Report of the Task Force on Security


If we are to achieve a truly effective security framework, it will be a result of effective leadership by staff at all levels.

Leadership skills need to be distinguished from management and supervisory skills. Management and supervisory skills tend to focus on the administration of programs to ensure standards and deadlines are met, laws and policies are followed, and that things are done right. Leadership takes us beyond that to inspire, innovate, challenge the status quo, and is concerned with doing the right thing, as well as doing things right. To achieve our Mission, we must have staff that are able to combine leadership with managerial and supervisory skills - and this applies to everyone in the organization - each have a major contribution to make to the culture and effectiveness of our Service.

"The need for excellence in leadership is paramount."

- Rob Kellett

5.3.1 Senior Management

We have spoken to the issue of Career Progression elsewhere in this report. We wish to address the issue of continuing education and developmental leave for senior staff in our Service. Our view is that the type of work performed by senior managers such as Wardens, District Directors, and others in more senior positions requires specialized training and significant periods of mentoring. The daily decision-making performed by these staff members have a high impact on the personal lives of many people. Little time is left for personal learning or revitalization. It is necessary that CSC offer structured learning opportunities for its senior staff and the opportunity to take developmental leave in order that they are able to continue to perform at the levels expected of them.

"You have to stop making  the measurable important  and  make the  important measurable"

- Trevor Williams

  • Recommendation:That opportunities for academic development and training as well as developmental leave and exchanges be made available to senior managers on a regular basis.
  • Recommendation:That specialized training for Wardens, Deputy Wardens and District Directors be developed and introduced and that mentoring programs for these positions be made mandatory subsequent to appointment for a minimum period of six months.

5.3.2 Middle Management

The responsibility of middle managers in putting policy into practice cannot be over-stated. Section Supervisors, Assistant District Directors, Assistant Wardens, Unit Managers, and Correctional Supervisors are responsible for the direct supervision of virtually all line staff in CSC. They manage CCC's, Parole Offices, and institutions, often in the absence of senior managers. The Task Force believes that core competencies and standardized training must be developed for each of these positions and further that there should be a requirement for pre-qualifying training and testing prior to appointment to these positions. Further we support mandatory periods of mentoring after appointment.

  • Recommendation:That CSC design and implement a comprehensive, standardized middle manager training program as a pre-requisite to assuming the duties of this position. The training component must require a passing grade.

5.3.3. The CAPRA Problem Solving Model

The CAPRA model provides a comprehensive method of dealing with problems that ensures the whole context is considered:

  • C - consideration of "clients", direct and indirect
  • A - "acquiring and analyzing" information taking into consideration the Law, Policy, and our Mission.
  • P - consideration of others involved, "Partners" in the Criminal Justice System, other agencies, the victims and the community.
  • R - developing a "Response" that manages risk and is concerned for public safety.
  • A - making an "Assessment" and providing continuous improvement and learning
CAPRA Problem Solving Model

CAPRA was developed by the R.C.M.P. and has been integrated into the CTP 2000.

The approach holds many benefits and it is recommended that CSC utilize CAPRA in all staff training and development activity as well as in its daily operational routines.

5.3.4. Use of Force Management Model

The Corrections and Conditional Release Act is specific in its requirement for staff to use the "least restrictive alternative". While this applies in many areas, it is particularly important when force is required. Staff are accountable for using only as much force as is believed, in good faith and on reasonable grounds, to be necessary to carry out their legal duties.

The Use of Force Management Model is helpful in outlining the options available. While force may ultimately be necessary, emphasis is placed on negotiation and conflict resolution, and the leadership of the organization needs to continually model such approaches.

"The Service must clearly enunciate the philosophy and policy which reinforces the rule of  law in all institutions, at all times, under all circumstances. It must be made clear to staff and inmates alike, while the Service will protect them, it will not condone any unwarranted and unlawful use of force."

- John J. Carson

Use of Force Management Model

RecommendationThat the CAPRA and Use of Force management models shall be:

  • Referenced in Policy regularly.
  • Included in curriculum training.
  • Utilized in all cases where force is being considered.>

5.3.5. Leadership and the Mission

If the Correctional Service of Canada is to meet the challenges articulated in the Mission Document, staff must become passionately involved in making it a reality. This will not happen unless the staff see the values demonstrated on a daily basis by all those in a formal leadership position - from the Commissioner, Deputy Commissioners, Wardens, District Directors, Area Managers, front line supervisors - staff are quick to pick up on discrepancies between stated values and actual leadership behaviour. Nothing is more crucial to the culture of the organization than the actual values demonstrated by the organization's leaders in every action throughout the day. Exemplary behaviour must be automatic and consistent and this can only be accomplished if leaders are sincerely committed to the values articulated in the Mission.

"When all is said and done,  much more has been said than done."

- Ken Peterson

  • Recommendation:That each Region assign a senior officer to act as an advisor on all matters related to the growth of positive cultures in our institutions and community offices.

"The prison service must comply with its own written policy. There is a yawning gap between prison service ideals and actual practice."

- Woodcock report on Whitemoor

5.3.6. Law and Policy

Not only is it important for our leaders to have a broad knowledge of law and policy, a detailed knowledge of the governing legislation is essential for effective leadership. Beyond knowledge, a personal and sustaining commitment to compliance is essential. It is suggested that the values and behaviours could be reinforced if a senior staff member in each region was specifically assigned to provide advise and guidance in these areas.

The strategic orientation of the Correctional Service of Canada, as outlined annually in the Corporate Objectives, is of the highest order. Our continuing challenge is that of implementation. This should not be surprising or discouraging when the complexity of CSC is considered with its great variety of staff spread over five regions in many different work locations. We need to continually strive to ensure all staff are knowledgeable about the law, policy and corporate objectives, share a commitment for effective implementation and do so in keeping with the values of the Mission.

In determining what the CSC policy framework should look like, the Task Force on Policy Review (1996) established principles to underlie the corporate policy framework:

  • Policy should be as simple as possible.
  • There should be limited repetition between the CCRA, the CCRR, the CD's, the RI's, and SO's.
  • Inconsistencies should be eliminated.
  • Related information should be amalgamated and integrated wherever possible.
  • Policy should only be developed when you need it, i.e., for consistency.

In response to the recommendations of the Policy Task Force, much work has been done to delete a wide range of existing documents such as manuals, codes, and guidelines and to replace them with streamlined Standard Operating Practices. The Task Force on Security met with representatives of groups working on these reviews and took note of the fact that many CD's have been eliminated, the number of Regional Instructions has dropped from 221 to 25 and that there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of SO's in each institution. We have been impressed with the format and effort being made to streamline and simplify the array of policy related documents. The effort that has been undertaken and that will continue to occur will result in clearer and more comprehensive direction to line managers and staff in carrying out their security related responsibilities. We also note that extensive consultation with the field and key partners has been built in to the ongoing policy review exercise, which should enhance implementation and acceptance. We support the involvement of operational staff in the review and development of these policy documents which has been a key component of the process in the last year.

The Task Force also supports the decision to quote the actual legislation in the new policy documents without paraphrasing. This will enhance staff knowledge of the law and will minimize the problem of interpretation.

The policy development plan and time-frame for the finalization of all of the security policies at the national level is fully supported by the Task Force. We strongly recommend that this set of policies receive priority for Executive Committee review and approval. We also recommend a phased-in approach that will allow all managers and staff to be fully briefed and oriented to the new policy documents. Any changes in policy need to be highlighted during the implementation process. We note that most of CSC's difficulties with security policy in the past had to do with the implementation and application of law and policy more so than with the policy content itself. In other sections of the Task Force report we comment on the importance of staff training and competency which is seen as essential to the complete and proper implementation of policy direction.

Finally, we recommend that all CSC staff should be oriented to the Security Policy Framework as it is phased in over the next year. Good security should be everyone's business. In order to ensure consistency and teamwork at the operational level it is important that all staff and managers are familiar with the law and the policies that direct security practices.

Although some of the issues raised elsewhere in the Security Task Force report, if accepted, may lead to additional revisions in the security policy framework, we are pleased with the development currently underway and support the orientation and principles being incorporated in this process.

  • Recommendation:That the security policy framework at NHQ receive priority for Excom review and approval.
  • Recommendation:That a phased-in approach be undertaken that will allow all managers and staff to be fully briefed and oriented to the new security policy documents.

"On the one hand, the multiplicity of regulatory sources largely contributed to the applicable law or policy being often unknown, or easily forgotten and ignored. On the other hand, despite this plethora of normative requirements,one sees little evidence of the will to yield pragmatic concerns to the dictates of a legal order. The rule of Law is absent, although rules are everywhere."

- The Honorable Louise Arbour

5.3.7. Professionalism

The Mission document and the Standards of Professional Conduct provide a direction to the CSC community with respect to the values and behaviours that should be exemplified by "correctional professionals".

What do we mean by a "correctional professional"? We mean someone who has chosen to work in corrections. It therefore includes correctional officers, teachers, chaplains, administrative staff, parole officers, wardens, psychologists, and many others. They should be selected because of their interest, skills, integrity and potential to work in this very challenging field and their salaries and working conditions should reflect society's desire to have a professional correctional workforce. If "correctional professionals" do have personal integrity, they will identify with the values the organization has articulated in the Mission document. If they cannot "buy in" to those values, they should recognize that they may not be personally suited for this work, and should look elsewhere for a career more suited to their interests. Those staff who do choose to make their career in CSC want to do a good job and the challenge for all leaders is to promote staff professionalism, to ensure their work is meaningful and that their positive contributions are recognized and supported.

All staff must understand that personal safety and the safety of their colleagues is best ensured through value based professional interactions with offenders. Both staff and offenders have a right to live and work in a safe and secure environment. As leaders we must all take responsibility to make it happen.

Accountability is key to effective leadership. Without specific and personal accountability for performance, compliance with law and policy will gradually erode. Once compliance has been eroded, it is extremely difficult to restore.

"Wherever you have keepers and the kept, you have a power imbalance. What's important is how you manage  that imbalance."

- Monty Bourke

The best way to ensure compliance is to develop a "culture of compliance". This takes time, commitment, and visible leadership. As leaders, we must demonstrate that compliance is intrinsically important to us personally and to the success of our organization.

Accountability must be clearly anchored to the Mission, applied within the framework of our Core Values, and focused upon our stated objectives. It should be promoted as an opportunity for staff to perform and be recognized for good work.

5.3.8. Visible Leadership Style

What are the qualities of an effective corrections leader today?

What personal qualities do we want in corrections leadership as we enter the 21st century?

There are many qualitites of effective leaders: involving staff, providing clear vision, building collaborative teams, effectively managing change, promoting a learning culture, and embracing accountability are a few important examples.

One critical element of corrections leadership is visibility. This is often a challenge when administrative responsibilities seem overwhelming. However, visibility sends an important message to staff who feel their work is appreciated and to offenders who see that you care. Emerging problems can be identified quickly, commmunication becomes personal, and responsiveness is evident.


"We underestimate the amount  of time that middle managers need to supervise staff."

- Trevor Williams

Leaders need to create an environment that empowers staff to make decisions and respond to situations in a manner consistent with Canadian law and CSC's Mission. The unit management approach provides such an environment and we need to commit ourselves to a full implementation of this approach. Leaders must ensure that they are current in the information they possess, and that this information is shared.

  • Recommendation:That a variety of communication methods be employed in institutions and parole offices, including structured pre-shift briefings, to share information and promote safer and more secure environments.

5.3.9. Labour/Management Relationships

One of the guiding principles to Core Value 3 in our Mission document reads:

"We believe that our relationships with unions must be characterized by openness, mutual respect and a desire to resolve problems".

Where this has occurred, the positive culture of the work unit is reinforced. Unfortunately, relationships have sometimes been characterized by friction, dissension, competition, and power struggles. Where this happens, the culture of the work unit suffers and a cycle of negative reinforcement occurs. Not only does this leave all participants dissatisfied, security suffers because good security depends on all staff working together on the same team. If security suffers, the feeling of safety is threatened and the whole enterprise is less effective.

The unions have significant roles at national, regional and local levels. Each level provides a challenge and an opportunity to build effective partnerships. The interests of the unions and management should be similar - a safe, secure, respectful workplace in which each staff member can have a meaningful role and career.

"Even people in conflict have a longing for dialogue and positive interaction."

- Vern Neufeld Redekopp

5.3.10. Leadership Outside of CSC

Core Value 4 states:

  • "We believe that the sharing of ideas, knowledge, values and experience, nationally and internationally, is essential to the achievement of our Mission".

Members of our Task Force had the opportunity to visit corrections systems in other countries as part of our study. While we have learned from these contacts, we have also come to a deeper appreciation of our own system. Ther are many areas where we have been able to be of assistance to other systems, and indeed we currently are assisting other countries as they develop their correctional systems. A few examples of our successes include:

  • the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, and our Mission document provide a sound foundation for our enterprise;
  • the sensitivity and respect for Aboriginal cultures within our system has evidenced itself in many ways, both within many of our work units, and with the establishment of Healing Lodges and agreements utilizing the authority of Section 81 of the C.C.R.A.;
  • the development of multi-level facilities in the regions for federally sentenced women;
  • the establishment of the National Committee on Restorative Justice and Dispute Resolution which actively promotes new and creative initiatives with CSC;
  • the Strategic Planning Process with its comprehensive environmental overview and the resulting corporate objectives, actions and success measures;
  • the NCAOP is not only a key element of the planning cycle, but this document is also recognized as a unique federal governement planning tool and vehicle for short-long term accomodation, population, capital and resources management. It provides a forum to "translate" strategic objectives into operational measures.
  • the development of a significant research capacity contributing to a greater understanding of our enterprise and an improvement of our approaches.
  • Recommendation:That the Correctional Service of Canada continue to participate with our partners, nationally and internationally, in working towards safer communities and a safe society.