Correctional Service of Canada responds to Correctional Investigator’s  Annual Report


OTTAWA, October 27, 2020 – Today, Anne Kelly, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, issued the following statement:

“I welcome the 2019-20 Annual Report from the Office of the Correctional Investigator (OCI). As we continue to deliver on our mission of contributing to public safety by actively supporting offenders to become law-abiding citizens, the OCI report provides us with an opportunity to review, reflect, and take action on a number of important areas within our federal correctional system.

The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) has carefully examined all recommendations put forward by the OCI. Our response to the report outlines the actions that we have taken and the context about the issues the Correctional Investigator raises, highlights our progress, and identifies further changes we have committed to making.

Over the course of 2019-20, CSC made transformational and historic changes to federal corrections. CSC reached an unprecedented milestone when it abolished the practice of administrative segregation and replaced it with a new correctional model that includes the creation of Structured Intervention Units. At the same time, the importance of clinically-independent and patient-centred health care in corrections was strengthened in legislation.

Research is showing that reoffending rates and offender populations are down, while the number of offenders managed in the community has gone up. CSC is proud of these gains and will continue to provide education and vocational opportunities that help offenders safely re-integrate into society.

As our response also indicates, CSC continues to address the needs of federal inmates with gender considerations and is currently undertaking research to better understand how to manage and address the needs of other vulnerable groups, including women, Indigenous, Black, and aging offenders.

Several recommendations in the OCI report addressed Sexual Coercion and Violence (SCV) in institutions, and I want to assure you that we take this issue very seriously. A zero-tolerance approach to SCV is consistent with CSC’s policies and is fundamental to our operations. Our priority is always to protect the physical and mental health, and overall safety, of those in our custody.

Correctional officers are trained to recognize and deal with all types of criminal behaviour between inmates, including sexual coercion and violence. As peace officers, they are obligated to report such incidents. CSC’s Offender Management System identifies offenders who are vulnerable or are predatory. The Service closely monitors those individuals, which helps to inform its population management strategies.

The issue of sexual coercion and violence in correctional institutions is a very complex one, which is why we are committed to working with Public Safety Canada to conduct research to inform a strategy to detect, prevent, and respond to sexual coercion and violence in correctional institutions, with consideration of vulnerable populations such as inmates with prior trauma, LGBTQ2+, women, and those with mental health issues.

While the current public health pandemic has greatly impacted our operations, we continue to be open and ready to make continuous improvements and progress while, at the same time, putting in place unprecedented health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our employees, offenders and communities.

We look forward to our continued work with the OCI as we work to implement his recommendations.”

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