Success in Reintegration: The Potential Application of Situation Tables to Community Corrections
What we looked at
The use of Situation Tables (also known as “hub models”) for the triage of acutely elevated-risk cases in the community has expanded greatly in Canada over the last six years. This review provides a global overview of Situation Tables and suggests its potential relevance for the Correctional Service of Canada (CSC).
What we found
Situation Tables offer a venue for service providers from various sectors (police, education, addictions, social work, mental health, etc.) to regularly convene and discuss clients who meet a defined threshold of risk. The intent of these discussions is to formulate a plan of intervention that mobilizes multiple sectors, collaborating to provide services and support to the individual or families. In order to mitigate risk before harm occurs, Situation Tables aim to connect clients to services within 24 to 48 hours of a case being presented to the group (Nilson, 2015).
As of November, 2016, there were estimated to be 100 active Situation Tables across Canada. Since their inception, these tables have triaged 8,504 acutely elevated-risk cases (Global Network for Community Safety Canada, 2016).
Canadian evaluations of Situation Tables have found that they demonstrate a measureable, positive impact on clients as well as on the way local service providers conduct their work. Trust in community service providers increased, calls for police service decreased, and closer working relationships between service providers were established, enabling more effective and efficient collaboration (Brown & Newberry, 2015). They have also been found to be effective in Indigenous communities, as they fit the values and community-oriented and inclusive approaches favoured in these communities (Nilson, 2016).
What it means
As CSC works to facilitate the successful reintegration of offenders into the community, Situation Tables offer a unique opportunity for parole officers to establish and build upon existing partnerships with community service providers, providing a potential forum to assist in mitigating elevated levels of risk by ensuring that offenders are receiving appropriate forms of intervention in the community.
Not only can these collaborations assist in quickly and efficiently linking offenders with services that facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration, but they can also serve as a mechanism to inform community members and service providers about CSC and its mandate generally, as well as proving clarity around the community corrections process, specifically.
Global Network for Community Safety Canada (2016). 1st Canada-wide Account of Hub/Situation Table Adopter Sites and Situations Triaged for Acutely Elevated Risk (Since 2011). Available: http://globalcommunitysafety.com/hub situation-table-adoption-canada.
Brown, J. & Newberry, J. (2015). An Evaluation of the Connectivity Situation Tables in Waterloo Region. Guelph, ON: Taylor Newberry.
Nilson, C. (2015). The Original Game Changers: An Evaluative Report on Prince Albert’s Centre of Responsibility and its Role in the Advancement of Community Mobilization. Saskatoon, SK: Centre for Forensic Behavioural Science and Justice Studies – University of Saskatchewan.
Nilson, C. (2016). Collaborative Risk-Driven Intervention: A Study of Samson Cree Nation’s Application of the Hub Model. Ottawa, ON. Public Safety Canada.
For more information
Please e-mail the Research Branch or contact us by phone at (613) 995-3975.
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Prepared by: Yvonne Stys
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