40th Annual Report to Parliament 2012-2013 - Presentation Deck


November 26, 2013

  • 2012-13 Annual Report assesses progress on six key priorities:
    1. Access to Health Care
    2. Deaths in Custody
    3. Conditions of Confinement
    4. Aboriginal Issues
    5. Access to Programs
    6. Federally Sentenced Women
  • A ‘special focus’ section (Diversity in Corrections) reports on issues affecting ethno-cultural offenders in federal custody, and includes a Case Study on the Black inmate experience.
  • Report contains 17 recommendations, including one directed to the Minister of Public Safety (creation of an independent national advisory forum for deaths in custody).
  • Additional section on Transparency and Accountability in Corrections calls for the reinstatement of the practice of including CSC’s Response to the Annual Report (recommendation 17).

Special Focus on Diversity in Corrections

Issues of Concern

  • CSC faces increasing challenges to accommodate ethnic, cultural, language and religious diversity in corrections.
  • Visible minority offender population has increased by 40% in the past 5 years.
  • Black inmates now comprise 9.5% of the incarcerated population while representing just 2.9% of the Canadian population. Black inmates are over-represented in maximum security, segregation and use of force incidents.
  • Content, delivery and relevance of correctional programming often does not reflect ethno-cultural experiences.
  • Visible minority staff often not well represented at the institutional level.
  • Limited CSC partnerships with visible minority community groups.


  1. I recommend that CSC develop a National Diversity Awareness Training Plan that provides practical and operational training in the areas of diversity, sensitivity awareness and cultural competency. This Training Plan should be integrated within the overall training framework.

  2. I recommend that CSC establish an Ethnicity Liaison Officer position at each institution responsible for building and maintaining linkages with culturally diverse community groups and organizations, ensuring the needs of visible minority inmates are met and facilitating culturally appropriate program development and delivery at the site level.

1. Access to Health Care

Issues of Concern

  • 35% of the inmate population is assessed as requiring psychological or psychiatric services upon admission.
  • Ongoing challenges in recruiting and retaining mental health professionals.
  • Lack of intermediate mental health care units.
  • Inadequate physical infrastructure.
  • Over reliance on segregation to manage mentally disordered offenders.
  • Limited use of alternative service delivery options for acutely mentally disordered offenders and cases of chronic self-injury.
  1. I recommend that CSC appoint independent patient advocates or quality care coordinators to serve each of its five Regional Treatment Centres.

  2. I recommend that the CSC immediately identify the most severely mentally ill male and female inmates for review by external mental health experts and formulate health-focused treatment and placement options.

2. Deaths in Custody

Issues of Concern

  • 53 deaths occurred in CSC facilities in 2011-12, including 8 suicides.
  • CSC’s review of deaths by “natural” causes continues to fall considerably short of meeting legislative or investigative standards (part of an ongoing OCI systemic investigation).
  • Lack of an independent public review mechanism to review and prevent deaths in custody.
  • Need for a comprehensive CSC strategy focused on the prevention and reduction of preventable or premature deaths in federal custody.


  1. I recommend that the Minister of Public Safety create an independent national advisory forum drawn from experts, practitioners and stakeholder groups to review trends, share lessons learned and suggest research that will reduce the number and rate of deaths in custody in Canada.

3. Conditions of Confinement

Issues of Concern

  • As of March 31, 2013, the national double bunking rate was 20.98%.
  • Intersection of prison crowding and security incidents.
  • Weakening of accommodation standards and principles.
  • Use of force interventions involving mentally ill offenders.
  • Policy and procedural gaps in CSC’s use of force review process.
  • Inappropriate use, access and disclosure of personal inmate information.


  1. I recommend that CSC’s inmate accommodation policy reinstate the principle that single occupancy is the most desirable and correctionally appropriate method of housing offenders.

  2. I recommend that any use of force incident involving a mentally disordered offender be subject to a mandatory review at the institutional and regional levels. Issues of non-compliance should be submitted to National Headquarters for review and identification of corrective measures.

  3. I recommend that regional authorities review all use of force incidents involving the use of Institutional Emergency Response Teams.

  4. I recommend that Emergency Response Training be updated to include standards and protocols when responding to situations where a mental health concern is identified. Awareness training in mental health issues and self-injurious behaviour, including de-escalation techniques, should be mandatory components of this training.

  5. I recommend that the CSC conduct an internal audit of its practices and procedures to protect personal inmate information.

4. Aboriginal Issues

Issues of Concern

  • Since 2005-06, the Aboriginal inmate population has increased by 40%. Aboriginals people now comprise 23% of the incarcerated population while representing just 4% of the Canadian population.
  • The gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal offenders continues to widen.
  • Inadequate response to issues raised in Spirit Matters: Aboriginal People and the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Special Report to Parliament) released in March 2013.


  1. I recommend that the Correctional Service of Canada publish a public accountability report card summarizing key correctional outcomes, programs and services for Aboriginal people to be tabled annually in Parliament by the Minister of Public Safety.

  2. I recommend that in the coming year, the Correctional Service of Canada publish an update to its response to Spirit Matters in collaboration and consultation with its National Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

  3. I recommend that the Correctional Service of Canada audit the use of Gladue principles in correctional decision making affecting significant life and liberty interests of Aboriginal offenders, to include penitentiary placements, security classification, segregation, use of force, health care and conditional release.

5. Access to Programs

Issues of Concern

  • Shortage of meaningful work opportunities and vocational skills training aligned with current labour market realities and requirements.
  • Declining number of work releases (Warden discretion).
  • Access to non-Christian chaplains.


  1. I recommend that CSC increase the number of work releases and enhance access to meaningful prison work and vocational skills training opportunities where such needs are identified in a correctional plan in order to better prepare offenders for their safe and successful release to the community.

  2. I recommend that an external review of inmate access to spiritual services, freedom of religious expression and practice in CSC facilities be conducted in 2013-14.

6. Federally Sentenced Women

Issues of Concern

  • Growing number of women offenders under federal sentence.
  • Over-representation of Aboriginal women in federal corrections.
  • Treatment and management of women offenders who chronically self-injure in CSC custody.


  1. I recommend that CSC respond publicly to the issues and concerns contained in the 2012 external report entitled, Marginalized: The Aboriginal Women’s Experience in Federal Corrections.

Transparency and Accountability in Corrections

Issue of Concern

  • CSC’s response to OCI reports.


  1. In the interest of transparency and accountability, I recommend the best practice of including the Correctional Service of Canada’s response as an integral part of my reports tabled in Parliament be reinstated.

Outlook for 2013-14


  • Implementation of ongoing policy, budgetary and legal reforms.
  • Ashley Smith inquest will continue to highlight the challenges of managing significant mental illness in a prison setting.
  • Meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse offender population.
  • CSC’s organizational and workplace culture.