Correctional Service of Canada responds to Correctional Investigator’s 2021-2022 Annual Report


Today, Anne Kelly, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada, issued the following statement:

“I welcome the Office of the Correctional Investigator’s (OCI) annual report. Our response outlines the concrete actions we are taking. To date, we have implemented over 90% of the commitments we put forward in our responses to the OCI’s recommendations in the last 10 years. I recognize there is always more work to do and remain committed to ongoing and continuous progress to implement our commitments, including the new actions put forward in response to today’s report.

CSC’s mission is to change lives and keep Canadians safe. Everything we do at CSC focuses on assisting and preparing inmates for their successful reintegration into our communities. I want to thank our dedicated staff who show up every day to make a difference, and who continue to implement changes that help us remain progressive. I appreciate the contributions of all of our staff, partners and stakeholders, especially as we continue to navigate challenges brought on by the pandemic.

At CSC, we are role models to others. I expect all CSC staff to be respectful and professional in everything they do. Words and actions matter. We all have a duty, both individually and collectively, to report and take swift action to address inappropriate behaviours in order to ensure that our environments remain safe, healthy and inclusive for everyone.

Our work does not stop there. Building an anti-racist, diverse and inclusive organization is one of my top priorities. We have been working hard to implement initiatives in our Anti-Racism Framework and Action Plan, which has three pillars: employees, offenders and stakeholders. It outlines a number of projects including training and development, examining our security classification processes, a Black Social History initiative, and ambitious employment equity targets to create a more diverse and representative workforce. We are also developing a Black Offender Strategy, informed by research, to better support offenders, both in our institutions and those under supervision in the community.

It is essential that we continue to examine our practices, policies and programs to see how they may lead to inequities, and make changes accordingly, in collaboration with our employees, offenders, racialized communities, ethnocultural and Indigenous advisory committees, and stakeholders.

In addition, CSC is working to better meet the needs of ethnocultural offenders. To this end, we have 60 ethnocultural site coordinators; developed an ethnocultural offenders’ resource kit; created welcoming inmate murals in multiple languages at all institutions; and supported book clubs and an ethnocultural calendar featuring inmate art and poetry.

CSC is working in close collaboration with its partners to address the disproportionate overrepresentation of Indigenous and Black individuals in our criminal justice system. To support this work, I am running an open and transparent process to hire a Deputy Commissioner for Indigenous Corrections. This new position will support relationships with Indigenous peoples and help achieve coordination to address overrepresentation, both within the criminal justice system and more broadly.

We continue to review and enhance services, programs and strategies to meet the needs of women offenders with a specific focus on Indigenous women in our custody.  We are working with Indigenous peoples to develop a security classification process that remains gender-informed, and is culturally relevant.

To support inmate health, CSC continues to implement harm reduction initiatives to address the needs of individuals with problematic substance use disorders and prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C. This includes programs such as Opioid Agonist Treatment, the Prison Needle Exchange Program, and the Overdose Prevention Service. We have also implemented self-management and recovery training (SMART) and increased referrals to community-based Narcotics Anonymous programs.

To maintain safe environments, we continuously work to prevent contraband, such as weapons and drugs, from entering our institutions. The implementation of effective contraband detection technologies, such as body scanners and more sophisticated drone detection systems will help us reduce the presence of contraband in our institutions and keep them safe.

This year, two new Commissioner’s Directives (CDs) came into effect in consultation with experts and stakeholders. CD 100 Gender Diverse Offenders and CD 574 Sexual Coercion and Violence. They provide direction on procedural changes that reflect CSC’s commitment to meeting the needs of its offender population in ways that respect their human rights, ensure their safety and dignity as well as the safety of others.

CSC continues to refine the operation of Structured Intervention Units (SIUs) within federal institutions. We are committed to this model and have a number of concrete actions underway based on feedback from oversight bodies, audit engagements that we conducted, and our experience to date. We recently responded to the SIU Implementation Advisory Panel’s annual report, which includes updates on our progress and additional actions we are taking related to SIUs.

The OCI’s input is important to CSC, and we remain committed to continuing dialogue and collaboration with their office and all our partners as we work towards our shared goals of effective care and custody, successful reintegration, and safe communities.”

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