41st Annual Report to Parliament 2013-2014 - Presentation Deck

October 8, 2014

Overview

2013-14 Annual Report assesses progress on five key priorities:

  1. Access to Health Care
  2. Deaths in Custody
  3. Conditions of Confinement
  4. Aboriginal Issues
  5. Federally Sentenced Women
  • A ‘special focus’ section (Safe and Timely Reintegration) reports on barriers impacting offender reintegration, and includes an investigation of Community Correctional Centres.
  • Report contains 16 recommendations.

Special Focus on Safe and Timely Reintegration

Issues of Concern

  • Key indicators show that CSC is facing challenges in preparing offenders for safe and timely reintegration:
    • Over the past 5 years parole grants rates declined by 20%.
    • Proportion of sentence served incarcerated prior to first release highest since 2003.
    • 71% of all releases in 2013-14 were by statutory release; over 80% for Aboriginals.
    • Work releases decreasing; only 389 inmates involved in 2012-13.
  • Time spent in prison should be about addressing unmet needs that contribute to crime.
  • CSC spends less than 5% of its budget on correctional reintegration programs.

Investigation of Community Correctional Centres

Profile

  • CSC operates 16 CCCs with a total bed capacity of 474 and an annual budget of $30M (1.1% of CSC’s overall budget).
  • Over half (55%) of offenders residing in a CCC are on statutory release.
  • Nearly three-quarters transferred directly from either a medium or maximum security penitentiary.

Barriers to reintegration

  • Adequacy of pre-release services and supports for offenders transferring to CCCs.
  • Limited and inconsistent access to healthcare expertise, employment assistance and cultural services in some CCCs.
  • Limited community outreach and engagement.

 

  • CCCs deliver significant impact in terms of value for money, efficacy and contribution to public safety, yet receive very modest funding.

 

Recommendations

  1. I recommend that CSC develop a comprehensive pre-release planning strategy that includes mandatory meetings between offenders and their institutional and community parole officer, a process to ensure an offender’s official documents (i.e. birth certificate and health card) are available prior to release, and a handbook identifying programs, services and supports available in the release community.
  2. I recommend that every CCC have consistent access to the necessary resources, including nurses, social workers and psychologists, to ensure access to appropriate services and care.
  3. I recommend that CSC develop a national training plan specific to employees working in CCCs.
  4. I recommend that CSC develop a national partnership strategy for CCCs which includes creating an inventory of services and partners that are available, identifying gaps in partnerships (e.g. cultural groups), a communications plan that educates and informs community members, and a timetable for monitoring and reporting on these activities.
  5. I recommend that CSC conduct an operational audit of resources allocated to community corrections and CCCs specifically. The outcome of this audit should help inform reallocation decisions and the development of renewed monitoring and reporting strategy for CCCs.
  6. I recommend that CSC establish a working committee with the Parole Board of Canada to examine best practices and guidelines regarding the appropriate use of residency conditions for offenders released on statutory release and offenders on a long-term supervision order.

 

1. Access to Health Care

Issues of Concern

  • Increasingly complex physical and mental health care needs = rising costs of offender health care.
  • Lack of electronic offender health information.
  • Lack of an integrated model to treat offenders with concurrent substance abuse and mental health disorders.
  • In 2012, 18.5% of inmates were infected with Hepatitis C and 1.2% with HIV.
  • CSC has not responded to previous OCI recommendations it has linked to the government’s response to the Ashley Smith inquest:
    • Appoint a patient advocate for Regional Treatment Centres.
    • Transfer of the most complex mental health cases to external treatment facilities.
    • Prohibition of long-term segregation of seriously mentally disordered, suicidal and self-injurious offenders.
Recommendations
  1. I recommend that CSC move forward the completion date of the electronic offender health information system. This may require new or reallocated funds.
  2. I recommend that CSC’s review of chronic health conditions be integrated with and inform a comprehensive prevention strategy to reduce premature mortality.
  3. I recommend that efforts to ensure identification, ongoing monitoring and treatment of HIV infection in CSC facilities be a priority and that relevant systems to ensure timely and effective diagnosis and treatment are put in place.
  4. I recommend that CSC develop a comprehensive integrated model to treat offenders with concurrent substance abuse and mental health disorders.

2. Deaths in Custody

Issues of Concern

  • In any given year, about two-thirds of all in-custody deaths are attributed to natural causes (i.e. cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection).
  • Combination of aging inmate population (+50 years) and indeterminate sentences means that an increasing number will develop chronic health conditions. Some will live out their natural life behind bars.
  • System not well equipped to care and provide for the demographics of an aging and ailing inmate population.
  • Need to balance justice and humanitarian concerns in cases involving palliative and/or terminally ill offenders.

Recommendation

  1. I recommend that CSC reconsider its response to the Office’s report on the mortality review process to more specifically address the concerns about the lack of rigour, independence, credibility and timeliness in how the Service currently investigates natural cause fatalities.
  2. I recommend that CSC issue a Request for Proposal to secure palliative community services and accommodations to allow terminally ill offenders to die with dignity in the community.

3. Conditions of Confinement

Issues of Concern

  • Safe custody indicators continue to deteriorate.

    Past 5 years:

    • Double bunking (+93%).
    • Use of segregation (+6.4%).
    • Inmate assaults (+17%).
    • Use of force (+6.7%).
    • Involuntary transfers (+33%).
    • Self-injury (+56%).
  • For the first time, Conditions of Confinement surpassed Health Care as the number one category of offender complaint to my Office.
  • Significant reduction in the number and scope of use of force incidents subject to national review.
  • Limited programs and services specific to younger offenders (18-25 ).

Recommendations

  1. I recommend that the Correctional Service develop and implement a National Strategy for Younger Offenders in collaboration with external stakeholders with expertise in service delivery to young adults. The Strategy should address the need for policies, programs and services tailored specifically to meet the unique needs of offenders aged 25 and under.

4. Aboriginal Issues

Issues of Concern

  • Since March 2005, the Aboriginal inmate population has increased by 47.4%. Aboriginal people now comprise 24% of the incarcerated population while representing just 4% of the Canadian population.
  • The gap in many correctional outcome measures between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders continues to widen.
  • Inconsistent consideration of Aboriginal Social History factors (i.e. effects of residential schools, family histories of substance abuse, negative experience in the child welfare or adoption system) in managing the sentence of an Aboriginal offender.

Recommendations

  1. I recommend that CSC conduct an audit to assess whether Aboriginal Social History factors are being adequately considered in case management records and decisions.

5. Federally Sentenced Women

Issues of Concern

  • Since 2004-05, the number of women in custody has increased by two-thirds . 1 in 3 female inmates is Aboriginal.
  • 62.6% of incarcerated women were prescribed some form of psychotropic medication to manage mental health symptoms.
  • Increase in use of force interventions to manage women who self-injure.
  • 3 in 4 female inmates are also mothers of children under 18 years of age.
  • Inadequate Double Bunking Assessments in the Maximum Security Units.

Recommendations

  1. I recommend that CSC implement CHILD LINK at all regional women’s facilities.
  2. I recommend that CSC conduct a review of double-bunking assessments and assignments in the Secure Units.

Outlook for 2014-15

Issues to Watch

  • Impact of budgetary reductions on inmate programs and service delivery (e.g. inmate pay, food services, case management, health care).
  • Completion/opening of new cells and units across the country.
  • Government response to the Ashley Smith inquest and recommendations.
  • Regional Treatment Centre (Ontario) developments.
  • Offender employment and employability within institutions and CORCAN industries.
  • Impact of court decisions on federal corrections.
  • Full, timely and constructive response to systemic concerns raised by my Office.