Office of the Correctional Investigator
39th Annual Report to Parliament
2011-2012

Presentation Deck

October 23rd, 2012


Overview


 

1. Access to Mental Health Services

Issues of Concern

  • Increasing demand for specialized and acute mental health treatment and care services
  • Policy compliance in the development and implementation of clinical treatment plans for offenders who self-injure
  • Limited alternative service delivery options for seriously mentally ill offenders
  • Over-reliance on control measures and segregation to manage self-injurious offenders

Recommendations

1. I recommend that an external clinical expert be contracted to conduct a compliance review against clinical measures identified in CD 843 (Management of Inmate Self-Injurious and Suicidal Behaviour) and that the results of this review and the Service’s response be made public.

2. I recommend that the Service prepare an expert report on the barriers to alternative mental health service delivery in federal corrections and publicly release a management action plan to mitigate these barriers, including clear timelines for implementation of new service arrangements with external healthcare providers.

3. I once more recommend, in keeping with Canada’s domestic and international human rights commitments, laws and norms, an absolute prohibition on the practice of placing mentally ill offenders and those at risk of suicide or serious self-injury in prolonged segregation.

Physical Health Care

Issues of Concern

  • Rates of substance misuse remain high despite drug interdiction efforts
  • Decrease in funding and availability of substance abuse programming and harm-reduction measures
  • Increase in the number of offenders with infectious diseases
  • Intersection of prison drug trade and gang activity

Recommendations

4. I recommend that the Service significantly augment its substance abuse programming, treatment, counselling and harm reduction services, supports and investments to better align with the needs of offenders whose criminal activity is linked to drug addiction or alcohol abuse.

 

2. Deaths in Custody

Issues of Concern

  • Mortality Review exercise continues to fall considerably short of meeting legislative or investigative standards (part of an ongoing OCI systemic investigation)
  • Additional actions required on CSC’s overall approach to preventing deaths in custody:
    • Suicide prevention (points of suspension)
    • Quality of dynamic security practices
    • Compliance with Emergency Response protocols
    • Quality-controls following non-compliance
    • Governance and accountability for safe custody practices at the senior management level

Recommendations

5. I recommend that CSC immediately put in place all necessary measures, including funding, to ensure the potential points of suspension in inmates’ cells are identified and appropriately dealt with to prevent suicide.

6. I recommend that CSC create a dedicated senior management position responsible for promoting and monitoring safe custody practices. This position should be invested with sufficient authority and autonomy to collect and report on performance measures consistent with the Service’s legal duty of care to preserve life in custody.

7. I recommend that CSC enhance the quality of security rounds, counts, patrols, interventions and interactions (dynamic security) consistent with preservation of life principles and operational policies and perform enhanced spot and compliance audits.

8. At each operational site, I recommend that CSC conduct a review of internal emergency response protocols against recent compliance failures and ensure both staff and management understand their respective roles and responsibilities in carrying out life-saving interventions. Corrective measures taken should be widely communicated across the Service.

 

3. Conditions of Confinement

Issues of Concern

  • Inadequate policy direction, procedural safeguards and compliance
    • Double-bunking assignments
    • Use of dry cells
    • Specialized units or ranges (segregation ‘lite’)
  • Use of force interventions involving offenders with mental health concerns
  • Policy and procedural gaps specifying the roles and responsibilities of Security Intelligence Officers (SIOs)

Recommendations

9. Without any further delay, I recommend that CSC promulgate its revised inmate accommodation policy, to include enhanced procedural safeguards and increased monitoring of double bunking assignments at both regional and national levels of review. The policy should be audited to a high level of assurance for compliance within 12 months of its implementation.

10. I recommend that CSC issue national policy direction for dry cell placements in accordance with administrative fairness standards (clear procedural and legal safeguards and notification) and include an absolute prohibition on dry cell placements exceeding 72 hours.

11. I recommend that CSC policy contain explicit and clear language indicating the correctional purpose for placing inmates in designated units. Specialized units or ranges should have documented procedural safeguards in place to include admission and discharge criteria and these should meet a specific and defined program or criminogenic need.

12. I recommend that CSC’s use of force review, accountability and monitoring framework be significantly strengthened to include a mandatory national review of all uses of force interventions where a mental health issue or concern is identified.

13. I recommend new guidelines be issued to clarify the roles, responsibilities and scope of policy and legal authorities for both community and institutional Security Intelligence Officers.

 

4. Aboriginal Issues

Issues of Concern

  • Increasing gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offender outcomes in federal corrections
  • Results of review of CSC’s Mental Health Strategy as it pertains to Aboriginal offenders not yet available
  • Limited use of Section 81 and 84 provisions of the CCRA (agreements with Aboriginal communities for care/custody or supervision of Aboriginal offenders)

Recommendation

Use of Sections 81 and 84 is the subject of a forthcoming investigation

 

5. Access to Programs

Issues of Concern

  • Large gap in the number of offenders actively participating in core correctional programming, versus the number of those on waitlists
  • Limited and declining access to inmate computers
  • Outdated policies and rationales governing inmate access to the outside world

Recommendation

14. I recommend that CSC conduct a review of its security, policy and procedural framework governing inmate access and contact with the outside world with a view to promoting and significantly expanding use of computers to enhance family and community ties in support of safe and timely reintegration.

 

6. Federally Sentenced Women

Issues of Concern

  • Crowding and use of non-purpose built space to accommodate women offenders
  • Increasing number of security incidents resulting in use of force interventions among women inmates - particularly for those with mental health concerns and Aboriginal women
  • Lack of policy and experience governing the use of specialized restraint equipment for self-injury
  • Staff responses to incidents of self-injury (forthcoming systemic investigation)

Recommendations

15. I recommend that CSC convene an investigation into all assaults that occurred in FY 2011-12 involving federally sentenced women in Secure Units (maximum security) to include a review of dynamic security policies and practices, double-bunking status and procedures for use of force reporting and review.

16. I recommend that the Minister prohibit CSC from introducing or using padded cells in any of its treatment facilities.

 

Outlook for 2012-13

  • CSC is managing the largest renewal and expansion of cell stock in Canadian correctional history
  • CSC will experience significant challenges delivering quality, accessible and credible programs and services with fewer resources
  • Policy and operational changes as a result of legislative amendments will take time to implement and will have significant impacts on federal correctional practice
  • The Office will closely monitor these changes and challenges