OFFICE OF THE CORRECTIONAL INVESTIGATOR
DEPARTMENTAL PERFORMANCE REPORT
March 31, 2001
Lawrence MacAulay, P.C., M.P.
Solicitor General of Canada
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.1 Correctional Investigator's Message
Annex A : Financial Performance Overview
Annex B : Other Information
Section I: Message
1.1 Correctional Investigator's Message
I am mandated as an Ombudsman for federal corrections. The Office carries out this function within an environment that has traditionally been closed to public scrutiny with a high level of mistrust between offenders and correctional staff.
I am firmly committed to the Ombudsman concept and believe that the provisions of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (CCRA) provide for a process through which the vast majority of individual and systemic concerns can be reasonably addressed. It is important for all parties to appreciate that the Correctional Investigator is neither an agent of the Correctional Service of Canada nor the advocate of every complainant or interest group that lodges a complaint. I am mandated to investigate complaints from an independent and neutral position and in cases where there is evidence of unfairness, make appropriate recommendations concerning corrective action.
This past year has been an exceptionnally productive one for the Office. While we previously recorded modest gains in reversing a pattern of declining output, the magnitude of our most recent progress vis-à-vis our stragegic outcomes is truly noteworthy. Empowered by an increase in funding, we have made great strides in infusing all of our operations with a renewed focus on achieving results for Canadians.
Accordingly, the Office's investigative staff have been more present than ever before within Canadian penitentiaries and have dealt with an unprecedented number of issues from or on behalf of offenders. Their findings have been followed up with a record number of recommendations for corrective action to the Correctional Service of Canada. In so doing, the Office has contributed to ensuring that our correctional system is not only managed in a fair and humane fashion but also in a manner consistent with the expectations and values of Canadians as provided for in the CCRA.
In the months ahead, the Office will be engaged in a strategic planning exercise. We will then strive not only to find ways of further enhancing our performance vis-à-vis our strategic outcomes, but also to measure and report on the latter in an even more accessible and meaningful fashion.
Canadians increasingly recognize that the communities in which they live are ultimately safer and better protected when offender concerns are addressed fairly, humanely and responsibly. In its role of Ombudsman, the Office fully intends to contribute in assuring Canadians that this is indeed what happens in our federal correctional system.
Section II: Agency Overview
The Office of the Correctional Investigator was established in 1973 pursuant to Part II of the Inquiries Act. With the proclamation in November 1992 of Part III of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, this is now the enabling legislation. The mandate of the Correctional Investigator, as defined by this legislation, is to function as an Ombudsman for federal offenders. The Correctional Investigator is independent of the Correctional Service of Canada and may initiate an investigation on receipt of a complaint by or on behalf of an offender, at the request of the Minister or on his own initiative. The Correctional Investigator is required by legislation to report annually through the Solicitor General to both Houses of Parliament.
In addition, Section 19 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act requires that the Correctional Service of Canada "where an inmate dies or suffers serious bodily injury" conduct an investigation and provide a copy of the report to the Correctional Investigator.
2.2 Mission Statement
The Office of the Correctional Investigator is committed to maintaining an accessible independent avenue of redress for offender complaints and to provide timely recommendations to the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada and the Solicitor General which address the areas of concern raised on complaint.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator has one Business Line which, as detailed in Section 167 of the Corrections and Conditional Release Act, is to conduct investigations into the problems of offenders related to decisions, recommendations acts or omissions of the Commissioner of Corrections or any person under the control and management of, or performing service for or on behalf of the Commissioner of Corrections that affects offenders either individually or as a group.
The Office of the Correctional Investigator is headed by the Correctional Investigator who reports to Parliament through the Solicitor General. The Agency's resources provide for 19 full-time equivalents, 11 of which make up the investigative staff. The total resources are $2,142,000 for the fiscal year 2000-2001.
2.4 Organization Chart
Section III: Agency Performance
3.1 Societal Context
To act as an Ombudsman on behalf of offenders by thoroughly and objectively reviewing a wide spectrum of administrative actions and presenting findings and recommendations to an equally broad spectrum of decision makers, inclusive of Parliament.
- Improve management practices and operations strategies;
- Increase awareness of the Office of the Correctional Investigator's mandate;
- Establish a more effective process, in cooperation with the Correctional Service of Canada, for resolving both individual and systemic areas of concern.
Key Co-delivery Partners
In October 1999, the Office signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Correctional Service. The intent of this agreement is to assist both agencies in addressing areas of offender concern in an objective, thorough and timely fashion. Accordingly, the quality and timeliness of actions taken by the Correctional Service in response to the Office's findings and recommendations will remain of paramount importance.
In addition, the Office met throughout the year with various national and international associations, actively involved in the fields of corrections and criminal justice, either on an individual basis or at conferences, to review areas of mutual concern. These linkages highlight the value placed by the Office on a collaborative approach to the betterment of corrections consistent with the expectations of Canadians.
3.2 Performance Results Expectations and Chart of Strategic Outcomes
Strategic Outcomes, Planned Results, Related Activities and Resources
3.3 Performance Accomplishments
Resources Utilized Towards Accomplishments
The primary function of the Correctional Investigator is to independently investigate and attempt to bring resolution to individual offender complaints. The Office as well has a responsibility to review and make recommendations on the Service's policies and procedures associated with the areas of individual complaint to ensure that systemic areas of concern are identified and appropriately addressed (i.e. transfers, case management, etc.). In so doing the Office aims to assure the Canadian public that the federal correctional system is managed efficiently, equitably and fairly.
All complaints received by the Office are reviewed and initial inquiries made to the extent necessary to obtain a clear understanding of the issue in question. After this initial review, in those cases where it is determined that the area of complaint is outside our mandate, the complainant is advised of the appropriate avenue of redress and assisted when necessary in accessing that avenue. For those cases that are within our mandate, the complainant is provided with a detailing of the Service's policies and procedures associated with the area of complaint. Where deemed necessary, an interview is arranged with the offender.
In addition to responding to individual complaints, the Office meets regularly with inmate committees and other offender organizations and makes announced visits bi-annually at each institution during which the investigator will meet with any inmate, or group of inmates, upon request.
From 1 April 2000 to 31 March 2001, the Office received an unprecedented total of 8,405 contacts with or on behalf of offenders, an increase of some 2,978 from the previous fiscal year and some 3,976 from fiscal year 1998-1999. The magnitude of these successive increases reflects the office's greater accessibility to the offender population. It also underscores the increasing confidence of offenders in the Office, as a viable recourse for problem resolution, and their greater understanding of our mandate, role and responsibilities.
Also, in the course of the present reporting year, the Office's investigative staff spent 375 days at federal penitentiaries, and conducted 3,185 interviews , some 304 more than in the previous fiscal year and 972 more than in fiscal year 1998-1999.
In order to comply with the recommendations of the Arbour Commission, the Office reviewed 546 Institutional Emergency Response Team (IERT) videotapes and other documentation related to Use of Force incidents, compared to 451 in the previous year and 243 in 1998-1999. We also reviewed 120 Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) investigation reports pursuant to Section 19 of the Correctional and Conditional Release Act (CCRA).
Further to all of its investigative and review efforts, the Office has made an unprecedented number of recommendations to the Correctional Service of Canada, focused on corrective measures to address areas of operational concern.
As the above figures also illustrate, this has been an exceptionally challenging year for the Office. The level of our activities, which are significantly greater than those reported last year, clearly demonstrates the impact of the Office's implementation of the recommendations made by the Auditor General in December 1997.
The Office's activities are consistent with its legislative mandate. While exercising due regard for economy, efficiency and effectiveness, the Office has increased its contribution to the safe, fair, humane and equitable treatment of offenders under federal jurisdiction.
In providing a viable and credible outlet for the tensions and pressures that invevitably develop within penitentiaries, the Office contributes to the reduction of costly disturbances and other acts of violence. The Office also contributes to the safety of all communities by helping to ensure that federal offenders who are released have not only been dealt with fairly and humanely but have also been provided with appropriate assistance in their bid to become law abiding citizens.
Financial Performance Overview
Financial Table 1
Summary of voted Appropriations
Office of the Correctional Investigator
Financial Table 2
Comparison of Total Planned Spending to Actual Spending
Financial Table 3
Historical Comparison of Total Planned Spending to Actual Spending
i) Contacts for Further Information
ii) Agency Website:
iii) Agency E-Mail Address:
iv) Legislation and Associated Regulations Administered
Corrections and Conditional Release Act, Part III. (R.S.C., 1992, Ch. 20).
v) Statutory Annual Reports and Other Agency Reports
Annual Report of the Correctional Investigator.
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