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Evaluation Report: The Section 81 Agreement between the Native Counselling Services of Alberta and the Correctional Services of Canada; The Stan Daniels Healing Centre

File #394-2-30

Evaluation Branch
Performance Assurance Sector
October 7, 2005

Objective 4: Unintended Findings:

Unintended findings are areas wherein the policy, program, or initiative created or encountered any positive or negative effects.

FINDING 8: The changing nature of the resident profile at the Centre raises concerns regarding the appropriateness of the level of supervision available for the higher risk cases. However, an examination of data for the most recent years suggests a reverse in this trend.

Over time, the resident profile has changed such that the proportion of high-risk and low reintegration-potential residents is rising. The implications of this trend is that, as the proportion of these residents increases at the Centre, so does the likelihood and impact of risk to public safety.

The Correctional Service of Canada assesses an offender's static risk based on historical information related to risk that is available at the time of the offender's admission to federal custody[66]. An examination of the resident profile at the Centre reveals the proportion of residents rated high-risk is increasing over time (see Figure 8).

Figure 9: Average Number of Higher Risk Residents

Similarly, the proportion of residents rated as having low reintegration potential is increasing over time (see Figure 9). Recall that Reintegration Potential Reassessment is based on the Statistical Information on Recidivism - Revised 1 (SIR-R1) scale, the level of intervention based on static factors, the level of intervention based on dynamic factors, the security reclassification scale outcome and the level of motivation (see section on Measures). As research has shown that such risk assessments, based on criminal history factors, are predictive of recidivism[67], it is reasonable to expect an increase in the rate of recidivism commensurate with the increase in higher risk residents.

Figure 10: Average Number of Low Reintegration Potential Residents

Note that the above analyses are based on the linear trend line evidenced through the 6 years of data available. Although the linear trend line is increasing over time, there is a substantial decrease in the last year of analyses. This suggests the profile of residents is currently in the process of changing such that, with the attrition of high-risk residents, more low risk residents are being transferred to the Centre. Interviews support this postulation. Throughout the course of interviews between the CSC evaluation team leader and the Director of Operations, NCSA, in 2004, the Director indicated that the Centre should begin to reduce the number of higher risk residents.

FINDING 9: The transfer of medium security inmates to the Centre is not consistent with the selection criteria per the Agreement.

The selection criteria established for the transfer of residents to the Stan Daniels Healing Centre state that inmates shall have: a low probability of escape; a low risk to the safety of the public in the event of escape; a requirement for a low degree of supervision and control of the inmate's activities within the institution; and a plan which can reasonably be expected to lead to a conditional release within 4-6 months. However, between May 1, 1999 and June 1, 2005, the Stan Daniels Healing Centre has supervised 20 inmates rated as medium security. Inmates assessed as medium security have a combined medium to high security risk for the public and/or medium to high institutional adjustment risk rating as per the Custody Rating Scale[68] (CRS). Considering the overlap between the CRS scale items and the selection criteria, a medium security CRS rating exceeds the level of risk intended in the Agreement.

An additional set of criteria establishes latitude for the review of offenders and inmates who do not meet the conditions described above. Specifically, the conditions state that inmates will be reviewed if: they expressed an interest and have a structured plan for staying at the Centre; they have a reasonable probability of being successful at the Centre; they have respect for the cultural and spiritual aspect of the programming and healing process at the Centre; and they have demonstrated an interest in addressing the issues identified in their Correctional Plan. As these conditions should be reflected in the reassessment of risk, motivation level, reintegration potential and security rating, medium security inmates can not, by definition, meet this set of criteria.

RECOMMENDATION 6: CSC and the NCSA should review the selection criteria in the Agreement to further clarify the level of risk and need deemed appropriate for transfer of inmates to the Centre.

[66] Specifically, the Statistical Information on Recidivism - Revised 1 (SIR-R1) scale; the Criminal History Record, Offence Severity Record, and Sex Offence History domains of the Offender Intake Assessment

[67] Cormier, R.B. (1997) 'Yes SIR! A Stable Risk Prediction Tool'. Forum, Correctional Service of Canada, Volume 9 No. 1. Andrews, D.A. and Bonta, James (1998). The Psychology of Criminal Conduct, 2nd Edition. Anderson Publishing Co.

[68] See CSC's Standard Operating Practice # 700-04: Offender Intake Assessment and Correctional Planning