2] 1 to 10 km
[3] 11 to 20 km
[4] 21 to 30 km
[5] Over 30 km
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

5. Are you currently the chair of your CAC?

[1] Yes
[2] No

6. Gender (check one):

[1] Male
[2] Female
[8] Refused

7. Age (check one):

[01] <18
[02] 18 to 24
[03] 25 to 34
[04] 35 to 44
[05] 45 to 54
[06] 55 to 64
[07] 65+
[88] Refused

8. Current marital status (check one):

[1] Single
[2] Married
[3] Common-law
[4] Divorced
[5] Separated
[6] Widowed
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

9. Are you Aboriginal (First Nations, Métis, or Inuit)? (Check one)

[1] Yes, First Nations
[2] Yes, Métis
[3] Yes, Inuit
[4] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

10. Are you a member of a visible minority group (NOT including Aboriginal)?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

11. What is your primary language (i.e., language you speak at home)? (Check one)

[1] English
[2] French
[3] Other (specify) _______________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

12. What is your religious identification? (Check one)

[1] Catholic (e.g., Roman and Ukrainian Catholic)
[2] Protestant (e.g., United, Anglican, Baptist)
[3] Eastern non-Christian (e.g., Judaism, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu)
[4] Traditional Aboriginal
[5] Other (specify) __________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

13. What is the highest level of education you have completed? (Check one)

[1] Grade school [5] Postgraduate degree
[2] High school diploma
[3] College diploma
[4] University degree
[6] Other (specify) __________________
[7] Don’t know
8]Refused

14. Current profession (check one):

[01] Sales and service
[02] Trades, transport and equipment operation
[03] Business, finance and administrative occupations
[04] Criminal justice (e.g., legal personnel, police, court personnel, security officer)
[05] Government service (non-criminal justice)
[06] Social science, education and religious
[07] Student
[08] Retired
[09] Other (specify) __________________
[88] Refused

15. Past profession(s) (check all that apply):

[01] Sales and service
[02] Trades, transport and equipment operation
[03] Business, finance and administrative occupations
[04] Criminal justice (e.g., legal personnel, police, court personnel, security officer)
[05] Government service (non-criminal justice)
[06] Social science, education and religious
[07] Student
[08] Retired
[09] Other (specify) __________________
[88] Refused

16. What is your annual family income before taxes? (Check one)

[01] Less than $10,000
[02] $10,000–$19,999
[03] $20,000–$29,999
[04] $30,000–$39,999
[05] $40,000–$ 49,999
[06] $50,000–$ 59,999
[07] $60,000–$ 69,999
[08] $70,000–$ 79,999
[09] $80,000 or over
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

17. How long have you been a CAC member? (Check one)

[01] Less than 6 months
[02] 6 to 11 months
[03] 1 to 2 years
[04] 3 to 4 years
[05] 5 to 6 years
[06] 7 to 10 years
[07] More than 10 years
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

18. On average, how many hours per month do you volunteer as a CAC member? (Check one)

[1] Less than one hour
[2] 1 to 3 hours
[3] 4 to 6 hours
[4] 7 to 10 hours
[5] More than 10 hours
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

19. How did you become aware of your CAC? (Check one)

[01] Through a friend
[02] Advertisement (e.g., local newspaper)
[03] Pamphlets
[04] Internet
[05] Community forum
[06] Through someone in CSC
[07] Through another organization
[08] Other (specify) __________________
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

20. Why did you join your CAC? (Check all that apply)

[1] Community involvement
[2] Assist offenders
[3] Learn about the criminal justice system
[4] Related to my studies/profession
[5] Contribute to safe society
[6] Other (specify)____________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

21. How did you become a CAC member? (Check one)

[1] Asked by another CAC member
[2] Asked by someone in CSC
[3] Asked by another organization
[4] Other (specify) ____________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

22. Do you participate in other volunteer activities?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[8] Refused

 

SECTION B: PERCEPTIONS

In the following section, we’re interested in obtaining your opinion about different issues relating to offenders and the correctional system. Some of the wording may not fit with the terminology you are used to; however, they are based on standard questions that have been used previously.

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating that you “strongly disagree” and 5 indicating that you “strongly agree”, please rate your level of agreement or disagreement with the following statements:

  1. Strongly disagree
  2. Disagree
  3. Undecided
  4. Agree
  5. Strongly agree
1. Stiffer jail sentences will help reduce the amount of crime by showing criminals that crime does not pay. 1 2 3 4 5
2. Punishing criminals is the only way to stop them from engaging in more crimes in the future. 1 2 3 4 5
3. Inmates are different from most people. 1 2 3 4 5
4. Only a few inmates are really dangerous. 1 2 3 4 5
5. Inmates never change. 1 2 3 4 5
6. The only way to reduce crime in our society is to punish criminals, not try to rehabilitate them. 1 2 3 4 5
7. We should stop viewing criminals as victims of society who deserve to be rehabilitated and start paying more attention to the victims of these criminals. 1 2 3 4 5
8. Most inmates are victims of circumstance and deserve to be helped. 1 2 3 4 5
9. Inmates have feelings like the rest of us. 1 2 3 4 5
10. It is not wise to trust an inmate too far. 1 2 3 4 5
11. I think I would like a lot of inmates. 1 2 3 4 5
12. Bad prison conditions just make an inmate more bitter. 1 2 3 4 5
13. Sending criminals to jail will not stop them from committing crimes. 1 2 3 4 5
14. Putting people in prisons does not make much sense since it will only increase crime because prisons are schools of crime. 1 2 3 4 5
15. Give an inmate an inch and they will take a mile. 1 2 3 4 5
16. Most inmates are stupid. 1 2 3 4 5
17. One of the reasons why rehabilitation programs often fail with inmates is because they are underfunded; if enough money were available, these programs would work. 1 2 3 4 5
18. The rehabilitation of inmates has proven to be a failure. 1 2 3 4 5
19. Inmates need affection and praise just like anybody else. 1 2 3 4 5
20. You should not expect too much from an inmate. 1 2 3 4 5
21. Trying to rehabilitate inmates is a waste of time and money. 1 2 3 4 5
22. Inmates are no better or worse than other people. 1 2 3 4 5
23. You have to be constantly on your guard with inmates. 1 2 3 4 5
24. In general, inmates think and act alike. 1 2 3 4 5
25. Punishing criminals will reduce crime by setting an example and showing others that crime does not pay. 1 2 3 4 5
26. All rehabilitation programs have done is to allow criminals who deserve to be punished to get off easily. 1 2 3 4 5
27. If you give an inmate your respect, they’ll give you the same. 1 2 3 4 5
28. Inmates only think about themselves. 1 2 3 4 5
29. There are some inmates I would trust my life with. 1 2 3 4 5
30. Inmates will listen to reason. 1 2 3 4 5
31. Most inmates are too lazy to earn an honest living. 1 2 3 4 5
32. I wouldn’t mind living next door to an ex-inmate. 1 2 3 4 5
33. Inmates are just plain mean at heart. 1 2 3 4 5
34. The values of most inmates are about the same as the rest. 1 2 3 4 5
35. Rehabilitating a criminal is just as important as making a criminal pay for their crime. 1 2 3 4 5
36. The only effective and humane cure to the crime problem is to make a strong effort to rehabilitate offenders. 1 2 3 4 5
37. I would never want one of my children dating an ex-inmate. 1 2 3 4 5
38. Most inmates have the capacity to love. 1 2 3 4 5
39. Inmates are just plain immoral. 1 2 3 4 5
40. Inmates should be under strict, hard discipline. 1 2 3 4 5
41. In general, inmates are basically bad people. 1 2 3 4 5
42. Most inmates can be rehabilitated. 1 2 3 4 5
43. Some inmates are pretty nice people. 1 2 3 4 5
44. I would like associating with some inmates. 1 2 3 4 5
45. I would support expanding the rehabilitation programs with criminals that are now being undertaken in our prisons. 1 2 3 4 5
46. The rehabilitation of adult criminals just does not work. 1 2 3 4 5
47. Inmates only respect brute force. 1 2 3 4 5
48. If a person does well in prison, he/she should be let out on parole. 1 2 3 4 5

 

49. Do you think that the Canadian criminal courts do a poor job, an average job or a good job:

  Poor job Average job Good job Don’t know Refused
a) of providing justice quickly? 1 2 3 7 8
b) of helping the victim? 1 2 3 7 8
c) of determining whether the accused or the person charged is guilty or not? 1 2 3 7 8
d) of ensuring a fair trial for theaccused? 1 2 3 7 8

 

50. Do you think that the prison system does a poor job, an average job or a good job:

  Poor job Average job Good job Don’t know Refused
a) of supervising and controlling prisoners while in prison? 1 2 3 7 8
b) of helping prisoners become law-abiding citizens? 1 2 3 7 8

 

51. Do you think that the parole system does a poor job, an average job or a good job [the responsibility of the parole system is to decide which prison inmates can serve part of their sentence in the community under supervision and to make sure the conditions of parole are being met. If offenders don’t meet parole conditions they can be returned to prison]:

  Poor job Average job Good job Don’t know Refused
a) of releasing offenders who are not likely to commit another crime? 1 2 3 7 8
b) of supervising offenders on parole? 1 2 3 7 8

 

SECTION C: EXPERIENCES WITH CACs

 

We are interested in exploring your level of involvement in different CAC activities.

1. In the past year, aside from any regular CAC meetings, how many visits did you make to the institution/parole office in order to (specify number of times):

A. act as an independent observer of CSC’s day-to-day activities and/or operations? #_____

B. act as an independent observer during a disturbance or crisis? #_____

2. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent are you involved in the following CAC activities?

 

A. Having regular meetings and discussions with CSC managers and staff 1 2 3 4 5
B. Regular visits to CSC facilities and programs 1 2 3 4 5
C. Acting as independent observer during disturbances or crises 1 2 3 4 5
D. Acting as independent observer of CSC’s day-to-day activities and operations. 1 2 3 4 5
E. Contributing to the training and development of other CAC members 1 2 3 4 5
F. Requesting information on all aspects of the correctional processes 1 2 3 4 5
G. Seeking information on general correctional issues 1 2 3 4 5
H. Meeting with offenders/parolees and offender/parolee groups 1 2 3 4 5
I. Meeting with community members and groups to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues 1 2 3 4 5
J. Increasing awareness/understanding of my local community about CSC. 1 2 3 4 5
K. Serving as a link between CSC and the local community. 1 2 3 4 5
L. Helping to increase communication between my local community and CSC. 1 2 3 4 5
M. Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts and grievance proceedings 1 2 3 4 5
N. Surveying attitudes of the community, offenders and correctional staff 1 2 3 4 5
O. Being an observer or participant at correctional workshops or training sessions 1 2 3 4 5
P. Assisting in the development of community resources for institutional pre-release or post-release programs 1 2 3 4 5
Q. Supporting and encouraging community involvement through volunteer participation 1 2 3 4 5
R. Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation 1 2 3 4 5
S. Being well informed on the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system 1 2 3 4 5
T. Maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation 1 2 3 4 5
U. Contributing to offender programs in the institution and in the community 1 2 3 4 5
V. Assisting offenders in their community reintegration 1 2 3 4 5
W. Other (specify) _________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5
X. Other (specify) _________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5

 

3. Have you had the opportunity to participate in any community outreach activities?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up question)
[2] No
[8] Refused

A. If yes, in what way? (Check all that apply)

[01] Media interviews
[02] Presentation to community groups
[03] Discussions with family, friends, neighbours
[04] Arranging tours of CSC facilities
[05] University/college presentations
06] Liaising with our criminal justice partners (e.g., police, legal)
[07] Liaising with NGO criminal justice partners (e.g., John Howard Society)
[08] Sharing annual reports with the public/community
[09] Hosting/participating in public forums to enhance community education and awareness
[10] Keeping the media informed of what is happening with CACs
[11] Using the media to dispel myths
[12] Hosting an open house at the institution/CCC
[13] Other (specify) _______________________________________
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how knowledgeable would you rate yourself as a CAC member in the following areas?

4. CAC’s Mission 1 2 3 4 5
5. Role of CAC members 1 2 3 4 5
6. CSC’s Mission 1 2 3 4 5
7. CSC policies and procedures 1 2 3 4 5
8. Issues affecting offenders 1 2 3 4 5
9. Issues affecting staff 1 2 3 4 5
10. Corrections in general 1 2 3 4 5
11. Criminal justice system 1 2 3 4 5
12. Victims 1 2 3 4 5
13. Correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5
14. Offenders’ reintegration process 1 2 3 4 5
15. Policy for serving as an observer during a crisis situation 1 2 3 4 5
16. Procedure for serving as an observer during a crisis situation 1 2 3 4 5

 

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how effective would you rate your CAC in each of the following areas?

17. Providing advice to CSC 1 2 3 4 5
18. Serving as independent observer in the correctional system 1 2 3 4 5
19. Serving as liaison between CSC and the community 1 2 3 4 5
20. Contributing to the quality of the correctional process 1 2 3 4 5
21. Interacting with staf 1 2 3 4 5
22. Interacting with offenders 1 2 3 4 5
23. Interacting with the public 1 2 3 4 5
24. Providing recommendations to CSC 1 2 3 4 5
25. Contributing to the protection of society 1 2 3 4 5
26. Contributing to the safe operation of institutions or parole offices 1 2 3 4 5
27. Contributing to correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5
28. Contributing to correctional policy 1 2 3 4 5

 

29. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how effective would you rate your CAC on achievement of the following goals:

A. Promoting public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC staff and the public 1 2 3 4 5
B. Contributing to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs 1 2 3 4 5
C. Fostering public participation in the correctional process 1 2 3 4 5
D. Participating in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5
E. Acting as independent observers 1 2 3 4 5

The next set of questions refers to your opinion about the functioning of CACs, and areas that you may feel could be improved. Again, use the rating scale to indicate the extent of your agreement or disagreement with the following statements.

Strongly disagree Disagree Undecided Agree Strongly agree
30. I feel recognized as a volunteer. 1 2 3 4 5
31. I feel that I am contributing to CSC. 1 2 3 4 5
32. I feel that I am contributing to the CAC. 1 2 3 4 5
33. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard at the regional CAC level. 1 2 3 4 5
34. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard at the national CAC level. 1 2 3 4 5
35. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard by CSC. 1 2 3 4 5
36. I feel I could improve my understanding of CSC policy. 1 2 3 4 5
37. I feel like CSC management could provide more support to the CACs. 1 2 3 4 5
38. I feel that my involvement with the CAC has a positive impact on CSC programs and/or operations. 1 2 3 4 5
39. I feel that my involvement with the CAC has a positive impact on offenders. 1 2 3 4 5
40. I feel that roles for CAC members are clearly defined. 1 2 3 4 5
41. I have a clear understanding of where the CAC role ends and CSC’s role begins. 1 2 3 4 5
42. I feel that CSC holds CACs back in carrying out our mandate. 1 2 3 4 5
43. I have a clear understanding of the mandate of CACs. 1 2 3 4 5
44. I feel my CAC functions in an organized manner. 1 2 3 4 5
45. I feel like my work with my CAC is time well spent. 1 2 3 4 5
46. I feel I received adequate initial training when I joined the CAC. 1 2 3 4 5
47. I feel I have the opportunity to receive adequate ongoing training as a CAC member. 1 2 3 4 5
48. I worry about safety issues in my work with CACs. 1 2 3 4 5
49. I feel that I am contributing to the safety of my community. 1 2 3 4 5

 

On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating that you are “very dissatisfied” and 5 indicating that you are “very satisfied”, please rate your satisfaction with the following statements.

50. Your having an opportunity for input in how the CACs are run. 1 2 3 4 5
51. Your CAC’s performance at promoting public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC, staff and the public. 1 2 3 4 5
52. Level of CSC orientation you received. 1 2 3 4 5
53. Level of CAC orientation you received. 1 2 3 4 5
54. Training you received. 1 2 3 4 5
55. Your CAC’s performance at contributing to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs. 1 2 3 4 5
56. Your CAC’s performance at fostering public participation in the correctional process. 1 2 3 4 5
57. Your CAC’s performance at participation in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs. 1 2 3 4 5
58. Your ability in acting as an independent observer. 1 2 3 4 5

 

60. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating that you are “very dissatisfied” and 5 indicating that you are “very satisfied”, how satisfied would you say you have been with your experience as a CAC member overall? (Circle one)

  1. Very dissatisfied
  2.  
  3. Somewhat
  4.  
  5. Very satisfied

A. Why would you say you have/haven’t been satisfied with your experience as a CAC member?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

61. Have you participated in the new one and one-half day orientation training?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

62. In your opinion, what do you think the main purpose of a CAC should be?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

63. What do you think are the most beneficial aspects of the CAC?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

64. What do you think could be improved?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

65. What do you think are the most important issues that need to be addressed to ensure the most effective functioning of CACs?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

66. What do you think are your individual contributions to your CAC?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

67. What do you think you have gained personally from your work as a CAC member?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

68. Do you intend to continue your position with the CAC after your current two-year term?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[8] Refused

A. Why or why not?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

69. Could you describe your overall experience as a CAC member?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________

Is there anything else you would like to add?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________

Thank you very much for taking the time to complete this survey.

 

Appendix C: Chair Interview

CITIZEN ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR INTERVIEW

By a joint request of the Citizen Engagement Division of the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) and the National Executive Committee of Citizen Advisory Committees, the Research and Evaluation Branches of CSC are conducting an examination of Citizen Advisory Committees (CACs) in Canada.

This study is being conducted in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of CACs. As chair of a CAC, this interview will include questions about your experiences and impressions of your CAC and CACs in general. This information will be of great assistance to both the Correctional Service of Canada and Citizen Advisory Committees.

Your participation is voluntary and will be kept strictly confidential. If there are questions that you do not feel comfortable answering, do not feel obligated to answer them.

This interview will take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to conduct. If you would like any further information about this research, please contact Christopher Rastin, Research Officer at CSC at (613) 947-9296 or rastinch@csc-scc.gc.ca.

We would like to thank you for participating in this important study. Your time is greatly appreciated.

CHAIR INTERVIEW

Identification Number: 0/2/__/__/__
Province: __/__
Institution/Parole Office: __/__/__
Interviewer: __/__
Date: __/__/__

SECTION A: STRUCTURE OF CAC

1. How many members does your CAC currently have?

____
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

2. How many members of your CAC are:

Women ____
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

Aboriginal ____
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

Other ethnic minorities ____
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

3. What would say is the average age of CAC members? (Check one)

[01] <18
[02] 18 to 24
[03] 25 to 34
[04] 35 to 44
[05] 45 to 54
[06] 55 to 64
[07] 65+
[88] Refused
[77] Don’t know

4. What would you estimate is the average educational level of members of your CAC? (Check one)

[01] Elementary school diploma
[02] Secondary school diploma
[03] College diploma/trade school
[03] Undergraduate degree (B.A., B.Sc., Ll.L., Ll.B., M.D.)
[04] Graduate school (M.A., M.Sc., M.Ed., Ph.D., Ll.M)
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

5. What professions are members of your CAC involved in? (Check all that apply)

[01] Sales and service
[02] Trades, transport and equipment operation
[03] Business, finance and administrative occupations
[04] Social science, education, government service and religion
[05] Criminal Justice (legal personal, police, court personal, security officer)
[06] Student
[07] Retired
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

6. Could you describe the organizational structure of your CAC (i.e., roles and duties of members)?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

7. Could you describe the overall role of your CAC (e.g., what do you see as the mandate)?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

8. How would you describe your role as a CAC chair?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

9. In the past year, how many times did your CAC meet? (Check one)

# of times: _______

10. Where does your CAC usually meet? (Check one)

[1] In the institution or parole office affiliated with the CAC
[2] Other (specify) ___________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

11. How often does your CAC take minutes of your meetings? (Check one)

[1] Always (go to follow-up question A)
[2] Often (go to follow-up question A)
[3] Sometimes (go to follow-up question A)
[4] Rarely (go to follow-up questions A and C)
[5] Never (go to follow-up question C)
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If always, often, sometimes or rarely, who typically takes the minutes? (Check one)

[1] CSC employee
[2] CAC member
[3] Other (specify) _______________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

B. Where are the minutes kept? (Check one)

[1] Institution/parole office
[2] With CAC chair
[3] With other CAC member
[4] Other (specify) _______________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

C. If rarely or never, what are the reasons for not taking minutes on a regular basis? (Check all that apply)

[1] There is nobody to write the minutes
[2] People do not feel very comfortable talking openly if minutes are recorded
[3] Other (specify) _______________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

D. What do you think could be done to better facilitate recording of the minutes?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

12. I am going to read to you a list of methods for recruiting new members for CACs. Please indicate whether or not your CAC uses this method as a technique of recruiting new CAC members:

 YesNoDon’t knowRefused
A. Advertisements (e.g., local newspaper) [1][2] [7][8]
B. Pamphlets [1][2] [7][8]
C. Internet [1][2] [7][8]
D. Through other CAC members [1][2] [7][8]
E. Through CSC staff [1][2] [7][8]
F. Through staff from another organization [1][2] [7][8]
G. Community forum [1][2] [7][8]
H. Other (specify) ___________ [1][2] [7][8]

 

13. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how satisfied are you with your recruitment process?

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

14. How do you think the recruitment process could be improved?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

15. In your opinion, does your CAC membership reflect the diversity of the local community (e.g., ethnicity, profession, etc.)?

[1] Yes
[2] No (go to follow-up question)
[7] Don’t know (go to follow-up question)
[8] Refused

A. What do you think could be done to attract CAC members that are more reflective of the local community?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

16. In the last 2 years, how many members out all your members have left your CAC (turnover rate)?

___ / ___
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

17. Can you describe the reasons why members have left the CAC?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

 

SECTION B: INTERACTIONS

 

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, overall how would you rate the extent to which your CAC interacts with the institution/parole office?

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

2. I am going to read a list of groups that your CAC members may come into contact with. Can you indicate how often your CAC has contact with the each of the following groups (e.g., meetings, phone calls, email, etc.) in a year (circle one for each that best reflects frequency of contact):

[01] Never
[02] Once a year
[03] Once every 9 months
[04] Once every 6 months
[05] Once every 3 months
[06] Once a month
[07] Bi-weekly
[08] Weekly
[77] Unknown
[88] Refused

A. Warden 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
B. Director of parole office 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
C. Director of CCC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
D. Correctional officers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
E. Program officers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
F. Parole officers/case management 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
G. Employment staff (EEP/CORCAN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
H. Medical staff (physicians, nurses, psychologists, counsellors) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
I. Teaching staff 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
J. Clergy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
K. Other institutional staff 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
L. CSC staff, aside from institutional staff (e.g., National HQ, Regional HQ) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
M. CSC regional CAC representative 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
N. Offenders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
O. Members of your community 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
P. Other (specify) _________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88
Q. Other (specify) _________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 77 88

 

3. I am going to read a list regarding what you may feel are the primary roles of the warden/director with respect to the CAC. Please indicate what items you feel are primary roles for the warden or director:

 YesNoDon’t knowRefused
A. Provide support [1][2] [7][8]
B. Seek advice [1][2] [7][8]
C. Liaison between local and regional CACs [1][2] [7][8]
D. Liaison between local CAC and CSC [1][2] [7][8]
E. Respond to advice/recommendations from CAC [1][2] [7][8]
F. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]
G. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]

4. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent does your CAC provide advice to the warden or director of the facility with which you are associated?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Somewhat
  4.  
  5. A great deal

5. I am going to read you a list of types of advice your CAC may provide to the warden or director. Please indicate to me whether or not your CAC offers this form of advice:

 YesNoDon’t knowRefused
A. Day-to day functioning of institution/parole office [1][2] [7][8]
B. Incidents [1][2] [7][8]
C. Staff-related advice [1][2] [7][8]
D. Offender-related advice [1][2] [7][8]
E. Programming advice [1][2] [7][8]
F. Policy advice [1][2] [7][8]
G. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]
H. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]

6. In your opinion, does the warden/director use the advice you offer?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

7. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent does the warden/director seek advice from the CAC?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Sometimes
  4.  
  5. A great deal

8. I am now going to read a list of areas your warden/director may seek advice on. Please indicate if your warden or director seeks advice in this particular area:

 YesNoDon’t knowRefused
A. Day-to day functioning of institution/parole office [1][2] [7][8]
B. Incidents [1][2] [7][8]
C. Staff-related advice [1][2] [7][8]
D. Offender-related advice [1][2] [7][8]
E. Programming advice [1][2] [7][8]
F. Policy advice [1][2] [7][8]
G. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]
H. Other (specify) _________________ [1][2] [7][8]

9. On average, how many recommendations:

  #DKRefus
A. does your CAC propose/generate in one year______ [7] [8]
B. are carried forward to the Regional CAC ______ [7] [8]
C. are carried forward to the CAC National Exec. ______ [7] [8]

10. How are these recommendations presented to the warden/director? Are they through (read list—check all that apply):

[1] Verbal communication
[2] Written communication
[3] Other (specify) ____________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

11. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “always”, to what extent does the warden/director respond to these recommendations?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Sometimes
  4.  
  5. Sometimes

12. How are the warden’s/directors’ responses typically communicated to the CACs? Is it mostly through (read list—check one):

[1] Verbal communication to the Chair of the CAC
[2] Verbal communication to the CSC Regional Representative
[3] Verbal communication at the local CAC meeting
[4] Written communication
[5] Other (specify) ____________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

13. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how informed do you think the warden/director keeps the CAC regarding relevant events or issues?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Somewhat
  4.  
  5. Very

14. One a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how satisfied are you regarding your interactions with the warden/Director?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Somewhat
  4.  
  5. Very

15. Do CAC members meet with offenders?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up questions)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, on average in a year, how often do CAC members meet with offenders? (Check one)

[01] Once a year
02] Once every 9 months
[03] Once very 6 months
[04] Once every 3 months
[05] Once a month
[06] Bi-weekly
[07] Weekly
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused
[99] Not applicable

B. Interactions with offenders tend to be with (check all that apply):

[1] Individual offenders
[2] Inmate committee representatives
[3] Other (specify) ______________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not Applicable

C. How would you characterize the nature of CAC members’ interactions with offenders? (Check one)

[1] Formal (i.e., participation in scheduled meeting
[2] Informal (i.e., talking to staff as we see them)
[3] Combination of formal and informal interactions
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

D. I am going to read a list of issues possibly discussed with offenders. Please indicate whether or not your CAC addresses these issues with offenders. (Check one for each)

 YesNoDon’t knowRefused
Case-specific offender concerns [1][2] [7][8]
General offender-related advice [1][2] [7][8]
Day-to-day functioning – institution/parole office [1][2] [7][8]
Incidents [1][2] [7][8]
Staff-related issues [1][2] [7][8]
Programming issues [1][2] [7][8]
Policy issues [1][2] [7][8]
Other (specify) ______________ [1][2] [7][8]
Other (specify) ______________ [1][2] [7][8]

16. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent do you deal with reintegration issues (i.e., contributing to offenders’ capacity to settle back into the community upon release)?

  1. Not at all
  2.  
  3. Somewhat
  4.  
  5. A great deal

17. Does your CAC meet with the CSC regional CAC representative?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up question)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, what types of issues are discussed with the CSC regional CAC representative?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

18. Does your CAC consult with any other CSC representatives regarding any issues (e.g., national headquarters, regional headquarters)?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up question)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, what types of issues are discussed with other CSC representatives?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

19. Does your CAC interact with other CACs in your town/city, region or the country (e.g., hold activities together, meet to discus operations and policies)?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up question)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, can you please describe those interactions?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

20. Do CAC members meet with community members?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up questions)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, on average, how often do CAC members meet with community members? (Check one)

[1] Once per month
[2] Two to three times per month
[3] Four or more times per month
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

B. Interactions with community members tend to be with (check all that apply):

[1] Individual community members
[2] Groups/organizations of community members
[3] Other (specify) ______________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

C. How would you characterize the nature of CAC members’ interactions with community members (check one):

[1] Formal (i.e., participation in scheduled meeting)
[2] Informal (i.e., talking to community members as we see them
[3] Combination of formal and informal interactions
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused
[9] Not applicable

21. Using a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, in your opinion, to what extent:

A. Does your CAC accurately represent the views of the community to CSC? 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
B. Does your CAC accurately represent CSC (e.g., functioning, Mission, etc.) to the community? 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
C. Do you feel you receive support from CSC for outreach activities? 1 2 3 4 5 7 8

22. Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the CACs’ community outreach?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

 

SECTION C: ACTIVITIES

 

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent has your CAC been involved in work toward the following goals:

A. Promoting public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC staff and the public 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
B. Contributing to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
C. Fostering public participation in the correctional process 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
D. Participating in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5 7 8
E. Acting as independent observers 1 2 3 4 5 7 8

2. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, to what extent is your CAC involved in the following activities:

A. Having regular meetings and discussions with CSC managers and staff 1 2 3 4 5
B. Regular visits to CSC facilities and programs 1 2 3 4 5
C. Acting as independent observer during disturbances or crises 1 2 3 4 5
D. Acting as independent observer of CSC’s day-to-day activities and operations. 1 2 3 4 5
E. Contributing to the training and development of other CAC members 1 2 3 4 5
F. Requesting information on all aspects of the correctional processes 1 2 3 4 5
G. Seeking information on general correctional issues 1 2 3 4 5
H. Meeting with offenders/parolees and offender/parolee groups 1 2 3 4 5
I. Meeting with community members and groups to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues 1 2 3 4 5
J. Increasing awareness/understanding of my local community about CSC. 1 2 3 4 5
K. Serving as a link between CSC and the local community. 1 2 3 4 5
L. Helping to increase communication between my local community and CSC. 1 2 3 4 5 6
M. Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts and grievance proceedings 1 2 3 4 5 6
N. Surveying attitudes of the community, offenders and correctional staff 1 2 3 4 5
O. Being an observer or participant at correctional workshops or training sessions 1 2 3 4 5
P. Assisting in the development of community resources for institutional pre-release or post-release programs 1 2 3 4 5
Q. Supporting and encouraging community involvement through volunteer participation 1 2 3 4 5
R. Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation 1 2 3 4 5
S. Being well informed on the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system 1 2 3 4 5
T. Maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation 1 2 3 4 5
U. Contributing to offender programs in the institution and in the community 1 2 3 4 5
V. Assisting offenders in their community reintegration 1 2 3 4 5
W. Other (specify) ______________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5
X. Other (specify) ______________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5

3. Of the previous list, can you rank order the top 5 activities your CAC is involved in?

____ Having regular meetings and discussions with CSC managers and staff
____ Regular visits to CSC facilities and programs
____ Acting as independent observers during disturbances or crises
____ Contributing to the training and development of other CAC members
____ Requesting information on all aspects of the correctional process
____ Seeking information on general correctional issues
____ Meeting with offenders and offender groups
____ Meeting with community members and groups to inform and receive feedback on correctional issues
____ Attending parole hearings, disciplinary courts, and grievance proceedings
____ Surveying attitudes of the community, offenders and correctional staff
____ Being an observer or participant at correctional workshops or training sessions
____ Assisting in the development of community resources for institutional pre-release or post-release programs
____ Supporting and encouraging community involvement through volunteer participation
____ Assisting in identifying and solving problems involving community attitudes, myths and misinformation
____ Being well informed on the correctional process and other components of the criminal justice system
____ Maintaining liaison with other CACs through national, regional and/or local participation
____ Contributing to offender programs in the institution and in the community
____ Other (specify) __________________________
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

4. Does your CAC participate in any community outreach activities?

[1] Yes (go to follow-up question)
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, I am going to read you a list of community outreach practices your CAC may engage in. Please indicate which outreach activities your CAC engages in. (Check all that apply)

[01] Media interview
[02] Presentation to community groups
[03] Discussions with family, friends, neighbours
[04] Arranging tours of CSC facilities
[05] University/college presentations
[06] Liaising with our criminal justice partners (e.g., police, legal)
[07] Liaising with NGO criminal justice partners (e.g., John Howard Society)
[08] Sharing annual reports with the public / community
[09] Hosting/participating in public forums to enhance community education and awareness
[10] Keeping the media informed of what is happening with CACs
[11] Using the media to dispel myths
[12] Hosting an open house at the institution/CCC
[13] Other (specify) _______________________________________
[77] Don’t know
[88] Refused

 

SECTION D: EXPERIENCES WITH CACs

 

1. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, how would you rate CAC members’ knowledge of CSC? ([7] Don’t know[8] Refused)

2. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how knowledgeable would you rate your CAC members in the following areas: ([7] Don’t know[8] Refused)

A. CAC’s Mission 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. Role of CAC members 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. CSC’s Mission 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D. CSC policies and procedures 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
E. Issues affecting offenders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
F. Issues affecting staff 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
G. Corrections in general 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
H. Criminal justice system 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I. Victims 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
J. Correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
K. Offenders’ reintegration process 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
L. Policy for serving as an observer during a crisis situation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
M. Procedure for serving as an observer during a crisis situation 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

3. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how effective would you rate your CAC in each of the following areas:

A. Providing advice to CSC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. Serving as independent observer in the correctional system 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. Serving as liasion between CSC and the community 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D. Contributing to the quality of the correctional process 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
E. Interacting with staf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
F. Interacting with offenders 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
G. Interacting with the public 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
H. Providing recommendations to CSC 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I. Contributing to the protection of society 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
J. Contributing to the safe operation of institutions or parole offices 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
K. Contributing to correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
L. Contributing to correctional policy 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

4. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how effective would you rate your CAC on achievement of the following goals:

A. Promoting public knowledge and understanding of corrections through communication among offenders, CSC staff and the public 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. Contributing to the overall development of correctional facilities and programs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. Fostering public participation in the correctional process 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D. Participating in developing community resources designed to support correctional programs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
E. Acting as independent observers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

5. The next set of questions refer to your opinion about the functioning of CACs and areas that you may feel could use improvement. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, to what extent do you agree with the following statements?

A. I think CAC members feel recognized as volunteers. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. I think CAC members feel they are contributing to CSC. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. I think CAC members feel they are contributing to the CAC. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard at the regional CAC level. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
E. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard at the national CAC level. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
F. I believe that local CAC recommendations are heard by CSC. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
G. I feel CAC members could improve their understanding of CSC policy. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
H. I think CAC members feel CSC management could provide more support to the CACs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
I. I think that CAC members feel their involvement with the CAC has a positive impact on CSC programs and/or operations. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
J. I think CAC members feel their involvement with the CAC has a positive impact on offenders. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
K. I think CAC members feel that their roles as CAC members are clearly defined. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
L. I think CAC members have a clear understanding of where the CAC role ends and CSC’s role begins. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
M. I think CAC members feel that CSC holds them (CACs) back in carrying out our mandate. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
N. I think CAC members have a clear understanding of the mandate of CACs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
O. I think CAC members feel that their CAC functions in an organized manner. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
P. I think CAC members feel like their work with the CAC is time well spent. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Q. I think CAC members feel they received an adequate initial orientation when they joined the CAC. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
R. I think CAC members feel they have the opportunity to receive adequate ongoing training as a CAC member. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
S. I think CAC members worry about safety issues in their work with CACs. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
T. I think CAC members feel they are contributing to the safety of their community. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

6. Have members of your CAC participated in the new one and one-half day orientation training?

[1] Yes
[2] No
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

A. If yes, on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “a great deal”, how satisfied are you with the new one and one-half day orientation training? ([7] Don’t know [8] Refused)

7. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how would you rate the following statements: ([7] Don’t know [8] Refused)

A. The responsiveness of staff at the institutional or parole office staff to the work of the CAC? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. The responsiveness of the warden or director to the work of the CAC? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. The responsiveness of CSC to the recommendations of your CAC? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

8. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “Not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, to what extent do you think that CSC provides the following support for CACs:

A. Training 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
B. Media training 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
C. Maintaining information about CACs 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
D. Administrative support for meetings, etc. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
E. Funding for meeting expenses (e.g., hospitality, meeting room, etc.) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
F. Funding for travel of CAC members to meetings 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
G. Funding for travel of CAC members for conference attendance 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
H. Funding for materials/supplies 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

9. What do you think are the strengths of CACs?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

10. What do you think are the most beneficial aspects of the CAC?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

11. What aspects of CACs, if any, do you think could be improved?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

12. What do you think are the most important issues that need to be addressed to ensure the most effective functioning of CACs?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

13. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 indicating “not at all” and 5 indicating “very”, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with your experience as a CAC chair? ([7] Don’t know [8] Refused)

14. Could you describe your overall experience as a CAC chair?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________
[7] Don’t know
[8] Refused

Do you have anything else you would like to add?

__________________________________________________________
__________________________________________________________

 

Thank you very much for your time!