Office of the Correctional Investigator
45th Annual Report to Parliament
2017 – 2018
- 2017-18 Annual Report assesses progress in shared government & OCI priorities (Indigenous people, mentally ill and women).
- Report contains 21 recommendations.
- Includes a review of the December 2016 deadly riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary.
- CSC & Ministerial responses annexed to the Report.
- Several Commissioner’s mandate letter commitments reflected in the Annual Report.
2017-18 OCI Annual Statistics
- $4.6 M budget
- 36 FTEs
- 352 days spent in penitentiaries
- 5,846 offender complaints
- 1,828 interviews with offenders and staff
- 1,487 use of force reviews
- 137 deaths in custody and serious bodily injury reviews
- 24,578 toll-free phone contacts
- 1,365 hours on toll-free line
- 25 Million page views on website
Correctional Investigator’s Message
- Accountability, transparency and openness in corrections.
- Return to a “back-to-basics” approach to corrections.
- Appropriateness and adequacy of CSC investigating itself following a major incident.
- Progress on Indigenous corrections is lacking.
- Public Safety Canada develop a nationally maintained recidivism database that links federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions …
- New Commissioner of Corrections initiate a prioritized review of the effectiveness of internal monitoring and performance mechanisms (e.g., use of force, inmate complaints, investigations).
Health Care in Federal Corrections
Issues of Concern
- New guidelines for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) allow the inmate/patient to request and receive the procedure in a federal facility.
- Section 121 “parole by exception” (compassionate release) applications are under-utilized, often denied, and rarely successful.
- Correctional health care providers continue to face ‘dual loyalties.’
- Ratio of clinical staff to psychiatric beds at Regional Treatment Centres is well below expected professional standards of care.
- Minimal and uneven uptake of Patient Advocacy within CSC.
- … No exceptions written into or provided for in CSC policy allowing MAiD to take place in a federal correctional facility. …
- In cases where death is reasonably foreseen, proactive and coordinated case management between CSC and the Parole Board of Canada to facilitate compassionate release.
- Develop arrangements with external hospice and palliative care providers in each Region to ensure adequate and appropriate bed space is in place to release palliative or terminally ill patients to the community.
- Strengthen CSC’s health care governance structure:
- Complete separation of health care budgets from prison administration.
- More team-based and shared models of primary care …
- Practical and ongoing judgement-based and ethical training of correctional health care professionals.
- Coordination, oversight and monitoring of transitions in physical and mental health care.
- A system of regular peer reviews, medical chart audits and evaluations of medical staff conducted at the national level.
- Ensure security staff working in a Regional Treatment Centre are carefully recruited, suitably selected, properly trained and fully competent to carry out their duties in a secure psychiatric hospital environment.
- Independent Patient Advocates be assigned to each Treatment Centre, who could also serve as expert resources for other CSC facilities in each Region.
Conditions of Confinement
Issues of Concern
- Internal audit of the Situation Management Model (SMM) revealed:
- Compliance problems with use of force policy;
- Lack of regular performance monitoring and reporting;
- Delays in completing use of force reviews; and,
- Inadequate corrective or staff disciplinary actions.
- In 2018-19, CSC conduct an evaluation of its new Engagement and Intervention Model.
Special Focus: Investigation into the Riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary
Issues of Concern
- CSC’s investigation of the Dec. 2016 riot at Saskatchewan Penitentiary was not transparent or credible.
- CSC’s public account of the riot (Case Summary) did not reflect the findings of its internal investigation.
- Food quantity and quality issues were contributing factors to the riot.
- The underlying Indigenous composition and gang dynamics of the riot was ignored by the Board and subsequently by CSC.
- Minister of Public Safety conduct an independent review of the National Board of Investigation section 19 process to enhance transparency, credibility, integrity and accountability of investigations convened and conducted by CSC.
- CSC conduct an external audit of its Food Services Modernization initiative (National Menu and Cook-Chill). …
- Create and appoint a Deputy Commissioner level position for Indigenous Affairs to ensure that corporate attention and accountability remains focused on Indigenous issues in federal corrections.
Issues of Concern
- Indigenous inmates represent 28% of the in-custody population, and only 18% of offenders under community supervision.
- Correctional outcomes for Indigenous offenders continue to lag behind.
- As the number of Indigenous people admitted to custody continues to increase, bed capacity in the community has not kept pace.
- Section 81 and 84 provisions are under funded and under utilized.
- More than 20% of Indigenous inmates are gang-affiliated.
- Re-allocate very significant resources to negotiate new funding arrangements and agreements with appropriate partners and service providers to transfer care, custody and supervision of Indigenous people from prison to the community. …
- Spending, budget and resource allocation should better reflect the proportion of Indigenous people serving a federal sentence. … re-allocation of resources and delegation of control to Indigenous communities should be the stated goals of CSC’s contribution to reaching the TRC’s ‘calls to action.’
- Develop a National Gang and Dis-Affiliation Strategy and ensure sufficient resources are allocated for its implementation, inclusive of (core and cultural) programs, employment and services. … This strategy should:
- be responsive to the unique needs of young Indigenous men and women offenders, …;
- ensure that non-gang affiliated young adult offenders are not placed where there are gang members who may attempt to recruit or intimidate them;
- facilitate opportunities … where young adults can engage with their culture and/or spirituality, and age-specific activities;
- incorporate best practices and lessons learned from other jurisdictions and other public safety domains.
Safe and Timely Community Reintegration
Issues of Concern
- Only 124 inmates were enrolled in a college or university education course or program in 2017-18.
- Over 2,800 inmates, or 18.7% of the total in-custody population, were on a waitlist for an education program.
- Lack of monitored internet and email access makes it very challenging for inmates to pursue education behind bars.
- Younger adult offenders (ages 18 to 21) have distinct needs that are not recognized or met by the CSC.
- … CSC to join the digital world by providing inmate access to monitored email and Internet, online learning and in-cell tablets.
- … Increase inmate access and capacity to pursue post-secondary studies through partnerships with local universities and colleges.
- Address key findings from my Missed Opportunities report by implementing the following:
- develop a Commissioner’s Directive highlighting the unique needs of young adults and the importance of focused case management processes that are responsive …
- Increase the frequency of contact between young adults and Parole Officers to ensure that young individuals are enrolled in correctional programming, education classes, or working to gain skills and experience.
- Parole Officers (institutional and community) should receive training specific to younger individuals.
- An increased focus on engaging with young Indigenous offenders through spirituality and culture, including clear, nationally supported strategies for gang dis-affiliation.
- Presumptive prohibition on the use of administrative segregation for young adults under the age of 21, which is incorporated into law.
Federally Sentenced Women
Issues of Concern
- Nearly 40% of all women in federal custody are Indigenous.
- Not all women offenders are incarcerated in their home province.
- 80% of incarcerated women meet the criteria for some current mental disorder.
- Complex needs women housed in inappropriate and ill-equipped settings, including the Secure Units (maximum security).
- Repeal two related measures that exist outside the law: the two-year “rule” and the discriminatory movement levels system for women classified as maximum security.
- Conduct a review to ensure a full range of mitigating strategies are in place to support rehabilitation and reintegration of women offenders who are removed from their home provinces or communities (e.g., s. 81 agreements).
- Use section 29 provisions of the CCRA to transfer patients who present with serious mental health needs, suicidal or chronic self-injurious behaviours and cannot be safely managed in a penitentiary setting to the care of external psychiatric facilities.
- Date modified