ARCHIVED - Office of the Correctional Investigator - Annual Report 2003-2004

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November 18, 2004
Press Release

Annual Report of the Office of the Correctional Investigator of Canada 2003-2004

Progress; yet significant issues related to Health Care, Aboriginals and Women remain unaddressed

The 31st Annual Report was tabled in Parliament by the Minister today. "It is my privilege," said Mr. Howard Sapers, "to present my first report as Correctional Investigator. I look forward to working with the Commissioner of Corrections as the Service implements necessary changes and being advised of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada position on the significant issues identified for her attention".

Annual Report recommendations have traditionally been directed towards the Commissioner of Corrections. There are four recommendations in this year's report directed to the Minister. These recommendations, Mr. Sapers states "represent issues of long-standing concern, with significant implications to the offender population". The recommendations address Aboriginal Corrections, Women Offenders, Infectious Diseases and Security Classification. A detailing of those recommendations is attached.

The report notes that "although we remain at odds on the appropriate resolution of some key areas associated with Health Care, Women and Aboriginal Offenders, the Service has initiated action on a number of issues". Policy and operational changes are underway in the areas of Investigations, Use of Force, Allegations of Harassment and Staff Misconduct. The Service has also undertaken to continue its review of issues associated with Younger Offenders, Inmate Grievance Procedure, Inmate Injuries and Institutional Violence.

"Corrections is a difficult and at times thankless business, yet it is a key element of our criminal justice system," Sapers noted. "Independent over-sight is an essential element of an open and accountable correctional process. Canadians expect a system that provides safe, humane custody which is respectful of human rights and supports the offenders' successful reintegration into society. I look forward to working with the Correctional Service and our other criminal justice partners towards meeting that expectation".

This year's Annual Report focuses on :

  • Aboriginal and Women Offenders
  • Timely Program Access and Case Preparation
  • Institution Violence, Inmate Injuries and Investigations
  • Provision of Health Care Services
  • Offender Redress Procedures

The Correctional Service's response to the Office's recommendations is appended to the Annual Report.

The Correctional Investigator is mandated under Part III of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act as an Ombudsman for Federal Offenders.

A press briefing will be held at the Office to the Correctional Investigator, 60 Queen St., 11th Floor on Thursday, November 18, 2004 at 10:30 a.m. For further information, please contact the Office at (613) 990-9091.