ARCHIVED - Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI): Highlights of 2004-05 Annual Report

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The Report identifies three pillars for ensuring that the federal correctional system meets its two statutory objectives of safe and humane custody and supervision of offenders, and assisting the rehabilitation of offenders and their return to the community as law-abiding citizens:

  • The necessity of fostering a strong culture of human rights within the Correctional Service of Canada;
  • The need for correctional staff and senior managers to be accountable in their administration of law and policy; and,
  • The requirement to assist offenders to ensure their timely safe reintegration into the community.

The Report recommends:

  • The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) secure and commit adequate funding for the timely implementation of its mental health strategy and train all front-line staff to appropriately identify disruptive mental health behaviour and respond accordingly.
  • The Minister appoint an Expert Committee to review and publicly report on CSC's Ten-Year Status Report on the advancement of human rights, fairness and equity issues in Women's Corrections, since Madame Justice Arbour's Commission of Inquiry in 1996.
  • The CSC appoint a Deputy Commissioner for Aboriginal Offenders with the authority to implement the Service's Strategic Plan for Aboriginal Corrections and the Service release quarterly performance reports on Aboriginal issues.
  • The CSC overhaul operations and policies in the area of inmate grievances, with specific focus on harassment and that an external consultant to be retained to assist the Service's review.
  • The CSC develop an Action Plan, including audit and evaluation components, to implement the recommendations of the Report on Factors Causing Delays in NPB Reviews, in collaboration with the Parole Board and OCI.
  • The CSC adopt the independent adjudication model for administrative segregation proposed by the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada.
  • The CSC conduct a review on the rights, entitlements, access to programs, level of association and applicable procedural safeguards for all of its sub-populations that are not considered to be the general inmate population or administrative segregation.
  • The CSC, with the assistance of outside experts in women-centered and Aboriginal approaches, implement a strategy for security classification and timely conditional release of women and Aboriginal offenders.
  • The CSC repeal its illegal policy which requires that federally-sentenced offenders, serving a minimum life sentence for first- or second-degree murder, be classified as maximum security for at least the first two years of federal incarceration.