OTTAWA, November 7, 2018 – The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, made the following statement today on the Correctional Service of Canada’s Review of Offender Transfers:
“At my request, the Commissioner of the Correctional Service of Canada conducted a review of the transfer of an inmate to a multi-level healing lodge for women to examine whether all relevant policies had been properly followed and whether those policies are the right ones for inmate management and public safety.
After careful consideration of the report, I provided direction to CSC to improve policies related to transfers of medium-security women offenders to facilities that do not have a directly controlled perimeter. CSC will begin to implement these policies immediately.
To provide stronger, more consistent national oversight of these transfers, they will need to be authorized by CSC’s Deputy Commissioner for Women. Furthermore, the Deputy Commissioner will be required to ensure that Indigenous communities are engaged in transfer recommendations, as part of an interdisciplinary approach.
CSC will now consider additional factors in evaluating transfers of medium-security offenders to facilities without a directly controlled perimeter:
- the length of an offender's sentence;
- the time remaining before an offender is eligible for an Unescorted Temporary Absence;
- the requirement that long term offenders be at least into the preparation for release phase of their correctional plan;
- and, for those serving long sentences, institutional behaviour.
These changes will help ensure the public’s confidence that our correctional system is holding guilty parties accountable for breaking the law, while fostering their rehabilitation, so we can have fewer repeat offenders, fewer victims, and ultimately safer communities.
Healing Lodges, which have been part of the federal corrections system for decades, are widely recognized as an important strategy to achieve these goals. By providing effective, culturally responsive interventions, they promote the safe and successful rehabilitation of Indigenous offenders. Our government will continue promoting their valuable role in federal corrections.
The CSC will also work to increase public awareness of its evidence-based approach to internal decision-making, and strive to enhance meaningful communication with the families of the victims of crime.
All Canadians share the grief and pain of families whose loved ones were innocent victims.”
Senior Advisor for Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada